Create Your Post-College Budget In 6 Easy Steps

Establish A Post-College Budget In Just 6 Steps

Congratulations on having earned your diploma and on having received a job offer. This time of life is guaranteed to be exciting.

As you begin planning your next moves, it is vital to have a budget. How do you create a post-college budget? Following are several things that I discovered after having graduated and started my first adult job.

Consider Your Monthly Income

Investment
Investment (Photo credit: LendingMemo)

You might have an awesome starting salary, but you should not use this figure to write out your budget. Determine how much you’re going to be bringing in after taxes every month instead. Remember that federal taxes, social security and Medicare are all going to be deducted from your check.

Employees are going to have to pay 6.2% of their wage earnings, up to minimum wage. A tax rate of 1.45% is paid for Medicare. If you are self-employed, however, these rates are going to be double.

Next, figure your federal income tax rate according to your projected earnings. You will be surprised by how much is going to be deducted from your check.

Think About Retirement
Decide how much you are going to invest in your 401k. Will your employer be matching your 401k? Use this match to your benefit as it is included in your compensation. Invest the minimum in order to receive this match.

If you are able to, make an immediate effort to max out your 401k. Should you invest with pre-tax money, this is going to lower the rate for your federal income tax at the year’s end. Always use low-cost funds to invest.
H&R Block gives amazing tips for investing.

Take Advantage of Pre-Tax Dollars

Use a Health Savings Account or a Flexible Savings Account to save pre-tax dollars. Do you have forthcoming medical expenses that you can cover with pre-tax money? Braces, contacts, glasses, doctor visits and prescriptions are things that you can use this money for. These savings are automatic.

Wisely Choose Your Housing
It is very easy to move into a luxury apartment after graduating. This is what I did. In retrospect, I wish I chose an apartment that was more affordable.

Housing advice varies. Some people say that you should spend no more than 30% of your earnings for a rental or 28% for your mortgage.

List Your Monthly Expenses
List all of the bills that you need to pay each month including sewage, water, rent, Internet, electricity, groceries, cable, car insurance, gym fees, debt payments, renter’s insurance, cell phone services, etc. You will have to allocate you monthly earnings for these expenses. Budgets are used to track and manage this spending.

Save Money!
Put aside monies to create an emergency fund. You never know when car maintenance issues and other expenses will arise.

You can also invest in a traditional IRA or ROTH to take your savings plan a bit further.

Creating a solid financial house early in life will assure you of a comfortable financial future.

Pros And Cons Of Filing Your Taxes With TurboTax

Filing Your Taxes With TurboTax

Filing your taxes with TurboTax or another online tax program is something that people often loathe doing, therefore they try to procrastinate or push it off for later hoping that they would be excused and the year would pass by. However, it is not that easy to evade your taxes and that is why most people end up paying a heavy penalty when they do fail to file. Thus, why take the risk? Why not just use an online tax preparation software program like TurboTax or TaxAct in order to file your taxes on-time?

One of the biggest pros concerning the use of TurboTax or TaxAct or any other automated software program like H&R Block and so on is that they are very user-friendly and convenient to navigate through a return. Moreover, you don’t even need to have sharp math skills for calculating your taxes, all you need to do is to fill-in a couple of blanks and the rest will be taken care of by the software application. Another advantage of using TaxAct or TurboTax is that it relieves all the tax anxiety and worries you might be feeling.

TurboTax, H&R Block and TaxAct are the most popular tax filing software programs available today. They provide accurate results as they are familiar with the latest changes in tax law including the most recent Fiscal Cliff and ObamaCare rules. While TaxAct or TurboTax may be offering a lot of benefits, they do have their own cons too. One of the top disadvantages associated with these programs is that they can be pricey to use in comparison to getting one’s tax preparation complete the conventional way.