Author Topic: List of Budget Items  (Read 5944 times)

climber1

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List of Budget Items
« on: May 25, 2014, 07:57:21 PM »
Hello! I am about to graduate college and am trying to put together a budget so that I have a semblance of a plan for going out into the working world. I am in a pretty good situation with a high paying job lined up and no student loans or credit card debt. So, here is my list of pretty much all the possible budget items I could think of. Some of these I intend to be $0 (i.e. cable), but I thought it good to include them just to keep track of things.

Housing and Utilities
Rent
Electric
Heating
Water
Sewage
Trash

Telecommunications
Internet
Phone

Food
Groceries
Eating Out

Transportation
Bike
Bike Repairs
Transit Pass
Cab/Uber

Insurance
Health
Renters
Liability
Life
Travel
Dental
Vision

Debt
None

Household Expenses
Laundry
Dry Cleaning
Clothing
Haircut
Toiletries
Cleaning Supplies

Gifts
Birthday
Christmas

Entertainment
Cable
Movies

Travel
Flights
Hotel
Car
Food

Health
Medical
Gym

Savings
401k
IRA
Taxable Accounts

So what am I missing?

Emilyngh

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2014, 08:39:20 PM »
None that you are missing jump out at me, rather, that jumps out at me is how many you can probably eliminate (as you mention).   I've had a budget for more than 10 years, first as a single person and now with a family, and one's I've not had include:

-trash-we currently bring to a local center, but we live in a rural area and may not be possible for you, but you could look into decreasing with use of recycling and possibly composting.

-liability-you don't list car expenses, so I'm not sure what this is for or would cover?

-life insurance-not needed unless you have children and/or a dependent spouse and even then should get term

-travel insurance-why?

-dental and vision insurance-in my experience these do not make sense financially unless they are subsidized by an employer (we currently have neither, and spend $50ish every few years on eye exams and glasses from Zenni and $200 or so a year on dental out of an FSA)

-dry cleaning- can possibly get by without it, or minimize it

-haircut-can possibly cut your own or find a friend to do (check out youtube).   

-toiletries and cleaning supplies- can make your own for pennies from grocery store ingredients for most

-gym-I'd seriously look at how much value one is getting from this (most don't get their money's worth).

Getting rid of some of these categories may not make sense for you, or may take time (like learning how to cut your own hair), but I'd be careful about jumping out into the working world with the mindset that all of these are necessities either.   

Also, you might want to consider grouping some together.   For example, we just have a "spending money" category that we use to cover all eating out, any haircuts if I ever wanted to not cut my own, all clothing (since we have pretty established wardrobes), all all other "fun" spending (and if curious, my spouse and I each get $75 a mo in this category, which we actually usually find to be more than enough and is not usually spent).







« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 08:41:34 PM by Emilyngh »

Frankies Girl

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2014, 08:45:21 PM »
You don't need life insurance if you have no dependents and no debt, and most high paying jobs offer life insurance coverage as long as you are employed with them at no cost to you as a benefit. Not sure why you'd need liability either if you don't own a house or car?

Emergency fund should be added (cash savings)?

Savings for any future purchases?

Might add to entertainment: socializing (could be going on dates, or with friends) but this is one area that you would need to keep an eye on as it can get very wasteful.

Several items will hopefully be zeros if you're trying to be frugal (gym, dry cleaning jump out at me).

nzbee

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2014, 08:46:48 PM »
What about alcohol under entertainment?

Activities etc under travel?

Maybe misc under gifts to cover mothers day/fathers day/weddings etc?

Maybe eating out under entertainment also - so that you can track what you are spending on food when you're socialising compared to eating out for lunch on a work day?

climber1

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2014, 08:57:23 PM »
Thanks for the replies. There are definitely a lot of planned zeros on this list.

For instance, life insurance and gym will both be zeros as I don't need life insurance and my work supplies a gym membership.

The liability insurance is probably unnecessary, but I was kind of thinking what if I run someone over with my bike or just generally cause injury to another person or property?

I will be living in an urban area so trash service is definitely necessary (especially since I won't have a car). This will probably actually be included in rent.

Travel insurance is while I have very good health insurance (through my parents until 26, yeah!), it doesn't cover international and I expect to travel a lot. World travel is something I really enjoy to the point that it is what I plan to do when I reach FI, so this is important. I think I actually have this free through work.

