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  • My living expenses.

    Just thought I would share living expenses with all the Alaskan hopefuls:

    Mortgage on $200K townhouse $1300 (1300-1500 sq. ft.)
    Association fees if own: $200
    Rent on same townhouse $1600
    Electric $60 - $100 per month
    Gas $80 - $300 per month
    Trash collection $75 quarterly
    Water/sewer $65 per month
    Cable/phone/internet $200 per month
    Groceries for 2 adults $600 per month (this is not all steak and lobster either, I eat a lot of spaghetti)
    Gas is $4 a gallon

    Around $30-35K per year in basic living expenses with very few places to cut.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

  • #2
    Alaska is a hard place to live, That is reality. But, those are city prices, life in the bush is waay harder, and waaay more expensive.
    I wonder what the price of a gallon of milk is in Mcgrath?
    "When the time comes for a man to look his Maker in the eye, where better could the meeting be held than in the wilderness?"

    Comment


    • #3
      In the bush you may not buy milk; you might mix canned milk with water or use dry milk. You'll probably have a grubstake with lots of rice, dried potatoes, lots of canned goods. Wild meat, fish, berries and garden stuff round things out. You don't go out to eat much (if that is even possible).
      You can live more cheaply nearly anywhere you want, but you'll just have to prioritize. It will be more expensive in a city because of all the things you CAN do and CAN buy and CAN eat. Add to that the cost of gas and toys to go out to enjoy Alaska, and the cost of owning a home and paying taxes to enjoy the amenities of a city, and the city can be almost as as expensive as the bush in some ways.

      Alaska has always been an expensive place to live. Not everyone can stay up here. But if you love Alaska and cannot imagine living anywhere else, you will probably find a way to do it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MNViking View Post
        Just thought I would share living expenses with all the Alaskan hopefuls:

        Mortgage on $200K townhouse $1300 (1300-1500 sq. ft.)
        Association fees if own: $200
        Rent on same townhouse $1600
        Electric $60 - $100 per month
        Gas $80 - $300 per month
        Trash collection $75 quarterly
        Water/sewer $65 per month
        Cable/phone/internet $200 per month
        Groceries for 2 adults $600 per month (this is not all steak and lobster either, I eat a lot of spaghetti)
        Gas is $4 a gallon

        Around $30-35K per year in basic living expenses with very few places to cut.
        Add in car payments of at least $300 for a reliable vehicle, multiply that by 2 for most families since it is impractical for most families to only have one vehicle. Most folks that I know put at least $7-800/month into car and truck payments. So assuming your math is right that adds another $4-8,000 dollars bringing the average to more like $35-42K per year. Now lets say you make 100K per year. subtract 20K off the top for fed taxes. You now have 80K, next up lets take 6K off for SSN, you now have 74,000, Now lets take off insurance for a family of of 4 @ ~$700/month and you have ~ 65,000. Now subtract that 42K and you are left with 23,600. Oh wait we don't want to work for ever so lets take and invest 15K into our retirement fund and we are left with $8,600 for discretionary and emergency spending.

        So, what can we buy with $8,600?

        Boat: if it was a gift and you didn't have any payments lets assume you can fill up w/ 100 gallons and enjoy a weekend on the water
        ~$500 per trip w/ launch fees so 17 trips per year. Well that isn't too bad... Now assume you have a boat payment of 250/month plus $50/month for insurance. Now we have to subtract that 3600 from the 8600 and we have $5K remaining or 10 trips. More likely you will break something costing at least 1K to fix and drop you down to 7-8 trips.

        Snowmachine: Most new sleds cost more than $8,600 each

        ATV: you can probably buy something like a Yamaha big bear and maybe even have enough left over to actually take it out from time to time. 8,600 will not buy the big wheelers like a 700 griz or 6x6.

        UTV: your joking right

        Replace roof: 8-15K depending on the roof! You were thinking ahead right and put that money away ahead of time right?

        New heater: 5-10K (see new roof)

        New well: You totally saw this coming right? You have the 4-14K put away right?

        Septic system: What do you mean you have to dig it up and replace it???? Where is that spare 7K I had laying around...


        Now this assumes a $100K income, which to many is the "holy grail" benchmark of "wealthy...


        Want to get really depressed look at the "low income" benefits. Funny how close a person can get to a 100K/year lifestyle without the pasky 100K/year job!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks LoJon
          Here I was thinking of take the summer off from overseas and spend it with the wife and the boat.
          Now i feel like i can't afford to do that.
          sigpic
          Sweepint
          Wasilla,
          '' Livn' The Dream ''
          26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

          Comment


          • #6
            It will get worse when the Pipeline is shut down (with-in six years) for lack of volume and or corrosion. Then the gasoline will be $12.00 a gallon in Anchorage. The State Sales tax will be 9%. Real Estate will be "FREE", there will be no Natural Gas left in Cook Inlet for "Cheap" heat. With No Natural Gas there will be little or No Electric.
            "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sweepint View Post
              Thanks LoJon
              Here I was thinking of take the summer off from overseas and spend it with the wife and the boat.
              Now i feel like i can't afford to do that.
              Now you know why I had those numbers readily available... I am constantly planning and trying to get situated for the future. In a way I envy the guys that go out with credit cards blazing and have all the toys and time to use them!

