Author Topic: budgets budgets budgets!  (Read 4405 times)

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Slartibartfast

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2012, 01:58:55 AM »
I don't even want to think about what my university tuition cost  :o  I went to a very good private school in the US where about a third of the students are filthy rich and a third are on significant financial aid.  I was in the middle third - I had some good scholarships (not from my school), but my parents saved like crazy so I could go there and I graduated with no student loans.  I think that's the biggest single factor that has allowed me and DH to be "above water" today - it's a lot easier to be financially prudent when you have some finances to start with!

Our house is about the median size for around here (3 bedroom 2.5 bath) and we actually pay less per month on our mortgage than my sister paid for a 900 square foot apartment in Providence, Rhode Island (which has no suburbs and no space because there's nowhere to expand to!).  Honestly, what makes me the saddest is there's no way we'll be able to provide Babybartfast with the same kind of college fund DH's and my parents did - DH has a decent job, but it's not going to let us put enough away to pay for her college education outright.  (Especially with another kid on the way!)  I know student loans aren't the end of the world, but they can make the difference between getting your financial feet under you at age 22 and floundering until you're 30.

Oh, gas here is right around $3/gallon (or $.73 USD per liter).  I hear it's higher in other parts of the world.

katycoo

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2012, 04:43:30 AM »
in terms of university tuition, The Australian government provides "loans" called "HELP" (Higher Education Loan Program). This defers what you pay for your uni degree until you reach a certain threshold of income (Below $47,196 = nil repayment, $47,196-$52,572 = 4%HRI (HRI = Taxable income plus any total net investment loss (which includes net rental losses), total reportable fringe benefits amounts, reportable super contributions and exempt foreign employment income.) the percentage increases as your earnings increase up to 8%HRI) This is from the Australian tax office Website.

These loans are not subject to an interest rate as such, but they are "indexed" each year at tax time (financial year runs 1st July to 30th June), and you can pay the whole amount (and get a "discount") or not pay it and it gets taken out of your pay as tax.

I'm trying to find out what the "average" HELP debt is. I know my husbands was about $20,000 for a 3 year teaching degree. I have about $6,000 for 3 semesters of a Bachelor of science degree that I never finished.

Australia has recently introduced a period of paid parental leave /(you have to be eligible) which is equivalent to the minimum wage for 18 weeks (currently $589.40 a week before tax). Minimum wage is federally mandated.

Note here that these uni fees are tuition only, not textbooks, and on campus accomodation is rare, if it exists at all.

katycoo

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2012, 04:45:22 AM »
Oh, gas here is right around $3/gallon (or $.73 USD per liter).  I hear it's higher in other parts of the world.

Yeah, I'm paying more than double that.  WE're avergae about $1.50 per litre.

tjika

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2012, 02:35:04 PM »
I'm in the north of the Netherlands. One of the cheaper area's in the country.

I rent the house I live in for $680. its a 3 bed/1,5 bath semi-detached.
I'm averaging $185/mnth for gas & electric. Water is $12/mnth

My health insurance is one of the cheapest options available and I pay $105/mnth

I work in a call center and make $11,10/hr before taxes. (minimum wage)
I spend approx. $170/mnth on food. (lower than average)

I don't have a car but if I did I would pay $2/l for unleaded.  I bike almost everywhere or use the bus and train for longer journeys.

Because of the height of my income, I receive government assistance for my rent and health insurance, totaling $330.

Good quality shoes for me average $100.

An ipad 2 32gb wifi is $747 and an 8gb nano $166

I have 4 cats and a yearly checkup, deworming and vaccination for one costs me $50. I have to buy expensive cat food because 2 have allergies (to different things) and spend $100/mnth on that.

Judah

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2012, 03:22:03 PM »
I just crunched these numbers with DS because he expects to be finished with his bachelor degree next Spring and he was trying to get an idea how far his expected starting salary would get him.  He will be graduating from university with a degree in a high paying field.  The employment rate for recent graduates from his university with his degree is almost 100%, so his prospects look good.  Also in his favor is the fact that DH and I are footing the bill for his education (I don't even want to say how much, but we saved from the time he was born), so he won't have any loans to repay. Unfortunately, the companies that need his specialty are mostly located in a very high cost of living area on the West coast.  Good thing he's very frugal.

