I make $1600 a month... how do I live?

TTGOz

"Suit"-able
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
2,031
I've been doing a lot of budgeting lately, putting all of my small business goals into a spreadsheet and putting all of my savings, investments, and bank account info(just dollar amounts) into a separate spread sheet.
What does your guy's budgeting and monthly finances look like?

I make $12.50/hr, working 32-36 hours a week. That's about an $800 pay check before taxes, taxes and 401k brings it down to about $640ish.
I earn roughly $1600 a month. Literally no one could live on that if they were on their own, not in this world.

I have exactly $5001 in investments, savings, and extra cash I have stashed. Robinhood, Acorns, Stash, 401k, savings, and cash.
I had about $1500 in my bank account but I splurged on a guitar I just bought and that brought me down to $1200ish. Car insurance, car loan brought me down to $980. Just put $200 into investments. I'm at around $680 now, but I'm fine. I'll be right back at $1100 next Friday.

The only reason why I can afford to do any of this is because I haven't done college, I still live with my parents rent-free(but we're discussing future rent if I can't move out this year.)
I buy cheap ass cars to drive and I fix them all myself. If I ever move on from my current car, it's gonna be another 2000-2006 era car to keep payments below $110 unless I pay cash up front. Keep car insurance under $200.

I don't buy shit I don't need, I only buy fruit or deli chicken at work. I don't buy soda, I drink water from the tap. I have no subscriptions besides a gym subscription. I eat a shit ton of bananas, I buy those $3.99 spinach salad mixes and frozen chicken to cook into a salad. Onions, peppers, some seasoning to make it taste better than it already does. 18 count egg container for $2. I don't buy milk, I do buy coffee grounds and tea bags.

I've told everyone I've ever met I'm a simple man. I simply exist and keep my money. I didn't get to this point alone. Took me five years to figure it out, lots of podcasts, a lot of Dave Ramsey I suppose...

My car detailing business if I ever meet my goals will gross me $4500 a month in the summer. I'm planning on buying a car cheap to fix up and resell for profit as well, up to five times a year.

Anyone open to talking finances, budgeting, what their situation is like? I am always over budgeting, over estimating costs, under estimating my actual numbers to make sure I will survive. I know a lot of us rely on Target for our living, as do I at this moment, and we're all struggling, me included. We're all here to help each other, to be open without revealing our identities should we care enough. I wish penny pinching was something my parents taught me. I spent my bi-weekly allowance when I was 12 or 13 on video game shit. Last time I checked over two years I spent nearly $2000 in video games up until I was about 14. School taught me shit. They had electives for personal finance but the classes were always already full every single time. I had to do this for myself, teach myself how to not spend money, and what to do with the money I do have. My parents actually realized they wished they didn't try to spoil me. I don't think I was really spoiled, my brothers were sometimes. I felt a little humble and withdrawn from materialism, I never asked for things.

Here's what I've compiled.

Amateur Budget and Numbers. The 78% at the end is for taxes, 401k taken out, etc. It's not always 78% of my check kept, but that's just a number between 75%-85% kept in other checks.

My business spreadsheet, detailing all of my yearly goals, potential earnings before tax and fees. I have my price sheet, inventory I haven't yet done, etc.

 
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
699
I have no input other than someone can live on that alone here, and many of my single coworkers without kids do, because our cost of living is very low.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
1,936
For your business spreadsheets, you need to estimate ongoing expenses such as consumable supplies (soaps, wax), laundry for used rags, replacement costs of worn rags, extra insurance for using a car for business, business liability insurance, fuel costs for driving to clients' locations, extra vehicle maintenance for the added wear/tear on vehicle, etc.

Also keep in mind that you need to set aside extra money for sales and income taxes. If you are starting a business as a sole proprietorship, you have to pay what is called "self employment tax" on 15.3% of the net income of your Schedule C. This is the equivalent of both employee and employer portions of Social Security and Medicare taxes.
 

buliSBI

Former Team Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
3,168
I've been doing a lot of budgeting lately, putting all of my small business goals into a spreadsheet and putting all of my savings, investments, and bank account info(just dollar amounts) into a separate spread sheet.
What does your guy's budgeting and monthly finances look like?

I make $12.50/hr, working 32-36 hours a week. That's about an $800 pay check before taxes, taxes and 401k brings it down to about $640ish.
I earn roughly $1600 a month. Literally no one could live on that if they were on their own, not in this world.

I have exactly $5001 in investments, savings, and extra cash I have stashed. Robinhood, Acorns, Stash, 401k, savings, and cash.
I had about $1500 in my bank account but I splurged on a guitar I just bought and that brought me down to $1200ish. Car insurance, car loan brought me down to $980. Just put $200 into investments. I'm at around $680 now, but I'm fine. I'll be right back at $1100 next Friday.

The only reason why I can afford to do any of this is because I haven't done college, I still live with my parents rent-free(but we're discussing future rent if I can't move out this year.)
I buy cheap ass cars to drive and I fix them all myself. If I ever move on from my current car, it's gonna be another 2000-2006 era car to keep payments below $110 unless I pay cash up front. Keep car insurance under $200.

I don't buy shit I don't need, I only buy fruit or deli chicken at work. I don't buy soda, I drink water from the tap. I have no subscriptions besides a gym subscription. I eat a shit ton of bananas, I buy those $3.99 spinach salad mixes and frozen chicken to cook into a salad. Onions, peppers, some seasoning to make it taste better than it already does. 18 count egg container for $2. I don't buy milk, I do buy coffee grounds and tea bags.

I've told everyone I've ever met I'm a simple man. I simply exist and keep my money. I didn't get to this point alone. Took me five years to figure it out, lots of podcasts, a lot of Dave Ramsey I suppose...

My car detailing business if I ever meet my goals will gross me $4500 a month in the summer. I'm planning on buying a car cheap to fix up and resell for profit as well, up to five times a year.

Anyone open to talking finances, budgeting, what their situation is like? I am always over budgeting, over estimating costs, under estimating my actual numbers to make sure I will survive. I know a lot of us rely on Target for our living, as do I at this moment, and we're all struggling, me included. We're all here to help each other, to be open without revealing our identities should we care enough. I wish penny pinching was something my parents taught me. I spent my bi-weekly allowance when I was 12 or 13 on video game shit. Last time I checked over two years I spent nearly $2000 in video games up until I was about 14. School taught me shit. They had electives for personal finance but the classes were always already full every single time. I had to do this for myself, teach myself how to not spend money, and what to do with the money I do have. My parents actually realized they wished they didn't try to spoil me. I don't think I was really spoiled, my brothers were sometimes. I felt a little humble and withdrawn from materialism, I never asked for things.

Here's what I've compiled.

Amateur Budget and Numbers. The 78% at the end is for taxes, 401k taken out, etc. It's not always 78% of my check kept, but that's just a number between 75%-85% kept in other checks.

My business spreadsheet, detailing all of my yearly goals, potential earnings before tax and fees. I have my price sheet, inventory I haven't yet done, etc.

Your the Dave Ramsey of Target TMs.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
1,568
It all depends on your location and cost of living. What would've been fine for me a few years ago is not fine today because I live in a very desirable area that has caused everything to just skyrocket. It's also Hail Alley which means car insurance is through the roof. And I have teenagers. 'Nuff said on that one.

FYI...the self-employed taxes will kill you if you aren't prepared. Take an extra bit out for federal taxes from your Target check each month to help offset it. Trust me, it's brutal.
 

TTGOz

"Suit"-able
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
2,031
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
It all depends on your location and cost of living. What would've been fine for me a few years ago is not fine today because I live in a very desirable area that has caused everything to just skyrocket. It's also Hail Alley which means car insurance is through the roof. And I have teenagers. 'Nuff said on that one.