              Comment


              • #8
                Just about the time i get another board put on the dock for that proverbial ship to come in there is always another storm to knock it down. Well I am not sure if what you say is right but I do believe hard times are in the future all to receive. Fuel prices are going to be real bad this year and here we thought that the prices a few years back were bad. Woodstoves are going to get real popular again.
                We, wife and I were just talking about this a few weeks before I left on how to afford to live when we are in the golden years with what the prices we see now. Taxes, taxes and more taxes, gas prices, heating prices, food where does it stop Insurance for the house which just went up 375.00 over last year because the fire ratings went down I can go on and on.
                sigpic
                Sweepint
                Wasilla,
                '' Livn' The Dream ''
                26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MNViking View Post
                  Just thought I would share living expenses with all the Alaskan hopefuls:

                  Mortgage on $200K townhouse $1300 (1300-1500 sq. ft.)
                  Association fees if own: $200
                  Rent on same townhouse $1600
                  Electric $60 - $100 per month
                  Gas $80 - $300 per month
                  Trash collection $75 quarterly
                  Water/sewer $65 per month
                  Cable/phone/internet $200 per month
                  Groceries for 2 adults $600 per month (this is not all steak and lobster either, I eat a lot of spaghetti)
                  Gas is $4 a gallon

                  Around $30-35K per year in basic living expenses with very few places to cut.
                  Those numbers are identical right here right now in Florida,cept for electric, which is closer to $200 a month,not sure what association fee is either. Other then that same ol,although when someone makes posts like this I get discouraged lol .
                  Alaska bound !

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MNViking View Post
                    Just thought I would share living expenses with all the Alaskan hopefuls:

                    Mortgage on $200K townhouse $1300 (1300-1500 sq. ft.)
                    Association fees if own: $200
                    Rent on same townhouse $1600
                    Electric $60 - $100 per month
                    Gas $80 - $300 per month
                    Trash collection $75 quarterly
                    Water/sewer $65 per month
                    Cable/phone/internet $200 per month
                    Groceries for 2 adults $600 per month (this is not all steak and lobster either, I eat a lot of spaghetti)
                    Gas is $4 a gallon

                    Around $30-35K per year in basic living expenses with very few places to cut.
                    So lets compare Anchorage with outa town prices; in this case the Soldotna area:
                    - Mortgage- about $1250 (that includes 3 acres of land to bump around on and trash up if I so desire); no association fees, no water/sewer, property taxes included;
                    - Electric is about the same at about $100, though we could shrink it with a little more conscientiousness;
                    - no gas, we use propane at about $30 for month-1/2 and heating oil for water heater and back-up furnace is about $75 a month since we burn wood which doesn't cost much to harvest;
                    - We dump our own trash;
                    - Phone/internet/satellite is about $200 rolled together, but we could probably shrink that as well;
                    - Food is more expensive the farther you get away from Anchorage, but still no more than $600 for a family of four because we eat simply;
                    - Gas is still under $4/gal but that will change soon. I'm hoping to park my full size PU and drive something smaller, but still our gas expenses will probably be no less than $400 per month for two vehicles.

                    You have to live where the work is, but still, you can live less expensively, perhaps, when you get away from the innate costs of living in the city or suburbs. There you have to pay for perks such as water and sewer and trash pick-up, but away from the city you don't have to look at your neighbor, you can shoot a .22 if your lot is so configured, and if a legal bull or black bear comes to visit, he ends up in the freezer. Same for spruce hen or rabbit in your driveway.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wish my electric bill was only $100.00 per month in Soldotna, It is running about $160.00 per month keeping only one room warm. Glad I can shut off the rest of the house and let it get cold.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Man Gerber, are you heating with electric?
                        I have a 3 bedroom house and it never goes over $110 even with an electric dryer.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There are a few things to temper those costs:

                          Sales tax, nope, state income tax, nope, pfd, yup, higher salary than lower 48, typically yup.

                          As others have said, Alaska is expensive because it's worth it. If you enjoy all the state has to offer, it's priceless to live up here.
                          Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

                          If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think there is soooo many variables its hard (almost impossible) to compare. I mean just lifestyles in general...
                            Age / condition of house
                            Hobbies
                            Type of vehicle one owns/want/desires/drives
                            Distance of commute to work, if any
                            Time off / work schedule
                            Like to eat out or eat in
                            Alochol / tobacco use
                            Taxable income vs non taxable
                            the list could go on

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              At $6.50 a pack tobacco use is an impossible luxury!

                              Comment

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