Anonymous: My parents want me to start paying rent (I just turned 18) and they say it's to try to help cover a little bit of the costs of my food (they act like me and my sister lay around and gorge on food all day) but I really don't even eat too much since I'm not hungry often and I maintain my weight anyways, and I'm sorry this is so jumbled but I was wondering if you think one person can live off of 300$ worth of food per month bc I'd rather buy my own food than just hand the money to them
i think family disagreements are always delicate, but i’ll do my best to advise you, anon. i myself have dealt with a lot of family issues pertaining to money and trust, so i really feel you on this. what’s hard about answering you is that i don’t know the full picture of your family situation, or your parents’ intention. my thoughts are coming purely off of what you’re written to me here, and based on my own experience. i am not dictating what other people should do — just giving you my opinion based on what i’ve experienced.
$300/month for food is really a lot, to be frank. my boyfriend and i usually go on one big grocery trip a month and spend around $150, tops. i mean, we do budget and make sure to go to places like aldi where we know we’re getting good prices, but we don’t spend anywhere near that. you’re just one person, and, regardless of how much you need to eat to sustain yourself and be healthy, that’s really, really overshooting your projected costs.
on the other hand, if rent is meant to cover housing, food, internet, utilities, etc (all inclusive, basically), that sounds like a more reasonable conversation you could negotiate. from your ask, though, it sounds like your parents explicitly said this will go towards food.
financially, it makes way more sense to purchase your own food in this scenario. you are going to spend way less than $300/month for yourself, especially if you are smart with your money, look for good deals, and don’t purchase more than you will use. the foreseeable downside to this is tension with your family. there’s a lot of potential for arguments over, “whose is this?” / “do we share staples?” / “you ate my _____!”. how are you going to have family dinners? do you use some of their food and some of yours? will all your meals be separate? maybe that sounds extreme, but i know it would come to that with my parents.
i wish you luck! i apologize if i gave you more of my opinion than you wanted. money is always a tough disagreement with loved ones.
ok so i wrote a response while you were editing the post but i still think it’s important to point out, since yr blog is supposed to be about accessibility, that $300/month is not necessarily ridiculous/overshooting/
"not smart with your money”, because:
-the price of food is extremely location-specific
-if you have dietary restrictions, allergies or other special needs you’re gonna spend more on food
-for those who have trouble cooking, saving in spoons generally means spending more money, eg. premade meals are very expensive, buying a jar of minced garlic costs more than a bulb of garlic, buying veg stock costs more than making your own, gluten free/vegan stuff tends to be really expensive, etc.
-personally i can’t grocery shop often so i splurge on produce from expensive places like whole foods because it’s higher grade (in other words, when i get it at discount marts it’s rotting on the shelf or super freezer burned)
-being able to shop around for the best deals is a luxury in time/accessibility/energy that not everyone has
just off the top of my head.
i wish i could spend 150/month on food for myself. even when i could cook everything from scratch i can’t remember ever spending that little on groceries. i think EBT gives a bigger food allowance than that per person.
i edited it to clarify further that the answer was based off of my own experience, and not a universal one. i completely, absolutely agree with all your factors, and that’s why it’s impossible to come up with a budget in dollars that should work for everyone.
i don’t know how else i can state it. i was answering that based on my own life. like i said in a separate note, i live in a smaller town in the midwest where food prices are relatively low. i wasn’t counting in my answer the food my boyfriend and i spend on going out to eat, or that there is a community garden less than a mile from us that provides us with tons of fresh produce for free. i wasn’t including the smaller grocery trips we take a couple of times a month, just the ONE BIG grocery trip we do for staples.
The moment you realize your best friend didn’t know about your relationship with your family and asks and you try and be strong but the moment he leaves you cry because as many times as you tried trying to talk to your family they just don’t want you…
I’m ok but sometimes you just have to cry.
if you ever ask me to go to the movies there’s a 99.99999% chance i’ll say yes
even if i don’t want to see the movie
even if i’ve never heard of the movie
even if i’ve seen the movie before
no matter what i’ll most likely always say yes because i love the movies