Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Budget Suggestions Welcomed!!!

  1. #1
    Champion Skater (Vicariously)
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    801

    Budget Suggestions Welcomed!!!

    Hello Golden Skaters...

    I am trying to make a personal budget for myself because I just got a new job and I will be moving out on my own. I have looked online, but I cant find a sample to follow. Does anyone know of a good resource? I basically need to know what percentage of my income should be spent on different catagories.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    908
    First of all congratulations to your job and new plans. It depends on what your goals and needs. If you can possibly save 20% of your paycheck, and spend the rest on food, housing, entertainment, paying off credit cards, student loans etc that will be fabulous. Please keep track of your spending.

    Good luck


    PS: Saving 20%, can range from cash to putting money into a 401K
    Last edited by gezando; 03-21-2005 at 07:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Rogue Leader
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Winnipeg, MB
    Posts
    1,523
    Hmmm. I would try bank websites. They can be rather helpful, and have a lot of different calculators. Government websites can also offer useful cost of living data that may help you. Software like QuickBooks might also have budgeting tips/programs.

  4. #4
    ~ Evgeni's Sex Bomb ~
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    daydreaming about Edvin Marton
    Posts
    614
    As someone who gets paid only once a month, I try to pay all my bills immediately after getting paid, so I know how much I have left. It usually isn't much.

    But put some money into a 401(K) or 403(b). If it comes right out of your check, you'll never notice it's missing.

    Oh, there was a website called "personal envelopes" or something that looked interesting. They charged you per month, but the first month was free, so you could try it out. It isn't, however, mac compatible, so I couldn't use it.

    Good luck.


  5. #5
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    2,802

    Hi Longhornliz!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Longhornliz
    Hello Golden Skaters...

    I am trying to make a personal budget for myself because I just got a new job and I will be moving out on my own. I have looked online, but I cant find a sample to follow. Does anyone know of a good resource? I basically need to know what percentage of my income should be spent on different catagories.

    Thanks!
    Congratulations for THINKING this way as you prepare to get out on your own. I don't think budgets are rocket science, and I don't use any special formula or software to manage mine. The HARD part is not figuring out a budget - that only requires about 2nd grade level math LOL! The HARD part is sticking to your budget. But if you do, you'll be glad you did.

    Here are a few of my thoughts.

    1) PAY YOURSELF FIRST - long term savings. If you can develop this habit now, you will create a very nice nest egg and lots of security in your life. How? Start with a 401(k) if your new employer offers that. Make the maximum contribution available - usually 10% but could be less or more. If your company does not offer a qualified retirement savings plan, then set aside money so you can contribute the max to an IRA every year.

    2)PAY YOURSELF FIRST - short term savings. Having a bit of rainy day money is something you will never regret. When you are first moving out on your own, you may not be able to set aside very much. But even if you can only set aside $10 or $20 a week, I think you will be glad later that you developed this good habit of paying yourself first.

    3) What's left? I would next just start doing some math. What will you earn net of taxes and other payroll deductions? (401(k), insurance contribution, etc. in addition to taxes), less at least something other than 401(k) or IRA savings that you agree to pay yourself for savings.

    4) What current obligations to you have, or NEED to make? Car payment, student loans? credit card debt (PLEASE tell me no!!!)?

    5) How will you pay for "start up" type expenses? Furniture, wardrobe appropriate for work if you don't already have one, etc.

    6) What's left after that? That's what you have to work with in terms of rent, utilities, clothing allowance, groceries, gas, entertainment, etc. At this stage you just have to work the numbers.

    It's a good exercise for all of us! You'll be glad you did. Especially if you adopt and stick to that "pay yourself first" concept, and also DO NOT get yourself in credit card debt. Credit cards are great as a convenience. Don't buy what you can't afford to pay off the minute you get the bill.

    Best wishes,
    DG

  6. #6
    Champion Skater (Vicariously)
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    801
    So the good news is that I dont have credit card debt, I dont have a car payment because the saturn is finally paid off, and I dont have any student loans to repay. (Sheltered perhaps, but very grateful).

