Post # 1
I have no idea where to begin except to add up our expenses and subtract them from our income.
But I want something more structured. Does anyone know of a good website for regular budgeting (not talking about wedding budget :p). Should I speak with a financial advisor? What would they even do for me? I need to know how much to save too.
I have no idea where to start!!
Post # 3
Gail Vaz-Oxley has a good tutorial here. She is really popular in Canada and has a TV show on CNBC on Saturdays called Til Debt do Us Part which helps couples to learn how to budget and tackle debt.
Post # 4
There are a lot of personal finance blogs out there. Frugal Dad, The Simple Dollar, and Wise Bread are some of my favorites and they have a lot of really good advice and some budget spreadsheets, etc. They discuss savings, retirement, etc.
Post # 5
Do you live together now? How much do you know about what your living expenses will be like after the wedding? It’s kind of hard to do a budget unless you already know what most of your monthly bills are going to be.
Personally, I don’t “believe in” budgeting, as in, saying a specific limit for what I’ll spend on each thing each month. It makes me feel claustrophobic. And if you make a healthy income and don’t have a spending issue, I think it’s really not necessary.
Instead, I “pay myself first” each month by contributing heavily to my retirement accounts and personal savings accounts. These are both automatic, so I don’t even have to do anything. Then, whatever’s left in my checking account is fair game. I can spend whatever’s there – but not more. Works great as long as you have the restraint not to go overboard with credit cards and spend more than you can pay off in a given month.
As for savings- a good rule of thumb is to save at least 10% for retirement (in a 401k if you have access to one). Then, additionally, you’ll want another savings account for shorter term needs (like auto repairs or saving for a house). I recommend having a set amount automatically transferred from checking to savings each week, so that you don’t even have to think about it. The amount really depends on your amount of disposable income. One thing that’s worked for me is to be fairly aggressive with the amount I transfer to savings. I can always transfer it back if I need it for bills, but I think a lot harder about spending it once it’s in the other account. If it were in checking I wouldn’t give it a second thought.
Post # 6
Thats good advice, Prettyflowers! We don’t have excessive spending habits, and we definitely don’t live beyond our means, but I want to be sure we save enough. I think I have to set up a 401k through my work, but I only have the opportunity to do that once/year. Fiance has one already, from a past employer. Will he still have access to that?
Post # 7
I’m in the process of buying a house right now, and I have found this budget worksheet to be extremely helpful. http://www.nhsphoenix.org/pdf/bawksht1207.pdf
Pull out your paystubs and calculate your net income (take home pay). That will give you the most realistic picture of your cash flow.
Post # 8
we went to a financial advisor. he helped us figure out all of our expenses so we know how much we have left, how much should be in our savings, and how much we should invest.
Post # 9
Once you’ve left a job, there are some steps you need to take in order to keep contributing money to the old 401k account.
You could “roll over” his old 401k into an IRA and then contribute to that, but you would be contributing “after tax” dollars, rather than “pre tax.”
So starting a new 401k with his current employer would really be preferable if you have the option. If you did that, you could “roll over” the old account into the new one if you want to keep everything in one place.
Post # 10
@Nimele: He will probably have access to his old 401k at the old employer but he won’t be able to contribute to it. He should open a Rollover IRA with a brokerage firm and have them roll it over so that he can have control over the investments.
He needs to open a new 401k with his current employer though.