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How to Budget well.

so having learned to do so effectively I figured I'd give some good explanations and tips on learning to budget well.

Budgeting an automobile.

so this one is fairly straight forward.

take your distance to and from work every day, multiply it by the number of days you work, let's say you drive 10 mi, a day, x2 for each direction times 5 if you work 5 days a week for 20x5 or 100 mi a week.

now let's say your average mpg is 24 miles per gallon, substitute local measurements if you're outside the states.

at 24 miles per gallon you use about 4 gallons per week in fuel.

with an average price of $2.80 per gallon, rounded up to 3 to cover fluctuations that's $12 a week in gas alone, double that for $24 a week, times 4 for $96 a month.

that should cover fuel costs both with work travel and anything else you need with some leeway.

tack on an extra $50 a month to cover stuff like coolent, air for tires, oil, etc, and anything you don't spend put into a savings account for car repairs and the like.

now we move onto budgeting your cost of living.

start with how much you pay to live somewhere, if it's an apartment figure out your rent plus utilities, ideally this should be about 1/3rd what you make if you want to live comfortably but 50% is the absolute maximum amount and it's not living easy.

now take that and your vehicle cost and combine them, then subtract them from your monthly pay and subtract anything like insurance, and any utilities not covered by the apt like internet, TV, etc.

now factor in how much you spend on food, how much do you eat, how much do you save when buying things on sale, etc.

start noting down how much stuff costs when you buy it and how much you need for each meal.

one big way to save here is to make meals that cover multiple days like a lasagna or a casserole for example.

always buy your groceries in bulk as that often saves both in fuel cost and because often there's bulk discounts on consumables.

after all this what you are left with is money you can put into savings, and trust me you want at least $50 to $100 a month for savings if you can help it.

this is how I was taught to budget, there's some leeway for adjustments but it does let you live comfortably at least with room for error or sudden problems as well as the occasional hobby.
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