FYI...the self-employed taxes will kill you if you aren't prepared. Take an extra bit out for federal taxes from your Target check each month to help offset it. Trust me, it's brutal.
Yeah, I think getting the business registered will help with the taxes, I think. I'm in Minnesota so I already know it's gonna get taxed quite a bit. I plan to start receipt keeping, tracking my miles on my personal car(or potentially business car??), and just tracking all of my expenses to claim as a tax break to help. I'm a mobile detailer so I use my car to drive to people's places. If I actually commit to the car resell plan that can be a tax break as well. If I were to ever meet my goal of 40+ cars a month this summer I would probably need to take a leave from Target. I was really hoping I could take my leave starting mid-march but the weather outlook is NOT looking good...

I've had a lot of people calling me up asking for a detail on their cars, boats, etc within a week of calling and I can't because I work full time, it gets dark by 6pm, and it's literally 0 degrees. We've had snow every two days, and it's the accumulating kind. Weather outlook here is a lower than normal temperature for March, higher than normal precipitation for March. Two guys have said they have heated garages but I can't still. I've posted probably three times on my business page I can't take appointments but the phone keeps ringing.

It sucks, I've missed maybe $700 in work because of this. The roads haven't been in good condition for over a month, everyone's driveways have six feet high drifts, drive ways are unshoveled. We're currently in the middle of ANOTHER storm that's dropping six inches all day. Ugh. Fucking sucks, all I can say. If it were above 30 degrees I'd be on it. Heated Garage or not, it's gonna be -10 degrees tonight and I still gotta run in and out to get shit. Guy wants his boat detailed ready for sale tomorrow and I just can't.

I'm really hoping March or April treats me well. I've had clients tell me they're gonna get in touch again when the snow melts thankfully, but the phone's still ringing. A few people have been upset I can't detail right now. I wrote their names and numbers down in a notepad to contact once weather permits, gonna call even if they got upset the first time.

If you can afford to put 5% of your Target pay into your 401k to get the company match that’s a great investment. Can’t beat that free money!
I'm looking into it, I should be able to afford it because like I said I literally buy nothing if I don't need it.
 

TTGOz

"Suit"-able
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
2,031
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
This February was Minnesota's fourth snowiest month in all of record keeping. No other months are even in the 2000's, it's all from 1960's and 1980's. Twenty Year cycle, I suppose. If I can't jump start detailing this year early, there is always next year. People always need cars cleaned if they're willing to pay. I have a volume contact for later this spring, guy who runs a lowkey small dealership from his house and he doesn't seem to want to negotiate any volume discounts at the moment so if he can get me 2-3 cars a month at my price + any other clients I can do, I can literally survive off of just 10-12 cars a month in my current state. I would probably keep hours low at Target, fifteen hours a week at best.
 

can't touch this

Store Meme Leader
Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Messages
3,697
I have $8700 in a regular old savings account and I'm thinking about moving banks and opening an account at the credit union. My sister did and she makes hella interest with them.

Most of that is left over from my previous job before Target where I was getting that 40 for over 3 years straight, until they started gypping everybody down to 24 a week. I got lucky in that I was able to snag some full time bread before it went away, while paying next to nothing for rent at the time thanks to living with 6 other people. That has its own drawbacks tho.

My advice is really only to avoid buying bullshit you don't need, like for example Funkos and fast food every day. When I was living with my parents at age 17 I was dumb enough to buy an overpriced Apple laptop with the money I had saved thus far, it was a pretty stupid purchase in hindsight but luckily Macs seem to retain very high resale value and I was able to get about 80% of my money back when I flipped it a few years later.

Oh and also if you live in California you need to move pronto, unless you get some kind of bizarre thrill from working 5 jobs so you can afford 1 loaf of bread and 1 gallon of gas. Come to the Promised Land where we have all the free real estate and methamphetamine you could ever want and then some.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
343
This is outta left field but....

