I just graduated from college in May, and started a full-time position a week later. I am guaranteed this position through March 2012, but since it is currently funded by a grant-type situation have no idea if I will be employed past March (my bosses want the program I am helping to start to continue and say they want me to keep working, but we won't know funding for a bit).
$5000 student loan at 4.5% fixed, in grace until November, monthly minimum will be around $52
$12280 (currently at $11,550) car loan at 0% from my parents, if I lose my job/have a health issue/etc. I can take a break, no questions asked, monthly minimum $330
The student loan debt was a deliberate choice so I would have something other than a credit card on my credit history, to improve my score and make me look better for the future. I'm planning on paying more than the minimum each month and paying it off in 6-12 months (happy to use savings to do this, since I would have used savings for college otherwise).
The car loan I can't easily prepay a lot on, for two reasons. One is that I have the bank set up to automatically send a check to my parents -- I can't transfer to their account online, and I'm not going to send them a ton of checks for small amounts the way you might do if you were trying to snowflake a debt payment. The other is that they want me to make sure I use my money to "enjoy" my life and not worry about this, which is why I have it from them. They've given me the car (I have the title and everything) and they don't need the money immediately, but long term don't want to give me all of that money.
~$1000 in everyday checking (write checks from this account, my debit card is attached to it)
~$25,000 in Fidelity mySmartCash account, kinda savings, kinda checking, my direct deposit goes here
~$24,000 in Roth IRA
~$14,000 in Fidelity Target 2050 fund (retirement fund, but not a tax-advantaged account)
~$3000 in random other account I don't use, but am keeping so I can keep my larger limit/older credit card open
I have one credit card (A) with a $900 limit that I use regularly and pay off in full every month. My older card (B) has a $5000 limit, and I am keeping it (dislike some things to do with it) to buy plane tickets, etc. until my everyday card has its limit raised. I just got card A, so have to wait a bit longer to get a limit raise. No idea of interest rates on these, since I've never carried a balance. (I didn't fully realize it was possible to not pay it off in full every month until a couple of years ago, after a couple of years of reading personal finance sites. The idea literally had never sunk in, since I've grown up with the idea that a credit card is the same as a debit card, only what you use for Internet purchases for safety reasons.)
I get $2833.33/month pre-tax, etc. Not sure what a normal take-home paycheck will look like, since my benefits haven't kicked in yet -- they will in August. I know I have a few hundred out for taxes/Social Security, as well as somewhere in the $100-200 range for health insurance come August. I'm putting 5% of my paycheck into the Roth 403(b) offered by my employer, matched up to 3% starting in August. I'm also going to a gym very close to my work, which costs $64/mo right now on the company plan but once I have benefits will drop down to $32/mo. The only exercise I can make myself do is swimming, so I need year-round pool access, it is the gym most convenient to my life (5 mins from work on the way to work from my house, vs. a 20min one-way trip to other local gyms), and the reduced price makes it cost the same as other gyms. I'm going to guess a little less than $2000/mo as my take-home, say $1800 to be conservative.
Still not sure of my fixed expenses, I've been tracking my money for just over a year but a living in a dorm and going to class is very different from living in a house and going to work. Plus, this past month I had a lot of one-time expenses, like title fees for my car, rental deposit, entirely new wardrobe for the fancy office (jeans and a tshirt won't cut it), etc.
Monthly Fixed Expenses I Know So Far (excluding the things in the paragraph above that come out of my paycheck before I get it)
$415 Roth IRA
$499 rent (for one room in a nice house with 2 roommates -- didn't trust the neighborhoods anywhere cheaper)
~$75 utilities (water/sewer/trash, electric, gas, internet)
~$125 gas (for car)
$330 car loan
$55 student loan (rounded) (starting in November, but want to make this more to pay more than minimum)
Most everything else does go into budgeted categories (save for gifts, clothing, vacation, insurance, etc.), just not big enough ones to go here and ones that can be not contributed to as heavily if need-be).
Utilities is an average given to me by my landlady/roommate, so we'll see how that goes. It was a few dollars less than that the first time I paid it, and we're also short a roommate for this month so we'll see. Gas and groceries I think are also often less, but I would rather over-budget than under-budget.
I don't have a phone bill right now, since work is paying for my smartphone; I'll just have some (low percentage) taxable benefits on my W-2.
I make $120+/mo at a part-time job from home. I am also an "on-call" babysitter for a neighbor, and my older cousin has told her coworkers with kids I'm available for petsitting/babysitting. I'm not really up to doing a regular part-time job, since while I only work 8 hours/day right now I'm a) going to have longer and more irregular hours in a couple of months once my project really gets going and b) going to be traveling a bunch for work.
I don't really want to cut out Netflix unless I have to, since it pretty much is my only entertainment other than library books (I have the one-DVD-at-time plan and use that plus a lot of streaming). I very rarely go to the movies, and when I do except for things like the upcoming Harry Potter it's usually the second-run theaters. Much more likely to go to a friends house and chill and contribute half the food for dinner than to go to a restaurant, etc. I don't find usually find shopping fun, and the places I do (Target) I stick to my list without a lot of issues.
Goals by End of 2011
$5000 in Roth IRA by the end of the year (maxed out) -- this plus my 5% into the 403(b) will make almost 20% of my salary in retirement accounts
Stick to a budget, once I figure out what my categories really are each month
Learn more about investing
Goals by March 31, 2012 (end of my current contract)
Save $2000 other money
Have a job, either at my current company or at another company
I'm hopeful I can achieve all of this, since I've never had an issue living below my means. I also didn't really have anything to spend money on before, though, and have never had to budget. I have the You Need a Budget software and am good at recording purchases.
I'd love to get suggestions from everyone! I'm pretty new at all of this.