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  1. #1
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Whats your budget?

    I'm specifically interested in hearing how much of your income goes to rent/mortgage and so forth. I'm trying to figure out living options. What can I afford?

    If you want to give dollar amounts thats fine, but useless since it's all relative. What percentage of your income goes towards:

    1. Rent/Mortgage
    2. Utilities
    3. Phone bill
    4. Credit Card payments
    5. Car insurance
    6. Car payments
    7. Food
    8. Clothing/shoes
    9. Student loans or other loans
    10. Taxes
    11. Investments
    12. Savings
    13. Leisure/Fun money
    14. Charity
    15. Gas/Public transportation
    16. Other

    I'm coming to a harsh realization that the real world blows. We work so much only to have nearly all of it disappear before you even see it in all these expenses. I'm sure there are a lot more expenses than this. I'm a pretty frugal guy in that I don't blow my money on stupid stuff. I do put good money into the things that matter to me though. To me, an apartment is only worth about 20% of my post taxed income, but that puts me in some very bad places. Am I being too cheap on that? I just hate to not see my savings grow at some kind of decent rate a month. Living in a respectable apartment means my savings will only be growing at a one legged snails pace. This real world thing is a joke. I went to college for this?

  2. #2
    Kicked out of the Webelos bluebottle1's Avatar
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    Eliminating a few of those categories can make a huge difference. Give yourself some time. It sucks when you're fresh out of college (or not so far removed that you're free of the student loans) and you're still paying for the last four or more years. Car loans, credit card bills, etc., feel like a drain. But you get past all that **** eventually.

    I spent a long time feeling like you feel now. It won't last forever if you act smart. It's amazing how your money snowballs when you're not paying it out all over the place. Make a budget and stick to it.

    I started out spending everything I made on servicing debt, etc. Now, the debt (with the exception of a mortgage that will be gone in about 8 years) is gone, and I save/invest about a third of my annual income. It's not like I did anything extraordinary. You just have to be disciplined. You'll get there. It just takes time.

  3. #3
    Digging in the pain cave. midschool22's Avatar
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    I like doing budgets so I'll bite.

    Savings-25% (when 6 months expenses are saved, this is extra mortgage payment funds).
    Mortgage-24%
    Utilites-19%
    Retirement-15%
    Car Insurance-10%
    Blow money-4%
    Gas-3%

    Total-100%

    The wife buys food and I have no other debt.

  4. #4
    Dude wheres my guads? skinnyone's Avatar
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    What is this so called budget you speak of .

    well Lets see here this is how my disposable income gets spent. This is after taxes and 401K contributions.

    Rent :- 27%
    Car :- 12%
    Food etc :- 18%
    Entertainment :-12%
    Sports & Activities :-5%
    Travel Amortized over the year :-10%
    Misc Spending :- 2%
    Savings :-14%

  5. #5
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    This is something I'm trying to get better at. This percentage is based on my pay after taxes. I'm planning to figure taxes & gross pay soon.

    rent 20%
    electricity (includes heat) 4%
    phone/communications (includes cell & internet) 6%
    student loan 6%
    other loan 33% (mainly due to past medical expenses not covered by insurance - should take about 18 months to pay off)
    credit card 0%
    any kind of car expense 0% (no car)
    medical costs not covered by the insurance I have 10%
    bike upkeep and public transit 1%
    retirement 5%
    everything else (food, toiletries, clothing, leisure, etc.) 15% - I've got to get better at defining/recording this part.


    Savings beyond my IRA? Got to pay that "other loan" off first. I feel pretty nervous about it, but that's the way it is... Medical problems are really expensive even with "good insurance".
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jancouver's Avatar
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    House & Utilities $3,000
    Health Insurance $600
    Cell Phones $200
    Car Payment $600
    Car Insurance $150
    Gas $400
    Food $1,500
    Clothing $500
    School & Tuitions $500
    House Cleaning and Gardener $500
    Hobbies & Activities $1,000
    Taxes: Too much
    Savings & Invetments: Not enough
    Other: Travel, Dining out etc $1,000

  7. #7
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    These percentages are based on my net pay, that is after taxes, student loan repayments and super scheme payments.

    Mortgage repayments: 32% (that's fairly low in NZ nowdays)
    Rates (Property Taxes) 3%
    Savings 15%
    Credit card payment 16% (I've been naughty and keep buying stuff with my credit card)
    Power, Phone & Internet 13%
    Food 9%
    Everything else 12%

    If I'm good and actually pay off my credit card, I'll be able to save more or reduce my shopping list.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"
    vBulletin: snafu

  8. #8
    Member dudewtfhillary's Avatar
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    All of my utilities are included in my rent, the parents pay my car insurance, the car is paid off, and I'd rather not think about how much money I blow on dumb stuff. Also, spending a ridiculous amount of money on art studio supplies.
    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.

  9. #9
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I run a pretty tight budget now (I lived on credit for a long time). Variables (entertainment, food, cat stuff, etc) in total make up 45% of my income. My Fixed expenses make up another 45% (rent, cable, phone, hydro etc) and I use 10% to either savings or debt repayment.