    Because I havent been out in the world being finacially independant, I have no concept how much things like groceries cost. I have savings and investments squared away, and I will be eligable for 401K after my first year in the company. Since I have been living with my parents during my last semester of college and after graduation, I have been able to set aside enough money to buy both a living and bedroom set. I just dont know if it is smarter to buy furniture outright or if I should use this as an opportunity to establish good credit.

  7. #7
    ~ Evgeni's Sex Bomb ~
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    daydreaming about Edvin Marton
    Posts
    614
    A lot of furniture places offer interest free financing if you pay off the furniture in, say, a year. (I got all mine that way, plus my computer, my iPod, my video camera....) That might be a good way to go. You establish credit without the interest.

    Why do you have to wait a year to be in the 401(k)? Can you set up your own? Very weird.

    Credit card debt, none is great. Good for you. I have a terrible shoe habit, plus the compulsion to see skating live, plus an accident prone cat, so my Visa is WAY above where I would like it to be. Working on that.

    Groceries depend on you. I'm vegetarian and prefer to eat organic food, so mine costs more than most, however, I don't eat a lot. I spend maybe $80 a month? $100? (not buying meat does keep some costs down, I guess)

    Let us know if you have more questions.

  8. #8
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    778
    Hi Liz, congrats on the job!

    First want to say that ITA with DG, you have to pay yourself first.

    We always pay for everything upfront, but you may want to consider getting some of your furniture with one of those "no payment for a year" plans. a lot furniture stores are offering up to 24 month interest free purchase. Of course, you have to pay it off before it's due otherwise they will charge you really high interest rates from day 1. In the mean time, you can use the cash for something else, or even put it in a CD - better you get the interest then them!

    Check out motleyfool.com - a great finantial advice site. I highly recommend it.

    As far as groceries, etc... Since you will be living alone, avoid wholesale places..they are not worth it in most cases, since you can get items a lot cheaper at sales and with coupons. Also, there are "no-frills" grocery chains out there, like Aldi's, that can save you auto 50% on the basics like milk, fruits and canned goods.

    Obviously if you cook you can save a fortune, but if you like to go out get an Entert. book, it's loaded with buy one, get one free offers. Also check out local newspapers, they also have offers often. Websites such as myclipper. com have fantstic offers to local eateries.

    What else? Shop around for long distance, car and apartment insurance, etc..you can save a lot of money there too.

    The max 401K contribution this year is $13K or 25% of your salary, whichever is the lowest. Stash away as much as you can, it's taken out before fed taxes.

    Does your employer offer FSA (flexible spending account)? That is something to look into at the end of the year.

    Good luck!

    Yana

  9. #9
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    819
    A good recomendation is to have 6 months of savings readily available in cash for emergencies. Don't worry, this takes a while to save up, but it's good for just in case. Some people leave it in their savings account, but I have a money market fund for better interest rates (it does have the potential to lose though).

    BTW, cash = checking, savings and money market accounts.

    I also use my Microsoft Money program as my budget. I don't actually use the budget part of it though.

    I estimate how many times I will go food shopping, etc during the month and how much it will cost and enter the transaction in advance. I do the same with all my other bills. Once you've had a few months of electric, water, gas bills, etc you will have a good idea what to enter as an estimate. I have my expenses entered about two to three months in advance so I'm always looking ahead for any annual or semiannual bills.

    I also have a fake entry to someone named "Buffer". It's a minimum amount that I would like to keep in my checking account for unexpected events. I just keep moving the date forward to the current week. If you dip into the red it's ok as long as it's less than "Buffer".

Similar Threads

  1. Suggestions for entry level skates/blades
    By Longhornliz in forum 2003-04 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-10-2004, 02:00 PM
  2. Operation budget ice rink
    By Mario in forum 2003-04 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-13-2004, 05:07 PM
  3. Music Suggestions
    By littlefootann in forum 2003-04 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-09-2003, 09:07 AM
  4. Anyone have suggestions on music to use?
    By egskater0003 in forum 2002-03 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-03-2003, 08:20 AM
  5. Suggestions for Post-Op Entertainment
    By sk8cynic in forum 2002-03 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 04-23-2003, 09:52 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •