With my 54k a year job, if I account for all my fixed expenses (rent, student loans, bills...

With my 54k a year job, if I account for all my fixed expenses (rent, student loans, bills, etc - but not food or any personal expenses, entertainment, etc) I find that I will be able to save a little over a thousand a month.

I was sort of expecting to have more than $12,000 net a year if I starve myself. I was kind of hoping to go real lean for a couple years to have a down payment on a house, but this basically triples the length of time it will take to do that.

What am I doing wrong here? Besides being a wage slave, obviously.

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Live off your parents and don't go out and you'll get there :)

I don't have that option. What else can I do?

how do people manage to make 54K a year and not know how to budget?
Are you fucking kidding me?
Spend less then you make. There I solved your problem. Fucking tard.

>have 1000/mo surplus
>"spend less than you make"

gee, thanks.

The problem is that all the included expenses are necessary expenses which I can't get out of. Rent, student loans, utilities, car insurance, gas, health insurance, various fees at work, dog food, etc - 72% of my paycheck is going towards basic necessities (not even including groceries).

I guess I just want to know if that's commensurate with other people's experiences.

Pay that shit off, wtf!
>dog food
Train it to hunt for food
Go to bulk food and eat there without paying.

>dog food
Well there's your problem, that shit adds up, I bet you can save extra thousand or two if you didn't have a dog

I mean, net after taxes that's like 2.5k a month. If he's living on his own, paying off student loans, and having a dog, I don't know how he's managing to save 1k a month unless he lives in the middle of bumfuck nowhere and never leaves his house.

>how he's managing to save 1k a month unless he lives in the middle of bumfuck nowhere and never leaves his house.

I'm lucky enough to have a landlord that hasn't raised my rent in a few years (and doesn't seem to be paying attention), and no - I basically don't ever go out of the house or spend anything on "frivolous" items

I guess you could consider the dog frivolous, but I adopted him when I was fresh out of college and he's my best friend (since basically I don't spend money going out of the house)

>72% of my paycheck is going towards basic necessities (not even including groceries).
No, that's high as hell.

Some months I don't even spend $1000.

can you give me a quick breakdown by line item on your expenses? Are you not including rent or something?

You need an actual budget. We all have some fantasy shit where we can save $5,000/month if we starve ourselves and are homeless.

When you have an actual budget, we can critique it and say where to cut. I'm thinking rent is the easiest target, but I don't know what you pay or what typical rents in your city are like.

You're NOT saving $1,000/month. What are you actually saving?

As for my experience - minimums on all debt (car, student loans), plus rent/other fixed expenses puts me at $1,200/month or so. When my car and student loans are paid off, I'll be down to $350 on rent. Holy fuck, talk about ball-out money.

I take home $2,800/month (gross around $50k, 5% + 4% employer match goes to Roth 401k), but adding in bonuses it averages out to $3,100/month if not a little more. Fantasy me could save $1,600/month. Now, I generally spend $5-600/month on food, clothes, everything else combined. Realistically I have $1,000/month left over. ($1k/month of base but $1,300/month spreading bonus across all months).

Having $1k/month to either save or pay extra on debt is on the high side for most people making in the $50k range. Most will manage to save $0 - 300/month. These are the wageslaves. Because that vacation sounds fun, they want a $25,000 car, $1,200/month luxury apartment instead of splitting rent in a decent 2br for $6-700/month each.

As for the recommended target on fixed expenses - 50% of your take-home. For you, maybe $1,500/month to rent, debt, bills.

on my $35k gross yearly, i save about $1300 a month. i live on my own before anyone asks, rent is $600 all in.

>pirate video games
>buy only those i like
>pirate movies; never buy
>cook 90% of my meals
>never leave the house
>have a car, only really commute work about 15 mins each way

i don't know where you live or what your lifestyle is. i should mention that my monies is CAD. so about 25% less in USD. at least from my perspective, you're not miserly enough for your goals.

everything i save goes into my trading account. hard to spend it when it takes 3 days for a withdrawal to process.

Rent+utilities lands between $700-750 a month. Higher when I have to run heat all the time (Canada gets cold).
I pay $60 for a bus pass, and spend maybe $150 (or a bit more, or less) on food. Other than that there's approx. $60 on internet+phone.

Granted monthly expenses are not always under $1000, and they can go over more substantially if I decide to buy shit or stuff breaks.

>got an analyst job in SF
>69k starting
>3.5k takehome pay after taxes per month
>rent is 2.5k a month
>groceries are inflated by 20% compared to cities 20 minutes away

And my home-owning mom thinks I'm crazy for wanting to buy and live off a boat.

Saving 1k a month is great, OP, be happy. I have to opt for homelessness to get anywhere close. I'm hoping to save $250 a month and stash my bonuses.

stop living in San Francisco then?

>stop living in San Francisco then?

By adding an hour commute to my day (each way), after transit costs it would cost me $100 less a month. I already work 9 hours a day because start up.

The entire bay area is fucked, m8.

Wait, the "BART is so good lol" meme is a lie? You can't just go 15 miles in half an hour by train and be done with it?

>much of our system has reached the end of it's useful life
BART is trash, crumbling trash. It's also really quite slow/expensive for the distance that it covers.

I've never heard anybody dumb enough to say that BART was good. It's terrible system compared to something like the Boston T. Boston has a far smaller population than the bay area, but they manage a far more effective transit system. The bay area has I think 8 transit authorities all charging separate overpriced fares. Boston has one transit authority. It's shit out here.