    I also have a company rrsp that they match that puts my contribution to savings at around 20% of my cheque.

    I could break it down further if you wanted.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    I'm not going to go to the trouble of figuring everything up, especially since several others already have. What I can tell you is that I save massive amount of money by not driving. I don't make much money at all, but I live in a good apartment (and have a house that I'm currently remodeling), I have no debt, I have plenty of food, and can still buy just about whatever I want for my bikes or most other things for that matter. All thanks to not driving. If I drove as much as most around here I'd be dirt poor. And if I were paying for a new car like most are around here, I'd have to live in it!

  11. #11
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Okay, I'll bite, but you will be sorry.

    House - 0 (totally paid for)
    Taxes for the house - 100 dollars a year (I think less)
    Car - 0 (we only use company vehicles and we usually don't go anywhere except for company) - in truth we have 2 SUVs, 1 large truck (I can't drive it because I don't have the license), ATV, motorcycle, tractor - all paid for.
    Car repair - done by the company mechanic.
    Food - 30 dollars a week (we have large gardens, sheep, chickens, etc)
    Entertainment - 50 dollars a week (Dish TV)
    Electricity - 10 dollars a month.
    One trip to the USA a year - we tend to blow about 5,000 dollars stocking up with stuff, more than half is for the business.
    Furniture - our furniture factory makes them for us if we need anything.


    I really can't come up with anything we spend money for... No debt, no interest payments, we don't save money (don't need to - we are doing fine)

    All our excess money from our investments (which is not a little amount) goes into growing businesses that we own and my projects (like now I am building a 2,000 liter aguaponics system) - which will reduce our costs of food even more.

    Even though we have more than a little resources, we like to live simply so we do. It is probably how we got in such a position to begin with, not wanting a lot of stuff, and stuffing away the money.

  12. #12
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crtreedude View Post
    Okay, I'll bite, but you will be sorry.
    I think you lead a good life, but not everyone is envious of it. Just because you love it and live, doesn't mean others would. Just a friendly FYI as I have seen you use that card a couple of times.

    Now as a retreat, escape, heck even prolonged vacation, hell ya


    Quote Originally Posted by -*ME*
    I run a pretty tight budget now (I lived on credit for a long time). Variables (entertainment, food, cat stuff, etc) in total make up 45% of my income. My Fixed expenses make up another 45% (rent, cable, phone, hydro etc) and I use 10% to either savings or debt repayment.

    I also have a company rrsp that they match that puts my contribution to savings at around 20% of my cheque.

    I could break it down further if you wanted.
    Instead of starting another post, I wanted to elaborate a bit. My structure is based on my net. That structure is pretty strict and held to due to my fiance being sick and not able to work for the last 13 or 14 months. We needed to reel in the expenses in order to afford the loss of the income (thank god I don't have to pay for any of her treatments or medical, I would be bust) The bonus of me being forced to do this with only 66% of the total income we used to have, is when and if she is able to work, all her income is gravy. I will be able to re-adjust those to a more reasonable amount I would say

    Fixed - would go down to about 35%
    Variable - I would likely leave the same (as it would actually increase based on total net salary)
    Savings/debt - 20% (which would be a massive increase in investment)

    Only stating all of that because you have to work your budget based on your needs and wants. If you have a car, your variable might be higher than mine, if you have really expensive rent, your fixed might jump. Looking at someone elses budget will not help, without you having knowledge of your own costs in life.

    I also do my budget weekly. Taking cash out weekly and not using cards. Keeps much tighter control on how much I can go outside of my budget if I am tempted. (which I am)

    Being single is more expensive too, damn dates can break a guy hahah I miss the fun, but I am glad to have the money to put somewhere else now.
    Last edited by Maelstrom; 01-19-08 at 10:07 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member iab's Avatar
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    This is just a net (taxes already subtracted) ballpark for a family of 4.

    Home - 35%
    Food - 12%
    Utilities (heat, power, phone, Internet, cell, cable, water, garbage) - 10%
    Good old American consumerism - 10%
    Insurance - 5%
    Savings (401k, kids' college, vacations every few years, car fund) - 28%

    Our 2 cars are bought and paid for.

  14. #14
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    My budget? I don't have the brainpower or time for sweating the details. So my budget looks like this:

    Continous expenses: estimated $xxx/month
    Savings and investments: mandatory $xxx/month
    Discretionary expenses: anything left
    Excess discretionary funds go toward savings or investments.

    For small things, I work on a cash accounting basis. It's all on my credit card, but paid off monthly. For larger things, I maintain a simple spreadsheet with targets and timeframes and adjust my mandatory savings rate accordingly. The spreadsheet also tracks my emergency cash buffer and my asset allocation in my investments. (Yes, this requires some brainpower and time. I focus all my personal finances energy on dealing with savings and investments and let the other details sort themselves out.)