We figured his budget would look something like this:

Rent                            1600
Car                                300
Auto Insurance             200
Health Insur.                 400
Renters Insur                100
Gas                                250
Utilities                             60
Phone                            100
Clothing                         100
Food                               400
Fun                                 100
Internet                          100
Misc                                200

Gas was almost $4 the last time I was in his area. He'll have to finance a vehicle and interest rates for someone with little credit are running about 4%. Movie tickets are $12. He paid $35 for the last pair of shoes he bought.

He's the master of the good deal and knows he'll be living a very frugal life for a long time. 
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Dindrane

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2012, 04:43:51 PM »
We figured his budget would look something like this:

Renters Insur                100


Incidentally, I pay around $150 per year for pretty standard renters insurance. I need to add some riders, but I pay a lot more to insure my car ($300 every 6 months) than to insure the rest of my possessions.

Also, even in Houston (a large city with lots of cars) and with the "young driver" penalty you get before you turn 25, I still only paid around $400/6 months for my insurance. $200/month would be really high!


Slartibartfast

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2012, 04:44:27 PM »
Judah, I can't speak to all the numbers on that list, but he can probably get phone and internet for about half of what you planned, if he's going to be on a plan by himself.  Food can also be about half of what you wrote if he's willing to cook on occasion, although if he eats out all the time he will find that it chews up his "fun money" pretty quickly  :)  I would suggest you encourage him to put some in savings, too - if he has an emergency fund, he'll be much more stable than if a car repair, burglary, surprise phone bill, etc. can wipe out his finances for the month.

jmarvellous

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2012, 04:48:11 PM »
We figured his budget would look something like this:

Renters Insur                100


Incidentally, I pay around $150 per year for pretty standard renters insurance. I need to add some riders, but I pay a lot more to insure my car ($300 every 6 months) than to insure the rest of my possessions.

Also, even in Houston (a large city with lots of cars) and with the "young driver" penalty you get before you turn 25, I still only paid around $400/6 months for my insurance. $200/month would be really high!

Yeah, my renter's insurance is $85/year and car insurance is about $400/6 months and has been in that range since I was your son's age. Of course these things depend on your area, but the numbers for those things seem quite high and the utilities number seems very low.

Judah

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2012, 04:48:32 PM »
We figured his budget would look something like this:

Renters Insur                100


Incidentally, I pay around $150 per year for pretty standard renters insurance. I need to add some riders, but I pay a lot more to insure my car ($300 every 6 months) than to insure the rest of my possessions.

Also, even in Houston (a large city with lots of cars) and with the "young driver" penalty you get before you turn 25, I still only paid around $400/6 months for my insurance. $200/month would be really high!

You're right, Dindrane, I way overestimated the renter's insurance, but car insurance is runs high in his area.
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Slartibartfast

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2012, 04:50:23 PM »
Also, just to put this out there, I find it really useful to split my budget into "fixed" and "variable" expenses, and into "mandatory" and "discretionary" expenses.  So:

Fixed mandatory expenses: mortgage, insurance, phone bill, car registration, etc.

Variable mandatory expenses: utilities, gas, medical bills, groceries, etc.

Fixed discretionary expenses: Netflix, AAA, subscriptions to magazines and the like

Variable discretionary expenses: eating out, "fun" money, travel, and pretty much everything else

I find it much easier to break it down like this when I might need to tweak the budget, because some categories are more flexible than others.  There's nothing I can do about fixed mandatory expenses, for example, so I just ignore those.  On the other hand, if we have to shave $100 off the monthly budget, most of that can probably come from the variable discretionary stuff.  I find it helps to have everything put together so I can compare side-by-side.  Just something to think about for anyone looking at setting up a budget in the near future :)

Redneck Gravy

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2012, 05:01:46 PM »
I am in West Texas, heart of the oilboom.

In 1999 I rented a two br/two bath apartment with covered parking (about a mid range apt around here) for $ 435 per month - today that same apartment is $ 1049 per month!

I work for a landscaper and home builder.  Right now the a 2500 sq ft home goes for around $300,000 (that is above average quality - but not the highest end for builders here).  A cheaper version with linoleum and laminated countertops is still easily $180,000.  I built a 2100 sq ft home in 1993 for $90,300 with tile floors and laminated countertops for comparison figures.     