Just a thought...you said you bought a guitar and you play video games. Have you thought of streaming on Twitch? I know, it's a longshot but I know a streamer who does relatively well with it. It doesn't pay the rent but he got $2000 to buy a new guitar. He's a musician, btw. It's a decent side hustle for him. You seem ambitious and that you would work at it and not expect to just watch the cash roll in after a few weeks.
 

TTGOz

"Suit"-able
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
2,031
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
This is outta left field but....

Just a thought...you said you bought a guitar and you play video games. Have you thought of streaming on Twitch? I know, it's a longshot but I know a streamer who does relatively well with it. It doesn't pay the rent but he got $2000 to buy a new guitar. He's a musician, btw. It's a decent side hustle for him. You seem ambitious and that you would work at it and not expect to just watch the cash roll in after a few weeks.
Ive thought about it. The videogame sphere is too drowned with people so I know I could never make a penny off that. But youre onto something for guitar. Ive actually thought about doing guitar live streams. I do it on my Facebook sometimes for fun but there are musicians on Twitch.

I have a personal YT channel I upload covers on but I can't monetize them at all.
 

Pale

Half sweet, Half savory, Completely sexy.
Joined
Oct 23, 2016
Messages
2,393
Ive thought about it. The videogame sphere is too drowned with people so I know I could never make a penny off that. But youre onto something for guitar. Ive actually thought about doing guitar live streams. I do it on my Facebook sometimes for fun but there are musicians on Twitch.

I have a personal YT channel I upload covers on but I can't monetize them at all.
Shit fam, you should do the music streams. You're good, you'd gain a decent following.
 

TTGOz

"Suit"-able
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
2,031
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
Ive also given extreme interest in voice acting, writing short story clips to act out for a YouTube channel. Keep the video black with mild background noise, add in subtitles, and just voice act what I write for a scene. Create fake commercials. Just get a portfolio going, and a cool ass imaginative YouTube channel.

I have a Fiverr account I do some writing with and I want to dwell into voice over and voice acting. I'll probably need vocal coaching if I'm serious enough.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
343
As I've gotten older I've realized that finding your niche is about you doing what you'd like to see, hear, read, watch, wear, etc and realizing if you like it others will, too. I used to think originality was key, and it is to a degree. But then I realized we have so many businesses in food, cosmetics, clothing that all do their own thing in a market of others doing basically the same thing. Maybe that's not groundbreaking for you but it was for me! 🤣

All that to say if you have the excitement to do voice work, music, go for it! You will hone your skills and find your path through doing.

There is a subscription site called Skillshare that has voice work lessons if you are interested in starting where you are now. I'll subscribe to your YT channel if you share it! I'm all for supporting artists and creators!!

7344
 

TTGOz

"Suit"-able
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
2,031
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
"1600, how do I live?"

You eat the money for nutrition. :)
NOM NOM NOM
As I've gotten older I've realized that finding your niche is about you doing what you'd like to see, hear, read, watch, wear, etc and realizing if you like it others will, too. I used to think originality was key, and it is to a degree. But then I realized we have so many businesses in food, cosmetics, clothing that all do their own thing in a market of others doing basically the same thing. Maybe that's not groundbreaking for you but it was for me! 🤣

All that to say if you have the excitement to do voice work, music, go for it! You will hone your skills and find your path through doing.

There is a subscription site called Skillshare that has voice work lessons if you are interested in starting where you are now. I'll subscribe to your YT channel if you share it! I'm all for supporting artists and creators!!

View attachment 7344
Totally agree. I was stuck at one point between originality and niche. "Oh. Someone already does that.." But then realizing every one else also already does that. In literally everything.

Car Detailing is somewhat new to my area but Im not the first nor last... Some kid started up a service which he charges $60 for my $100 service. 😂 Oh well, my phone still rings(unfortunately I can't help anyone right now but he can..)

The dealership guy says he's been disappointed with all of the other local detailers, hoping this new kid was one of them. If I was charging $60 for a premium wash and wax Id kick myself. I know my worth and the value I bring. I tried servicing cheap like that and no one wanted in.. Until I raised my prices.

