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Discussion Starter #1
What is your criteria?

As probably none of you know, I just entered the "real world" last year. All of my savings were dumped at first into paying off private student loans (I'm currently paying minimum on federal loans and will be until 2030) and then after that, all savings were dumped into buying a house.

So finally now, I'm working on a real budget with no super-big ticket items to buy on the horizon. That being said, however, I listed out the things I want and come to the approximate cost of $11.5k. And that's not including buying a truck and trailer.

At any rate, my question to you guys is multi-fold.

Outside of 401k, what is your savings plan? How much (as in approx %) of your net income do you set aside each month? And of that (or if you prefer, outside of that), do you decide is spending money? Again, percentages would be helpful. Do you keep a minimum amount of "untouchable" money in case of emergency, etc.?

I'm asking for percentages because you probably dont want to be airing out your financial situation all over the 'net. But it'd still let me see how I'm doing compared to you guys.

As for me, my target is saving approximately 18.5% of my monthly net income, though I've fallen a little short the past 2 months. I'm not sure how much out of that amount should be "untouchable" money, though I'm thinking I'll set a minimum (maybe an amount equal to one month's net income) and then half of my savings each month after that goes "untouchable" too.

I'm also uncertain as to where this "untouchable" money will go. Right now, it's going to my EmigrantDirect savings. I will likely put more into IRA or long-term stock holdings.

Or, if you have a completely different method of tracking savings etc., please let me know! I'm very curious to know how people deal with their personal finances. I hope none of this comes across as too personal. :)
 

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I've heard (though I do not have) 6 months salary in the bank in case you get fired or laid off, hard to do in the early stages of your career but a goal to shoot for.

I'm in the military and can't be fired or laid off; killed in Iraq yes, but not fired.
 

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Having just moved out this year, Ive actually had a hard time saving, mostly due to how I was expecting to only pay half the rent and bills and such, and, well, thats not quite how its worked out. Lets just say 75% of my take home pay goes to the necessary bills and rent at this point. Not good.

Also money that could have gone to my student loans went towards a miata. hmm. Im not so financially responsible but I get by. At least I make my payments on time and my credit score is excellent.

My dad has always hooked me up with a nice contribution to my Roth IRA account each year though, and I put away 10% of my gross income in my 401k. My Roth IRA money is being aggressively invested, for maximum returns in the long run. It is my understanding that Roth IRA's are nice because when you finally do get the money out of there, its tax free. The catch is you can only invest $3k or $4k a year to them.
 

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lately my friends have been camping out at target/bestbuy/circuit city/etc. and buying WIIs and PS3s and selling them on ebay...averaging like $150-200 profit on each ;)


I personally contribute to two Roth IRAs (wife and I), HBSC savings account (5.4%), and my 401k. I have a few stocks and tons of savings bonds. I barely use my credit card, only when I have to. and I don't eat lunch.
 

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I know you said outside of 401K, but I'll mention it anyway, as it's a decent amount of my pay.

8-10% of gross income goes to 401K each month, depending on various factors.
The minimum I like to have hanging around in my bank account is about 3 months net pay equivalent, though there have been a couple of times where the balance was sitting at about 6 months worth.

My basic way to save is to simply prep my own food rather than eat out. I've found that this can make a tremendous difference in spending trends. Taking lunch to work runs about $1-$1.50, where buying it on-site is $5 or more. Drink tap or bottled water from the store rather than soda or that high-caliber, $6.50 Starbucks drink. Simple stuff, you know?

I'm also the king of the $20 electric bill. :roll: Only use power in the room where you actually are. Not in the kitchen? Turn off the light.

That's all I've got for ya'... :D
 
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