I can't afford health insurance and make too much to qualify for the women's reduced health program so I am always making payments to some doctor/lab/dentist and hospital.  I had pneumonia in June, thought it was a heart attack and the er bill is around $ 2300 for 5 hours, they suspected a collapsed lung so I got there just in time.   

Today regular gasoline is $ 3.16-$3.29 per gallon, all self serve.  A movie ticket is $ 9.75 

Judah

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2012, 05:02:36 PM »
Judah, I can't speak to all the numbers on that list, but he can probably get phone and internet for about half of what you planned, if he's going to be on a plan by himself.  Food can also be about half of what you wrote if he's willing to cook on occasion, although if he eats out all the time he will find that it chews up his "fun money" pretty quickly  :)  I would suggest you encourage him to put some in savings, too - if he has an emergency fund, he'll be much more stable than if a car repair, burglary, surprise phone bill, etc. can wipe out his finances for the month.

His phone plan would be cell only, no landline.  I figured it based on what I pay for internet, but if it's less, great!  As for food...He eats like a race horse and has a very limited repertoire in the kitchen so I purposely estimated his food bill on the  high end. I actually estimated everything on the high side just to be safe.  And the budget was just what he'll need to spend; he should be able to save 20%-25% of is take home depending on his tax burden.  He's already a good saver, so that's not something I still have to teach him.

Thanks for the input, it's been a while since I had to start from scratch with a budget, and not having concrete figures to work with makes it kind of frustrating. 
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Judah

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2012, 05:07:10 PM »
Also, just to put this out there, I find it really useful to split my budget into "fixed" and "variable" expenses, and into "mandatory" and "discretionary" expenses.  So:

Fixed mandatory expenses: mortgage, insurance, phone bill, car registration, etc.

Variable mandatory expenses: utilities, gas, medical bills, groceries, etc.

Fixed discretionary expenses: Netflix, AAA, subscriptions to magazines and the like

Variable discretionary expenses: eating out, "fun" money, travel, and pretty much everything else

I find it much easier to break it down like this when I might need to tweak the budget, because some categories are more flexible than others.  There's nothing I can do about fixed mandatory expenses, for example, so I just ignore those.  On the other hand, if we have to shave $100 off the monthly budget, most of that can probably come from the variable discretionary stuff.  I find it helps to have everything put together so I can compare side-by-side.  Just something to think about for anyone looking at setting up a budget in the near future :)

You just reminded me of another expense, thanks!  I also like to split my budget this way.  I also separate expenses I pay every month and the ones that I have to save for monthly but only pay once/twice per year.

You've got me thinking.
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Dindrane

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2012, 11:20:05 PM »
You might check out mint.com for your son, if he's willing to give them his bank info.  I've been using it for around a year now, and the only thing they do with that information (other than compile it so I can keep track of it) is come up with targeted advertising that is very easy to ignore.  It makes it easier to track the types of expenses that only come up every few months.

Also, for car insurance, Houston is one city that does have particularly expensive insurance -- lots of cars, lots of freeways, lots of driving, and thus lots of potential for wrecks.  Even there, $1000 per year would be the high end of average, unless the driver in question had a lot of traffic violations/wrecks that were driving up the price.  $200/month puts the insurance at $2400/year, and I honestly can't imagine it costing that much anywhere without a seriously bad driving record.

I would also guess that $50/month for internet would be the high end of average.  I don't think I've ever seen it advertised for more than that where I live now, and internet isn't cheap here.  I also agree that $60/month for utilities (I'm assuming electricity, water, and/or natural gas?) is probably too low.  When I lived in Houston, electricity for a 1000 sq ft apartment ran anywhere from $80-$100 (winter) to $200+ (summer) per month.  If the climate doesn't require much in the way of air conditioning or heating, the cost will be somewhat lower, but apartments also tend to run just about everything on electricity, so that can raise the cost.


Judah

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Re: budgets budgets budgets!
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2012, 11:34:47 PM »
Thanks, Dindrane.  This thread spurred me to make some calls and do a little more research. What I found is that most apartments in his area include all utilities, including internet, except electricity. That's a savings., especially since he's unlikely to need to need airconditioning or heat.

Also, my insurance estimate is WAY high. It's looking better for him. I also found out that it might be possible for DS to remain on my health insurance until he's 26. That would be a HUGE savings.

I appreciate everyone's help and apologize for hijacking the thread.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

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