I think I'm an extremely original guy. I know it's hard to imagine having never met me, me and Pale have hung out two or three times now? We need to do it again, btw. I really wanna share our trucks side by side after we detailed yours together last summer 😂

The only thing I lack is discipline. I've had to hold myself accountable for shit that happens because no one else does for me. My new team leader is a lot better in that regards, she's molded me into a better worker already.

I have a few roadblocks I need to detour from before I reach my true potential, but hopefully it goes good. I'm actually gonna be acting in a short local comedic commercial March 9th at a college near me. Friend got me in. Pretty excited. Unfortunately, shooting is from 9am-12pm amd I work at 1pm, I'll just make up any lost time at the end of my shift. Shouldn't be an issue.
 

TTGOz

"Suit"-able
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
2,031
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
Update: Nuts.

Pretty soon, my consistent and guaranteed pay is going to be gone as I just quit Target. Going into this, I am going to try running my own small business with car detailing.
It's been a pretty valuable skill to me to always automatically the worst is going to happen, so I am always preparing ways to deal with the worst possible scenarios. I'm gonna be doing more than just detailing, I'm going to start up a pressure washing business where I go out with my pressure washer and pressure wash driveways, fences, house siding, sheds, weeds, side walks, etc...

As far as any entertainment, voice over work, or acting and ANYTHING like that... I've got a plan to get a nice little microphone, condenser and all, and I'm gonna start doing it more as a hobby and just see if I can make any money. Writing out vocal scenes, fake commercials, narrative comedy. Part of this is starting a Fiverr account and using Youtube to hone my portfolio and draw attention to myself. All just as a hobby if I have literally nothing better to do during the day. Of course, if I get any Fiverr orders I'm gonna need to set time for it.

I have about $2000 in usable money to support myself should I ever get into a position where I can't live or pay any bills... I plan to get a job ASAP to avoid ever getting into that position if I see it coming. I'm a thousandaire, but most of it is locked into investment accounts where I can't just withdraw.

I have a bit of anxiety behind the decision, but I feel firm in it. There's always someone out there in need of a car cleaning, pressure washing services, anything. Offering a service for money is probably the most valuable thing I could do, and it's worth it to the people willing to pay for it. The most important thing is I'm making my own money, I'm my own boss, I work on my own accord, not really my own hours but I set them.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
343
Good luck!! I hope we get updates!! If you don't mind sharing your Fiverr and YT info you might get some customers!! :) Being your own boss is hard but always rewarding!! You got this!
 

Ringwraith917

Zone Police
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
993
I get $1600/month if I'm very lucky and get my hours. I just bought a house. Location is everything. Cost of living is low in the South where I live.
1600/mo -440 monthly expenses. What happens to $1160 every month? Your food estimate is way way waaaaay off I'd bet.
 

TTGOz

"Suit"-able
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
2,031
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #24
It's been a dream to reveal who I am and everything here! I'd have no problem doing that. My personal YT just has misc videos I churned out randomly because I was bored and nothing really worth seeing. Just car stuff, some videos got 4k+ views. Haven't been really active on it. I plan to start up two new ones... one for detailing, and other businesses, and then a hobby channel. The second one is more for the shits but like I said... could bring me something.


I get $1600/month if I'm very lucky and get my hours. I just bought a house. Location is everything. Cost of living is low in the South where I live.
1600/mo -440 monthly expenses. What happens to $1160 every month? Your food estimate is way way waaaaay off I'd bet.
I don't always exactly do $1600 a month, usually it's more like $1200 after taxes, 401k, investments, and what not. I don't really buy much food, at work I'll buy two bagels and a drink for breakfast and then nothing else for the day, usually less than $4 five days a week. Usually the rest will just sit in my bank account until next pay day where I usually find I can invest just a little more of what I had left over. My food budgeting is way off because I don't ever really buy food to prep to eat, just started that. You're right, though. At $4 a day, that comes to between $80-$100 a month, not the original guess work of $60. Gonna change that right now.
 
Top