Time for a Credit Check

So small a paycheck, so much fun beckoning after the clock strikes six. Perhaps no aspect of early adulthood is more difficult for more people than truly living within one's means.

Is it possible? Let's hear your stories, advice and questions about the daunting task of (gasp) keeping a budget on an entry-level salary.

We're waiting for your input! Click here to join the conversation.

By Bob Greiner |  April 6, 2006; 2:03 PM ET  | Category:  Balancing Act
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The sample budget in the article did not include any emergency savings fund. Personally, I would make sure I had some money put away for the unexpected. For example, the age of the car she had might mean unexpected car repairs, replacement tires,etc. Also, did she have health insurance as a benefit of the job? Shouldn't there be some money for deductibles and medicine. I guess what I am saying is to ensure your money lasts, you need to be aware of all the little costs that will add up and might sink your budgetif you haven't thought them through. If you rely on putting those costs on your credit card, you will end up paying a lot of interest over time. In the example given, she said she was paying extra on her student loan debt. I think, in the short term I would back off to the required payment for a year and save $100 a month. The $1200 saved would represent the minimum I would want to have available for "emergencies." Something to think about.

Posted by: momof2 | April 7, 2006 05:19 PM

Hello? Who came up with this budget? You need a cash-flow budget. You are not paid monthly, you are paid biweekly. So your 4-week take home pay is 1/13 of your salary, or $2034.50. That leaves you $20.50 of left over most of the time. You only create savings once per year. And car insurance for only $720 a year at age 22?

Fortunately, you can reallocate that $300 a month (!) for take-out food to pay your bills. When I was your age, we ate bologna sandwiches for lunch AND WE LIKED IT!

Posted by: Grumpy | April 30, 2006 10:06 AM

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