Midpoint in Temporary Assignment Expenses

Amazing as it is to me, I am already halfway through my temporary assignment at work. NY has been nice (especially the cooler evenings), but being the tightwad I am it also been tough getting use to the higher prices on just about everything.

Before I left, I spent sometime trying to figure out how much it was going to cost me to go on this temporary assignment. Here are the monthly costs I anticipated:

Additional Monthly Expenses

Best Case

Most Likely

Worst Case

NY Rent

$ 400.00

$ 700.00

$ 1,200.00

NY Utilities

$ -

$ 150.00

$ 250.00

Additional Dining Out

$ -

$ 75.00

$ 200.00

Travel Costs to Home

$ 222.00

$ 250.00

$ 444.00

Total Extra Monthly Expenses

$ 622.00

$ 1,175.00

$ 2,094.00





6 Months Total Extra Expenses


$ 7,050.00


With careful planning I made arrangements to rent a furnished room (including utilities) for a net $500/month after a small subsidy kicked in by my employer. This has certainly helped me keep my costs under control.

Heres my monthly expenses so far:

Additional Monthly Expenses




NY Rent




NY Utilities

$ -

$ -

$ -

Additional Dining Out

$ -

$ -

$ -

Travel Costs*




Total Extra Monthly Expenses




*Travel Costs - While my planning estimate was primarily airfare, I have included tolls, parking, train/subway tickets, and airfare.

What have I done to keep my expenses down?

  • I rented a furnished room (including utilities) to minimize my fixed expenses.
  • I am eating out a lot less than I expected. Since I didn't have a kitchen I anticipated eating out regularly. However, I have learned how to survive on a microwave and my food expenses have been kept in check.
  • I have started brown bagging lunch 4 days a week. Back at home I would go out to eat lunch everyday while at work. Since I don't know as many people at my temporary assignment location, I find it much easier to bring my lunch several days a week.

  • Transportation has cost me more than I anticipated. As a result I now plan on only buying 4 flights during my assignment and either driving back home or not traveling back as often.

As happy as I am that my temporary assignment expenses are on the lower side of what I planned I am still sweating it. I am cash poor and these monthly expenses are coming straight out of my income I would be using to rebuild my cash position and make additional investments with. I just need to hang for a few more months.

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Comments (3)

Just stay with it.. I hope this improves your job duties when you get home.

For awhile I thought you were getting these costs in NYC! Now that I see it's Poughkeepsie, I can see how it's possible. It's outstanding that you've been able to make due on a microwave. I tried that on my trip from the East to West coast and I had a lot of trouble with it.

Yup the microwave has been tough for me - but frozen dinners have come a long way! My main concern is my sodium intake - its almost impossible to keep it at reasonable levels.

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