    Being a grad student right now, my continuous expenses consume a huge amount of my income, but I do force myself to fully fund an IRA before dumping the rest into the discretionary expenses category. Before grad school, on a post-tax basis, those three categories of my budget were comparably sized, though I routinely transferred excess discretionary money into savings and investments.
    If you notice this notice then you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.

  15. #15
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun View Post
    1. Rent/Mortgage - Get roommates, or get more roommates. If you already have them, boy it must suck.
    2. Utilities - Also, get roommates
    3. Phone bill - Drop the cell and get a land line, TV/Internet/Phone can be bundled and split among roommates. Cell phones are a luxury
    4. Credit Card payments - Kidding me? Pay them off ASAP. Interest on CC is > savings, you're losing money
    5. Car insurance - Get cheaper insurance with a cheaper car
    6. Car payments - Get a cheaper car and/or move closer to work, I drive my car once a week
    7. Food - Don't eat out, ever. It sucks being young and broke, I know. Never buy prepared food.
    8. Clothing/shoes - Make due with what you have.
    9. Student loans or other loans
    10. Taxes
    11. Investments
    12. Savings
    13. Leisure/Fun money
    14. Charity
    15. Gas/Public transportation
    16. Other
    If all else fails, get a better job.

    I moved back home with my parents after graduating and commuted between 60 and 75 minutes one way to my job. Boy it sucked. After a year of that, I changed jobs and moved out. Now, even though I live in one of the 'richest' counties in the country, I'm able to stuff away at least 50% and usually more than 60% of my take home pay, and I only make an average salary.
    Last edited by Jerseysbest; 01-19-08 at 12:28 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
    Cheating: a symptom of the problem.

  16. #16
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    "cell phones are a luxury"

    Why would i pay $30 a month for a phone that is tied to my home when i can pay $30 a month for a phone that i can carry everywhere?

  17. #17
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    I think you lead a good life, but not everyone is envious of it. Just because you love it and live, doesn't mean others would. Just a friendly FYI as I have seen you use that card a couple of times.

    Now as a retreat, escape, heck even prolonged vacation, hell ya
    You might be surprised, but I totally agree with you. This is what I like, most people would be miserable doing it. But my wife and I love it.

    It is a balance in life. For us, we prefer to keep things very simple, but I will admit, today I am going slightly stircrazy since I shouldn't be swimming with stitches and that is what I really want to go do.

    Oh well.

  18. #18
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmyquest View Post
    "cell phones are a luxury"

    Why would i pay $30 a month for a phone that is tied to my home when i can pay $30 a month for a phone that i can carry everywhere?
    Cable/internet = 90
    Cable/internet/phone bundled together = 100

    Divided by 3 roommates:
    90/3 = 30
    100/3 = 33

    $3 land vs $30 cell, and thats a recurring cost
    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
    Cheating: a symptom of the problem.

  19. #19
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerseysbest View Post
    Cable/internet = 90
    Cable/internet/phone bundled together = 100

    Divided by 3 roommates:
    90/3 = 30
    100/3 = 33

    $3 land vs $30 cell, and thats a recurring cost
    Voip?

  20. #20
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerseysbest View Post
    Cable/internet = 90
    Cable/internet/phone bundled together = 100

    Divided by 3 roommates:
    90/3 = 30
    100/3 = 33

    $3 land vs $30 cell, and thats a recurring cost
    Assuming that your roommates would be up for that. I can live without my cellphone i'm sure, but you really have to understand that times have changed. Personally, during the course of a class day i'm at home minimally and very frequently need to make phone calls for school or work. Fact is that in today's society, it is expected that you are able to be reached. I just don't see it as being a luxury anymore. Now, an iphone is a luxury, but not all cell phones are like that.

  21. #21
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crtreedude View Post
    You might be surprised, but I totally agree with you. This is what I like, most people would be miserable doing it. But my wife and I love it.

    It is a balance in life. For us, we prefer to keep things very simple, but I will admit, today I am going slightly stircrazy since I shouldn't be swimming with stitches and that is what I really want to go do.

    Oh well.
    no I am not surprised. I would have expected you to have a completely reasonable point of view on it.

    Bummer about the stitches, its almost been a week now, they should be ready to come off ...

  22. #22
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    no I am not surprised. I would have expected you to have a completely reasonable point of view on it.

    Bummer about the stitches, its almost been a week now, they should be ready to come off ...
    Yeah, they are ready - I really should take a walk down to the clinic and have them yanked. Probably tomorrow. Stupid things itch!

    They are bad enough that I was researching on the Internet how to remove them myself - the only problem is I can't reach all of them AND my wife refuses to help.

  23. #23
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Thats too bad, removing stitches is a cinch...not that you pay much down there anyways

  24. #24
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Curious, this just came to me, for the americans, do you guys seperate your savings for medical emergencies and traditional vacation etc style savings?

  25. #25
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    Thats too bad, removing stitches is a cinch...not that you pay much down there anyways
    I gather you have had a lot of experience...

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