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Family of 3 (husband/wife/newborn) in mid-size city: what should our budget be?

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  • #16
    We lived very comfortably on about 120k gross during residency. That included daycare for 1 kid, paying off most of our student loans, putting around 8% to retirement and some of those years we were still paying 10% to tithing. I know things are more expensive now but 6k/ month should still be pretty comfortable.

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    • #17
      6000 doesnt seem too frugal at all and does that even count as "living like a resident"?

      in general, if you were part of a two resident couple, does living like a resident really mean living like 2 residents? and if youre maxing out roth's and on the right student loan plan youre WCI approved living on 90k/yr net?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by pysibal View Post
        Ultimately more information would be helpful. A mid-sized city does not mean anything about the price to live there. I live in small city/town in a rural place but with an average COL (per Spurling's Best Places).

        Also don't know your income, assets, debt, age, professional plans, level of family support / need for childcare, projected job stability, retirement savings, transportation needs / cars, etc.

        Overall, though, you're talking about budgeting an after-tax income of $72k yearly, which puts you in the top half (possibly third) of USA earners. You wouldn't even have to live like a resident.
        This was my reaction.

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        • #19
          Comfortable is subjective. But, yea, it should be easy to live on that sum comfortably.

          Reverse budgeting is easier for me to do. I save at least this much and can spend that much.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by pysibal View Post
            Ultimately more information would be helpful. A mid-sized city does not mean anything about the price to live there. I live in small city/town in a rural place but with an average COL (per Spurling's Best Places).

            Also don't know your income, assets, debt, age, professional plans, level of family support / need for childcare, projected job stability, retirement savings, transportation needs / cars, etc.

            Overall, though, you're talking about budgeting an after-tax income of $72k yearly, which puts you in the top half (possibly third) of USA earners. You wouldn't even have to live like a resident.
            I agree...

            I also did not know about Spurling's Best Places... So had to look up my town...
            This is what was said:

            Compared to the rest of the country, XXXXXXXX's cost of living is 54.4% higher than the U.S. average.
            The median home cost in XXXXXXXXX's is Real Estate: $914,300.

            Ugh....

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Brains428 View Post
              Comfortable is subjective. But, yea, it should be easy to live on that sum comfortably.

              Reverse budgeting is easier for me to do. I save at least this much and can spend that much.
              that's our plan basically, although we essentially never spend more than we make.

              i'm on year 9 of saving 20% of gross for retirement and if you do that i think you can pretty much spend every other dollar and you'll be fine.

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              • #22
                Residency: Housing and transportation are the big budgeting pieces, with the possibility of childcare for a family. Best budget is to drive those costs as low as you can.

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                • #23
                  I started out with a detailed budget but quickly decided it was not worth the effort. It was an eye-opener to read that financially it doesn't matter what you spend your spending money on as long as you don't go over the total. What I personally needed was a number for disposable monthly spending and a way to track how much I had left.

                  So I set up a google sheet and listed out the non-monthly expenses on an annual basis (SAVINGS, insurance, property taxes, vacation, Christmas gifts etc) and deducted that from my annual after tax income.

                  I used that to calculate a monthly spend, put everything on one credit card and watched that online to make sure that I never went higher than that. Super low effort and very effective.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Shant View Post
                    I started out with a detailed budget but quickly decided it was not worth the effort. It was an eye-opener to read that financially it doesn't matter what you spend your spending money on as long as you don't go over the total. What I personally needed was a number for disposable monthly spending and a way to track how much I had left.

                    So I set up a google sheet and listed out the non-monthly expenses on an annual basis (SAVINGS, insurance, property taxes, vacation, Christmas gifts etc) and deducted that from my annual after tax income.

                    I used that to calculate a monthly spend, put everything on one credit card and watched that online to make sure that I never went higher than that. Super low effort and very effective.
                    The only thing you need to do is figure out your expense that come in at once. Annual auto insurance would be an example or a vacation or the timing is right, how about those Christmas presents or a trip to see the parents. You monthly spend rate is then known. Stash the money for the annual or infrequent in the checking account.

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