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How much would it cost annually to live simply in Middlesex County (Central) New Jers
Old 07-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #1
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How much would it cost annually to live simply in Middlesex County (Central) New Jers

I am trying to figure out about how much it would cost to live in Middlesex County (Central) New Jersey. Assume that I am a single person, renting a two bedroom apartment. I will live simply. I will list the expenses that I would need to cover:

apartment rent
electric
basic cable
internet
phone
rent insurance
car fund (an amount to save monthly so I have a replacement fund for when the car needs to be replaced)
car insurance
groceries, toiletries and apartment supplies
gas for car
entertainment
one annual vacation (nothing too extravagant), few weekend getaways (camping, beach, etc)
gifts
clothing
basic health and dental insurance plan
copays (insurance) and vitamins/supplements
eating out
auto repair/maintenance
computer (a monthly/annual amount to save so I have a replacement fund when my computer needs to be replaced)
hobby
magazine subscriptions/dues
pet
haircut
cell phone

I think a reasonable estimate might be about 3,100 a month or 37,500 a year. What do you think is a good reasonable amount? I do not want an extravagant lifestyle, just a reasonable one. I don't want to use credit for these expenses. When I estimated the annual costs, the highest expenses seemed to be rent, health insurance and groceries.


Thank you for your advice.


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Old 07-19-2011, 05:23 PM   #2
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Here's a great place to start:

Cost of Living Comparison

use their little calculator to figure out cost of living in two cities for comparison.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
Here's a great place to start:

Cost of Living Comparison

use their little calculator to figure out cost of living in two cities for comparison.
Thank you for letting me know about this website
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:08 AM   #4
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I live in Somerset Co, NJ, not far from Middlesex Co, and I live on a bit less than $35k / year.
I own my house with no mortgage.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:16 PM   #5
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I live in Somerset Co, NJ, not far from Middlesex Co, and I live on a bit less than $35k / year.
I own my house with no mortgage.
Is that $35,000 pre-tax or $35,000 post-tax?
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:13 PM   #6
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Middlesex County, New Jersey detailed profile - houses, real estate, cost of living, wages, work, agriculture, ancestries, and more

Currently work in Middlesex Co. Have lived in Union (Springfield), Somerset (Somerset), Mercer (Lawrenceville), and currently Morris Co (Morristown). SO grew up in MS county (Metuchen), and would NEVER live there again. His mother and sisters still live there (currently E. Brunswick & Matawan). Traffic stinks! Routes 1, 9, 18 are a traveller's nightmare at times - and sometimes you just have to get to the NJ Turnpike or Parkway - it will take longer than you think. Population sprawl! All major NJ throughfares meet in MS Co. No quaint downtowns (in many MS Co. towns) like many in other parts of the state. $37,500 is doable, but low, for a certain quality of life in NJ (heck, I still do this!) - all depends on what you want to scrimp on. Do you plan on renting from a private owner (Craigslist) or in a complex? Private rentals should be less expensive - or at least in a more desirable area. What towns are you looking at? Where are you moving from? Is work bringing you here - or are you currently retired? So, if not retired, how much are you planning on saving each year - in which case your number will have to go up. Insurance will depend on your personal situation/policies/driving/living habits. Good luck!
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:19 AM   #7
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Is that $35,000 pre-tax or $35,000 post-tax?
Pre-tax.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:42 AM   #8
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New Jersey is not the place to go to look for "reasonable" cost of living. It's one of the worst places you can go. Not only is it crowded (highest population density in the U.S.) and expensive, with high taxes, but looking at "average" stats for NJ aren't as helpful as they are in other places, because NJ (especially in the NYC-metro suburbs, which includes Middlesex) is very economically segregated. So you have extremes of places where you wouldn't want to live, and places where it's very nice but very expensive.

Most of the stuff on your list is not location-dependent. But rent, car insurance, groceries, and entertainment/eating out are the stuff that's generally more expensive in NJ. At least NJ has cheap gas prices, about the only thing ...

Rent is going to be your biggest issue -- to make your analysis worthwhile you should give some examples of the towns you are considering.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:58 AM   #9
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Hi Lusitan:

I am somewhat flexible about towns in Middlesex County. I thought that it might be good to be near a New Jersey Transit station for trips to New York City. Some areas I might consider would include: Old Bridge, South Amboy, East Brunswick, Highland Park, Edison. I might like to live near New Brunswick, because Rutgers campus is there. But, as you may know, the heart of New Brunswick can be considered one of the "extreme" places where I would not want to live. Somewhere nearby might be ok though. If possible, I would also like to avoid a highly congested area, but that is not easy to find in this area.
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