Author Topic: Example budget: You were doing great right up until....  (Read 4269 times)

Travis

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Example budget: You were doing great right up until....
« on: October 22, 2016, 01:15:39 PM »
So the school had an open house-type event a couple days ago to explain the school's and state's budget problems.  They got into how the rules/laws that dealt with the recession haven't been revised which has limited school funding, how the marijuana money is leaning heavily towards the schools that are straight falling apart, and to better illustrate what a 12% budget cut for the school district looks like they showed an example household budget for our area.

"Average family monthly income for our school district"
Income: $4840
Housing (including tax/insurance based on $200k home): $1250   I pay $1500 for renting a $200k home including insurance
Utilities (water/sewer/gas/electric): $250     my average utility bills total about $150 regardless of time of the year
Federal/state income taxes: $1100  not even close. I gross almost double this income and pay half of this number in withholding
Health insurance: $500
Groceries (2.68 member family): $720      During a not-paying-attention kind of month we spend $500 on groceries for three
Car payment: $250   
Car/life insurance: $100
Vehicle repairs/gas: $250  That's a hell of a lot of driving.  You're either driving a Hummer and/or working outside the city.
TV/Phone/Internet: $300    Someone got the sports package and a Verizon contract with all the trimmings
Miscellaneous: $100

The point was to show how difficult it is to cut 12% from your own budget.  The point got lost on me real quick looking at these numbers. They didn't reference where these numbers came from, but I can't imagine them coming from an actual academic source. 

meg_shannon

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Re: Example budget: You were doing great right up until....
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2016, 05:23:38 PM »
The groceries seem about right for a moderate USDA food plan. The rest are probably about average for your area too. These figures would get face punches around here, but these people aren't here.

11ducks

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Re: Example budget: You were doing great right up until....
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2016, 05:44:52 PM »
Perhaps they were aiming at the average household in your area, not you specifically. Had they aimed it at you, the point likely would've been lost on 95% of the other people. How would you have better communicated the issue to the intended audience?

Travis

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Re: Example budget: You were doing great right up until....
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2016, 05:59:01 PM »
I wasn't expecting me as the target audience as a mustachian, but things like a $250 car payment and $250 in operating and maintenance costs for that same vehicle just don't make sense to me.  The numbers they used for taxes based on that income don't seem to add up.  I understand the point they're trying to make, but I'm not understanding the examples they used.

SwordGuy

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Re: Example budget: You were doing great right up until....
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2016, 08:22:15 PM »
Don't assume competence when it comes to numbers.  Most Americans are innumerate.

MDM

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Re: Example budget: You were doing great right up until....
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2016, 08:35:41 PM »
"Average family monthly income for our school district"
Income: $4840
Federal/state income taxes: $1100  not even close. I gross almost double this income and pay half of this number in withholding
For MFJ with no kids, Fed+state+FICA taxes would be $904.  For single, taxes would be $1,196.

Lski'stash

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Re: Example budget: You were doing great right up until....
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2016, 08:56:34 PM »
I'd be interested in what they are thinking about cutting. I personally think this was a really poor example all around trying to compare them, especially since the schools (at least around here) are not allowed to build up equity and have to have a plan for every cent coming in.

The TV and cable is a bit high, in my opinion, but I think everything else looks about right for a non-mustachian family. Did they suggest cutting anything from the family budget? I bet you could name a few for them:)

Travis

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Re: Example budget: You were doing great right up until....
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2016, 09:44:33 AM »
I'd be interested in what they are thinking about cutting. I personally think this was a really poor example all around trying to compare them, especially since the schools (at least around here) are not allowed to build up equity and have to have a plan for every cent coming in.

The TV and cable is a bit high, in my opinion, but I think everything else looks about right for a non-mustachian family. Did they suggest cutting anything from the family budget? I bet you could name a few for them:)

Unfortunately during the brief they didn't mention specifics on what they were cutting. Aside from the numbers (which a couple of you showed me weren't too unrealistic), it's not a good comparison because off the top of my head I'd tell this hypothetical family to cut their phone, tv, and internet to a minimum and figure out why their used beater car eats a car payment in fuel each month. Since I can't make the same suggestion to the school district, this exercise doesn't help much.

Travis

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Re: Example budget: You were doing great right up until....
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2016, 09:45:14 AM »
"Average family monthly income for our school district"
Income: $4840
Federal/state income taxes: $1100  not even close. I gross almost double this income and pay half of this number in withholding
For MFJ with no kids, Fed+state+FICA taxes would be $904.  For single, taxes would be $1,196.

They didn't mention it, and I didn't think of either. Thanks.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Example budget: You were doing great right up until....
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2016, 06:06:12 PM »
"Average family monthly income for our school district"
Income: $4840
Federal/state income taxes: $1100  not even close. I gross almost double this income and pay half of this number in withholding
For MFJ with no kids, Fed+state+FICA taxes would be $904.  For single, taxes would be $1,196.

They didn't mention it, and I didn't think of either. Thanks.

This is (one of many of) the reason(s) I appreciate MDM's presence on this forum.

talltexan

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Re: Example budget: You were doing great right up until....
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2016, 08:43:11 AM »
MFJ may not apply...from what I hear, the median household is now a single wage-earner. This could depend on the area.

Roboturner

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Re: Example budget: You were doing great right up until....
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2016, 10:07:17 AM »
"Average family monthly income for our school district"
Income: $4840
Federal/state income taxes: $1100  not even close. I gross almost double this income and pay half of this number in withholding
For MFJ with no kids, Fed+state+FICA taxes would be $904.  For single, taxes would be $1,196.

yeah that's 22.5% - reasonable assumption, but I'd like to meet your tax guy :P