Milda, Dundee: As students working part-time, my partner and I together earn £650 to £800 a month. We don't have any student loans and pay all our bills ourselves, except tuition fees and council tax. Our utility bills and rent are about £410 a month, plus about £40 for internet and phone contracts. This leaves £200 to £300 for essentials. We don't go out much (just on special occasions) and we would buy clothing and equipment only when we actually need new, not because we like something. We live a healthy lifestyle - we can buy as many fruit and veg as we like, and walk everywhere or ride bikes, as we do not own a car. We still can occasionally buy video or board games, have people over for dinner and pay for local gym and music streaming service. To my view, £500 - or even £350 a week for a couple - would allow us to live nearly a splashy lifestyle.
The most expensive things I buy are jeans and shoes, but I only have one pair of each and they last for a year or two.
Jackie, London: I am a 25-year-old American living in central London, currently working full-time as an intern. I make under £950 a month after taxes, and pay roughly £770 in rent. This leaves me with less than £200 a month to spend on living expenses. Without the luxury of any financial support from my parents, I have resorted to odd jobs (from babysitting to pouring wine at events) and other creative ways of generating extra income (eg focus groups). The budgeting itself is quite easy, as it just requires common sense. It is not very difficult at all to determine what is essential v non-essential. I work very hard and, without any recourse to public funds, am able to survive and even occasionally enjoy evenings out.
Also, related contents:
How little money can a person live on?