Here's A Breakdown Of How Much Money You'll Need For Your J1

Here's A Breakdown Of How Much Money You'll Need For Your J1

It's that time of year where everyone gets all excited to head off on their J1. You've paid for it all in full, packed your bikini and check all your documents, but something people don't tell you is how much money to bring?

Of course, it's a work and travel visa so you'll be earning money, but not straight away. It's important to know exactly what you'll be spending your money on so we've created this step-by-step guide. Bear in mind, this is an estimate as prices vary from city to city.

1. Rent – around $700 for the first month

This one is a biggie. You will need to have your first month's rent, as well as deposit money before you head over. Also, you might need to stay in a hostel for a while before you find somewhere to live, so bear that in mind. Rent differs from place to place and will be reduced depending on how many people you squish into a room. You can expect to pay around $500  for a room and maybe $200 each for a deposit.

2. Food – $150-250 per month

Now, this might seem like a lot but for your first month, you'll need to buy all the essentials. Things like big bags of pasta, tinned goods, and meat always make more sense bought in bulk. Once you get all the basics your second and third month will be much cheaper.

3. Heading out – $300 a month


This will be one of your biggest expenses. Everyone knows how much partying goes on during your J1, so drinking will burn a hole in your pocket. Pre-drinking is a great way to cut down on costs, as well as the fact drink is way cheaper Stateside. Get your mates to split the cost of whatever you're buying and it'll make a huge difference. This is taking into account you're buying drinks in a bar and getting taxis but if you're only heading to house parties, you might only need around $100.

4. Emergencies – $250

Sometimes accidents happen, so having some money put away for emergencies and medication is essential. You should obviously take out health insurance but also have an emergency fund for things like medications, physical emergencies and just in case you get stranded somewhere.

5. Random stuff – $400 per month

A lot of people don't realise that the voltage is different in the States. This means that your hairdryer, kettle, and curlers won't work properly. Invest in a decent hairdryer and stove kettle while you get over there, (how could you go more than a month without tea!?) it'll be worth it. Also, you may want to rent a car if you go travelling, buy some clothes or even head on a few trips.

Altogether for your first month, if you don't have any emergencies you'll need an average of $1600. Although this seems like a lot of money, the fact you'll be making money over there will make the whole experience a lot easier to manage.

Remember that living cheaply is doable, and you're there to have fun so don't get too caught up with money.

Also Read: Save For Later: Here's What To Do If You Lose Your Passport On Your J1

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Ciara Finnegan

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