Personal Budget for New Graduates

Here’s an article I published at my now-defunct blog PinoyYuppie. It might have changed in the past year or so, but it could still be a good guide for you to plan for your personal finance as you start working.

How Much Does it Cost for a Single Yuppie to Live in Metro Manila?

Being a yuppie comes with a very important privilege. You can finally wean yourself off your parents. You can go solo.

Of course, some yuppies don’t have that choice because they help in the family finances and that’s another story we’ll have to deal with in a separate post.

You can also enjoy the benefits of staying with your parents: like free board & lodging. But staying with them has pros and cons. Read this post to see if you’d rather go independent or stay with your parents:

But if you’re dead serious about going independent, you should count the cost. Before you even tell your parents you’re moving out of the house, ask your wallet if it can sustain you.

So here’s a breakdown of how much it costs for a single yuppie to live in Metro Manila.

Residential space for rent

Depending on your lifestyle choices and budgetary restraints, you can choose to rent an apartment, a room, or bedspace.

Apartments usually cost anywhere between P4,000 to P15,000. Condo units are even more expensive. Here’s a breakdown of the usual, low-level to mid-level cost for apartments:

Studio units: PhP 5,000
1BR Apartments : PhP 8,000
2BR Apartment: PhP 12,000
Room for rent: PhP 4,000
Bedspace: PhP 2,500

Let’s settle on the middle level for the sake of averages. In this case, that cost would be at P5,000.

These rates are indicative and would be lower or higher depending on the location, the status of the units, and the demand for these units. Do check out prevailing rates in the places mentioned in our article on getting leads for apartments to rent.

If you have friends who also want to be independent, staying together has its benefits. Some of my college friends did this for almost two years. You just need to set rules so you won’t step into each other’s toes.


#breakfast #almusal #pinoy #tuyo #kamatis #sarap

You’ll need to feed yourself right? And this will largely depend on your appetite and your preferences. Would you be eating gourmet food daily? Probably not.

So to make things easy for you, let’s just settle on the average cost of meals if you are eating at a carinderia. Take note that if you have a big appetite, or if you are fond of eating out, your food expenses will be bigger.

The averages below are based on a not-so-big appetite and would be applicable for ‘carinderia’ meal, not for a fast food or restaurant.

Breakfast = P45
Lunch = P80
Dinner = P100
TOTAL food expense per day: P225 X 30 days P6750

(Since these are averages, the small snacks and other smaller food items are included in the averages.)

Obviously, if you cook your own food in your apartment, these costs would be lower since you can heat the food you cook. But you’ll also need to pay for LPG, condiments, rice, and other related costs.

Groceries & Toiletries (Shampoo, Soap, Deodorant, Face Powder, Make-up, Lotion, & other hygiene products) – PhP 600

You will also need to decide whether to wash your own clothes or get laundry services.

Laundry: PhP 600


Electricity P500
Water P150
Mobile Phone expenses P300
Internet service. I expect a single yuppie who’s but starting out would just invest on prepaid internet. There are exceptions, of course, but you can easily adjust your own costs in your list.
Prepaid Internet 500
DSL/Cable 999


Don’t forget to invest on yourself. Part of that is your looks. How much do you spend on clothes? Just provide an estimate and this will be included in the total. A new yuppie, I would imagine, would invest around P300 per month on clothes and other related items.


Do you have a hobby that you regularly spend money on? I was an avid reader when I was a new graduate. My hobby was going to Booksale and other second-hand bookstores just to get books for my collection. I’m still an avid reader but I have shifted to ebook since then. But on any given month, I probably spent around P300 to P800 for books.

For your enjoyment and hobbies, then the average would probably be around P300.


Do you drink beer, wine, or liquor? I won’t be including that in this calculation, but if you do spend money on these things, then include this expense.Then try to calculate the amount of money you spend on these things per month.

Transportation Cost: Public Transport


This is highly variable, depending on the location of your home and office. For the purposes of this article, let’s take the example of a yuppie living in Quezon Avenue going to work in Makati.

Jeepney to MRT Quezon Avenue Station: 8
MRT Quezon Ave to Buendia Ave: 15
Bus: Buendia Ave to Ayala: 12
Two-way: 35 X 2 = 70 per day
22 working days per month: P1540

Transportation Cost: Car

If you have your own car, the cost will be very different. You’ll need to compute the fuel you consume plus the parking fee in your place of work.

Fuel efficiency of your car: 8 kilometers per liter
Distance from your home to the office: 16 kilometers
Liters of fuel you need daily: 2 liters
Price of gasoline: P56 per liter
Price of Diesel: P45 per liter
Cost daily for for gasoline: P224
Cost daily for diesel: P180
Daily parking fee: P80
TOTAL COST per month for gasoline: P224 + P80 X 22 days = P6688
TOTAL COST per month for diesel: P180 + 80 X 22 days = 5720

If you have free parking, then good for you!

Transportation for commuters: P1540
Transportation for diesel auto owners: 5720
Transportation for gasoline auto owners: 6688

Of course, you will also need to allocate some budget for your car’ maintenance.


How much money will you allot for your savings? Ideally, it should be around 20% of your income. But if you’re a breadwinner supporting a brother or a sister’s education, then that’s probably not an option. Just set aside around P500 to 1,000 per month for your savings. It’s not that big. But if you keep at it, you’ll have P6,000 to P12,000 by the end of the year.

Sample Monthly Expense:

Apartment: P5,000
Food: 6,750
Groceries & Toiletries: 600
Laundry: 600
Electricity: 500
Water: 150
Internet: 500
Clothes: 300
hobbies: 300
transportation: 1540
Savings: 500

TOTAL: P16,740

Of course, this may be a little too high, or low, depending on where you eat and how you live your life. I will be looking for an online expense calculator to help you calculate your exact monthly expenses.

Do you spend less or more than this amount? Does it represent the average single yuppie expense in the Metro?

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