You graduated with a MAcc in August, started your new job in September, you have $500 in your bank account when your job starts, and you are committed to contributing 3% of your salary to your company’s retirement plan immediately. Your starting salary is $53,000. The expenses included below are the minimum you need to include. Include any other expenses you think you may incur in a normal living environment, groceries for example. Don’t forget to budget for things like Christmas shopping if that is your normal habit. The spreadsheet is set up with some formulas already so be sure to update them if needed when you make changes.
Use 10% as a federal income tax figure and 2% as a state income tax figure. Use the appropriate percentage for payroll taxes.
If you do not know the cost of renting in the city you plan to be working in, do a little research and find a realistic number.
Likewise, if you will be buying a new car, research the actual cost of the vehicle you plan to purchase and assume financing over 5 years at 4% interest (a simple interest calculation is fine for this purpose). If you don’t plan to purchase a new car right away, plug it into your budget in the month you do plan to purchase one. If you will be putting down a downpayment, be sure to include that negative cashflow in the appropriate month.
If you have student loans be sure to include the payments starting at the appropriate time.