If you're serious you need to take a few steps. First off as was said, you need a written budget. Every month on paper. Each dollar counts and you have to cut back until it hurts. Be petty, literally down to the dollar. Prepare to live like a monk.. Here's some tips I used:

General - Do not spend on credit. For anything at all. If it carries an interest rate forget it.

Car insurance - Do you own the car outright? Is it valued under 10K? If so have liability only with a high deductible ($1000). Pay the entire premium six months in advance at one time. Asked to be billed for the entire term instead of month to month - most companies tack on a fee for monthly payments.

Cable TV - Cancel it if you have it. For internet buy your modem cash off Ebay (make sure it's compatible with your network). Get the cheapest internet plan your ISP offers.

Student Loans - Try to get on an income based repayment plan if it's cheaper. Pay the bare minimum for the time being.

Extras - Cancel everything that isn't absolutely needed with a monthly payment; Netflix, Amazon Prime, Xbox Live or Playstation Network etc.

Cell Phone - Cancel if you're with a major carrier. Buy a phone cash for $100 or less. Go with a budget carrier that uses a solid network. I've got Walmart family mobile (which uses T-mobile network) - $35/mo, unlimited talk, text and a gig a data. Works just fine for my needs.

Those are just some examples but I used a ton of others to buy my first house. I always get my balls trolled off in frugal threads but if you want any other serious tips I've got more.

I occasionally look on reddit and see what they say. Thinking of it, they're probably poors who can't do any better.

Something like Chicago has a fast train system (every ~3 minutes during rush hours, faster than driving by far when there's a lot of traffic), thought maybe BART was the same. Shit, you'd think with all the income in the area...

They say housing should account for 1/3 of your total budget, but the reality is, in places like SF, housing is easily 50% to 70% of your expense.

Shit here is ridiculously overpriced.

I'd move to Oakland and take bart but the Niggers over there are still routinely fucking up the city.

This is solid advice. However, I would put everything on credit and set it to autopay at the end of the month. This way you are building credit and if you decide to get a house you will save a lot of money in the long run.

I would use 3-4 credit cards (the extra security of having another line of credit is also good too).

Make sure to fill Roth IRA to $5,500 a year if you aren't already doing so, and then you can either invest your money in index funds or pick stocks if you have the time/effort to tackle the markets.

Other then that, look to get experience/better jobs/alternative forms of income.

Don't know how many times it can be posted but reduce your spending. There's something sapping away your cash and it's not bills, if you need to spend more to pay down debt do so and you can see real savings

Listen buddy, go to mrmoneymustache dot com. You won't be able to save any more unless you change your point of view... when you consider a dog "essential expenses" I wonder what other completely unnecessary and chosen drains/leaks in your budget exist.

>I guess I just want to know if that's commensurate with other people's experiences.
i was saving around 1200/month making 34k/yr. my brother saves about 1200/month making 75k/yr. we live in same area. control your budget and lifestyle.

What cell phone provider do you use to get $35 a month service?

i would stay away from credit cards. i have one that i use only once in a while... like once a year... have no loans, paid off my mortgage and my credit is still very good. banks can't wait for me to owe them something.

>dog food

Get rid of the dog. Easily an extra $100+ a month.

Also being able to save $1000 a month is great.

What carrier would you like? There are prepaid options on every major network (Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, ATT)

Cricket, H2O Wireless - ATT
MetroPCS - T-Mobile
Virgin Mobile - Sprint
Straight Talk - All networks

Project Fi (Google-run, only can use a few Nexus phones) - Sprint and T-Mobile, it switches to one with best signal.. pretty much still a beta

There are more prepaid options but that'll get you started before you dive into the more ghetto options.

top shelf pic OP

you guys are fucking heartless

I'd take owning a living breathing dog companion over a few more bits in your bank's computer any day

Not heartless, but he came here (and also /adv/) for financial advice and such advice he will get.
Pets, as much as we like to think they are, are not a necessity and outside of exotic pets, dogs are the most expensive pets in terms of finances and time management as they require a lot of it, not to mention the multitude of health issues and problems a dog will experience in their 8-18 years of life.

>time management

If you're doing it right, you're going to have a hell of a lot of time to manage. You're going to need hobbies that are cheap (or free) and enjoyable. Walking the dog is perfect for that. Bike rides, books from the library etc. Serious budgeting can be depressing at first and a dog helps with that. Especially because a lot of your friends are most likely 'normal' and you won't be able to talk to them much until you get thru it so to speak.

Idk.. I'm a dog owner and it didn't stop me from reaching my financial goals. Probably about $600/yr including vet visits and dog food. Not a deal breaker by any means.

>make 54k
>taxed 24k
yeah no, that's like 45% u fuckin retard

What 2.5k a month???? you're way off dude, at 54k/yr you would take home probably 40k, so almost 3.5k per month

Bart is trash. caltrain is legit, but it's only a straight shot north and south from SF to san jo

>3-4 credit cards
wrong, this fucks your credit. two cards is ideal with a third line in something else such as home or car loan. 4 cards makes you look risky af

Are you saving 1k a month after retirement contributions? Should be putting away at least 15%...

Cut the cable bill
phone bill
internet bill
don't go out
and have no gf - no girl will date you anyways with this method.

Do this for 12-15 years and you'll finally have enough for that 5% down payment for that 1 bedroom condo in the future.