How much money should you have "leftover" a month after expenses?

How much money should you have "leftover" a month after expenses?

I'-m looking to move to a nice place and I calculated that after expenses like Rent, food, gas, cable, Internet, Auto Insurance, Cell phone, etc. I'-ll have about $200 leftover per MONTH.Is that enough? How much extra money should you have leftover after ESSENTIAL expenses?

Sean

You've only shown a couple of your expenses. There is no way to answer this without accounting for all your expenses. This will take a huge amount of work, but it will provide an accurate answer.The foundation of any budget is good bookkeeping. You need to track your income and your expenses. Set up a budgeting worksheet on Excel, or get Quicken. Quicken will be easier to work with, but it will cost about $60.. I listed the categories to start below. Add or delete categories as needed. Each column in Excel should be one month. Each row should be 1 expense category. Make sure to reconcile your checkbook each month. Failing to reconcile your checkbook is like having a condom, but not using it.There are some items which are a bit harder to budget. For example, you pay for homeowner's or renter's insurance once a year. Take the bill divide it by 12, and add it to your expenses monthly as an accrued item. Some expenses are unpredictable. For example, you know that your car will eventually need an expensive repair, but you don't know when it will happen. Go through your check register for the last 24 months. Add up all the unexpected items and divide by 24. Then enter that amount on your budget each month.I suggest you get a book called Bookkeeping for Dummies by Lita Epstein. Please don't be offended by the name. For Dummies is a publishing company. They contract with top authors who are both experts in their field and have the ability to put concepts in simple English.INCOME:Wages and BonusesInterest IncomeInvestment IncomeMiscellaneous IncomeIncome SubtotalINCOME TAXES WITHHELD:Federal Income TaxState and Local Income TaxSocial Security/Medicare TaxIncome Taxes SubtotalSpendable IncomeEXPENSES:HOME:Mortgage or RentHomeowners/Renters Insurance (actual amount paid)Property Taxes (actual amount paid)Home Repairs/Maintenance/HOA DuesHome ImprovementsUTILITIES:ElectricityWater and SewerNatural Gas or OilTelephone (Land Line, Cell)FOOD:GroceriesEating Out, Lunches, SnacksFAMILY OBLIGATIONS:Child Support/AlimonyDay Care, BabysittingHEALTH AND MEDICAL:Insurance (medical,dental,vision)Out-of-Pocket Medical ExpensesFitness (Yoga,Massage,Gym)TRANSPORTATION:Car PaymentsGasoline/OilAuto Repairs/Maintenance/FeesAuto InsuranceOther (tolls, bus, subway, taxi)DEBT PAYMENTS:Credit CardsStudent LoansOther LoansENTERTAINMENT/RECREATION:Cable TV/Videos/MoviesComputer ExpenseHobbiesSubscriptions and DuesVacationsPETS:FoodGrooming, Boarding, VetCLOTHING:INVESTMENTS AND SAVINGS:401(K)or IRAStocks/Bonds/Mutual FundsCollege FundSavingsEmergency FundMISCELLANEOUS:Toiletries, Household ProductsGifts/DonationsGrooming (Hair, Make-up, Other)Miscellaneous ExpenseTotal Investments and ExpensesSurplus/Shortage (Spendable income

Alex

Does your budget include utilities like electricity and possibly gas and any loan payments? It's a good idea to have a few months expenses in an emergency fund in case of job loss, medical emergency or car accident. $50 a week for entertainment and non-essential items doesn't seem like enough to me unless you have an emergency fund and are willing to tough it out. I would consider a cheaper place or a roommate.

Reena

If you have that much left in your bank account a day before payday... you are doing good.That means you can save up to $200 a month and just put it away.... maybe open a money market account?

Not

If you have included food and every other foreseeable expense, and you are being honest with your self about what your expenses will be, then $200 per month should be plenty.

Guess

You should be able to save at least 10% of your income. The questions you should be asking are, How much money do I have saved up for emergencies?. What if I lose my job? How many months can I live on my savings?

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