Marine, 2,257 euros a month: “I do the garbage for the shopping”

How to share the roommate’s expenses? What is freeganism and how to practice it in solidarity? These are some of the questions we tackle in Settling Scores!
  • Name: Marine (Edelfesse on the forum)
  • Age: 33 years old
  • Profession: researcher in the civil service
  • Net salary, after deduction at source: €1,942
  • He lives with: a roommate, two cats, a rabbit, a hundred plants.
  • Place of life: an apartment of 73 m² of which she is owner in the east of France, not far from the Jura mountains

Seaman’s income

Marine is responsible for studies with civil servant status. She earns a salary of €1,942 net per month after withholding, and consider this salary comfortable:

“I feel pretty well paid. My salary allows me to own, to save, to solve the last of my problems (car, health, vet…). My rest to live suits me perfectly. I can do a little bit of what I want whenever I want and I don’t have very expensive hobbies. »

He explains that he has many benefits in public service, but puts that into perspective:

“Some of my premiums don’t count towards retirement, even though they are taxable. At best, starting from the latest (at 68, then) I would have a little less than the current minimum wage. »

In addition to his salary, he receives the rent of €315 a month from your roommate, who rents a room in the apartment he owns. In all, she manages a monthly budget of €2,257 per month.


The financial arrangements of Marine and her roommate

Marine is rarely overdrawn and claims to be managing her budget at loggerheads.

“I have a fairly accurate Excel spreadsheet that I update regularly. I advance all possible expenses (cat food, exceptional expenses, condominium expenses, outings, holidays, gifts I want to give, etc.).

The expenses for his roommate are included in the monthly rent of 315 euros that he pays him. This amount is not taxable (until 2023, when the law changes) under the “occupancy of a furnished room with owner-occupier” lease. The travel costs are divided quite variably:

“I do most of the shopping so I can offer more quality products, and my roommate agrees. I announce a provisional budget, I give him the amount of his participation and everything proceeds. It’s occasional because he changes jobs regularly (he does temporary jobs) and sometimes he has periods where he never eats in the apartment. »

Maritime fixed costs

Every month, the 30-year-old repays a loan she took out four years ago to own her 73m² apartment.

“The apartment is located in the heart of a small town with many shops. Everything is within bike reach which is convenient. I’m not far from the mountain, so the rents are quite high (in my opinion) but I made a good real estate purchase that allows me to pay less than the rent (between 50 and 100 € less per month I say, given the size and condition of my apartment). »

His monthly payments are €550 for a 73m2 two bedroom apartment, which cost him €103,000.

“I had no contributions and I borrowed 115,000 euros for some work and notary fees over 20 years. I took advantage of fairly low interest rates, the banks were less cautious than today. »

Count approximately €190 miscellaneous monthly expenses for your apartment, including co-ownership expenses (500 € maximum leveled in the year, which includes household waste and running water) and works. To this they add €30 borrower insurance, e €74 of the property tax. She pays too €80 electricity bill.

This represents a total budget of €924 per month.

We take it €52.9 monthly for your telephone subscription and Internet access, €10 also bank charges €42 insurance for your home and car.


Reduce gas costs by cycling

Marine only uses his car for specific trips: to make big purchases or to travel for pleasure. The rest of the time she travels by bicycle, which allows her to reduce transport costs.

“My car is quite old and therefore costs me a lot. The maintenance and labor costs have a cost, but it is reliable and if I want to leave it does not matter without having to ask myself the question.

I’m thinking of getting a cargo bike for the big races but I live in the country, not far from the mountains, and not being very sporty, I can’t take the step of selling my car and doing all my travels by bike (foam cardio!) ”

For her two cats and her rabbit, she spends €65 per month on average of food and bedding.

“For food expenses, I do the garbage”

Marine’s food expenses are relatively low: €150 per month, dinner out included. She does very little shopping and prefers to buy from trash cans. A form of freeganism which she explains:

“Besides the essentials (oil and vinegar, dry products such as pasta, chickpeas, sugar and flour), I collect. I am part of a minority of knowledgeable people treasures that can be found in garbage cans. Between clothes, food, furniture… Garbage cans have become a huge source of supply. »

She explains that she has some favorite places to find what she needs:

“I know where to look for my food (not always seasonal, regularly organic). When I need or want to look for decoration, new furniture, some brands are known to throw away easily. It allows me to save money, it amuses me.

I like to redistribute to people who don’t want to put their hands in the trash, but for whom having certain products is a plus. »

For her it is also a practice of solidarity to which she addresses herself redistribution.

“Within the group that I do the trash with, there are people who don’t have the means to buy certain products, so I use them after. When there are few things, I give priority to others. There is also one important thing: as soon as we recover large stocks, we do redistributions or disco-soups. »

Marine’s hobbies and cracks

Marine likes to eat out and spends most of his food budget there. At the same time, she spends about sixty euros every month for your leisure activities: cinema, swimming pool, sports equipment, etc.

“I like to have my own sports equipment, sometimes I buy backpacks, hiking outfits, various accessories for open water swimming, snowshoeing…
I buy what I need little by little, to have the freedom to say “Here, if tomorrow I went on snowshoes, in this hidden corner where no one will be” without having to report or wait for the times to get a fixed price”.

His latest crush? Buy a boat license (river and coastal).

“I didn’t have the budget in my account and my vacation budget started. I think I needed to indulge myself because for several summers I had to “tighten my belt” (a separation, a loan to separate me, car expenses…). »

She spends 20 euros a month on second-hand clothes, a habit she’s picked up after tackling an annual challenge:

“Every year, I set myself a challenge to transform my spending. Last year I set a goal to switch to 100% secondhand clothing. The first one was spending on food (going to the trash more often, organizing yourself to consume what is available and in season).

This year I decided not to buy any more plants and to work only on bartering. Next year I’m thinking of trying to reduce my available budget by setting aside more money. »

Marine’s savings

Every month she puts aside 615 euros, or 300 euros from her salary and 315 euros from the rent that her roommate pays her. He also pays the exceptional bonuses he receives from time to time and the irregular receipts. These savings are intended for an adoption project:

“Last year I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and a very polyfibromatous uterus. I have been in a relationship for 1 year, next year I will be 34, I don’t want to put pressure on myself so adoption will remain the best project for me! I want to become a mother one day with or without a partner. So I started the process of becoming a single foster parent. It is an engaging process, with a pact between oneself that requires preparing and accepting to wait (perhaps in vain) for a child to need me with my profile and my particularities, my limits, my goodwill.

The adoption of a ward of the French state is free, but abroad this project can be expensive and then I would need more than 30,000 euros on the side. I hope to get that amount in about two years. »

Thanks to Marine for answering our questions!

To participate in the section, send us a short presentation via email at [email protected], with the subject “Account settlement”. We will get back to you with the procedure to follow!

Photo credit: Kevin Wolf / Unsplash

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Source: Madmoizelle

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