Dental and vision are subsidized by work. Under $100 per year together.

Emergency fund savings aren't necessary as I already have a 6 month emergency fund in place. I should probably actually move some of this money to investments. I know this probably sounds odd for a college graduate, but I got a full ride so all the money I and my parents saved for college and everything I earned from internships is still saved.

Alcohol is a nonitem as I am still under 21. I took the fast track through college.

nzbee

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2014, 10:28:10 PM »
Alcohol is a nonitem as I am still under 21.

Might need to be under travel then.... depending on where you go (internationally) you may be old enough lol!

homeymomma

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2014, 06:53:55 AM »
I'd skip this whole thing and sign up with mint.com. They suggest categories for you, and group them, and you can add your own. Using mint helped get the big picture under control for me... Parsing out budgeting categories mattered less than the surplus number remaining at the end of the month.

I used to keep our budget on the fridge with pen and paper. It may have been better at shaming us into eating less fast food, but that was it's only benefit. It's hard to see/budget for big expenses or see long term trends without a tool like Mint.

Roots&Wings

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2014, 07:35:14 AM »
Agree with the PP that mint.com or other budget lists can be a helpful reference.  Here's one from Finance Geek that might be helpful: http://thefinancegeek.com/budgeting/budgeting-categories/

Two potential missing items in your list that jump out to me are 1) donations/charity and 2) taxes.  I'm assuming your employer withholds any federal/state/local taxes, but if you have taxable investment accounts generating interest, dividends and/or capital gains, you may owe estimated taxes.

Also, if you're renting, moving expenses and/or furniture, depending on your lease term and how often you might need to move.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 07:57:10 AM by step-in-time »

Bbqmustache

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2014, 07:38:25 AM »
Think hard about building your emergency fund to 12 months of take home pay.  Consider lumping gifts into a single category, rather than birthdays and Christmas.
Term life insurance once you get married, up it A LOT once you procreate.
Look over and categorize all the spending you have done in the last three months from bank and credit card statements.  Sit down and think about obligations that are not monthly (auto insurance every 6 months for an example, gifts and vacation for another).  Car repair/replacement fund (if you are going to own a car).
For software, we like YNAB.  Although not free, the support is fantastic and I like that it does not link directly to your accounts like MINT.  A bit more effort, but we all need to make a more effort with our money anyway.
Check out my website, I have a discount link for YNAB (stands for You Need A Budget) on my site.
Good luck!

Weyfarere

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2014, 08:30:59 AM »
What about computer upgrades and software?

Dollarbill49

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2014, 08:50:12 AM »
I would have put the Savings category at the top of the list, not the bottom.

climber1

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2014, 09:40:47 AM »
I will definitely look to use Mint or YNAB when I start living on my own and have more expenses. It wouldn't be very useful right now as looking at the last 6 months there would pretty much be two things on it: Travel for a spring break trip and cross-country job interview and Food (I never eat out, but buy convenience store crap way too often as there is one on campus). That is why I am doing this exercise and asking here.

I have run estimated taxes for this year and next and know it is going to be a lot. I am really getting whacked this year due to the fact that scholarships used for room and board counts as taxable income. Due to poor tax planning, basically all three years of that are ending up on this year's tax bill which isn't great considering I will be in a higher bracket.

I expect to have a savings rate of at least 50%, just trying to figure out how to get it to 70-80%.

blueeyetea

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2014, 10:52:44 AM »
I don't see anything in your budget for setting up a household.   Even if you're renting with roommates, think about what you'll need in terms of furniture, linens and other strange stuff like a can opener.

Roots&Wings

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2014, 12:01:56 PM »

I have run estimated taxes for this year and next and know it is going to be a lot. I am really getting whacked this year due to the fact that scholarships used for room and board counts as taxable income. Due to poor tax planning, basically all three years of that are ending up on this year's tax bill which isn't great considering I will be in a higher bracket.


That's too bad.  Any possibility of filing an amended tax return for some of the prior years when you were in a lower tax bracket?  You can generally file an amended return within 3 years of the initial submission date: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Form-1040X,-Amended-U.S.-Individual-Income-Tax-Return

climber1

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Re: List of Budget Items
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2014, 03:06:18 PM »
Yeah, I know I need to get a tax accountant to look at this. I shouldn't have done my taxes myself as a stupid college freshman.