My Future Budget

Your “My Future Budget” is a spreadsheet to use as a monthly budget tracker. Bills tend to be monthly. Setting up a monthly budget is a good way to track expenses. Follow these directions to set up a basic monthly budget based on your My Future Project:

Open up “My Future Budget” in Google Classroom.

Add your yearly income (from the Occupational Outlook Handbook) to cell E2.

Change cell B12 to the name of the state you will live in.

Change cell D12 to the state income tax rate for the state you choose to live in. Click on the State Income Tax link in cell C12 and then click on your state to find the state tax rate. Remember the percent symbol.

Click on the FICA link in cell A16. Use the Social Security and Medicare Contributions calculator to find your FICA contribution. When you get to the Social Security and Medicare Contributions page, type your yearly gross salary in the salary box. Click “Calculate”. Your FICA amount is listed beside “Employee’s Half”. Add that amount to cell E16.

Notice your yearly and monthly net pay is calculated on line 20. This is the amount of money your have to spend on living. This is the amount you will start your monthly budget with on sheet 2 of My Future Budget.

At this point, you know what your net income is and you have a handful of expenses figured out. It’s time to put together a monthly budget.

Start by filling in the following amounts from your My Future Project onto sheet 2 of My Future Budget.

  • College Loan Payment
  • Monthly Rent
  • Transportation (car payment)
  • Savings

The rest of the items in your budget will come from a site called LeavingTheFolks. This site uses cost of living measures to calculate average monthly costs in a handful of categories. It uses data from each state, so you have to choose the state you live in to get the best information.

The next item listed on your My Future Budget is utilities, and after that, your phone/internet/cable package.

Use leavingthefolks to calculate these amounts. Hit the drop down at the top of the page to select your state. Don’t change any of the listed amounts. The estimator will automatically fill in the average costs for your state. Hit the “Submit Data” button under step 3 on the right. This will give you the report you are going to use for the rest of your budget.

Add up the amounts beside “Electricity”, “Water”, and “Gas”. This is your utility cost. Record this amount in cell E10.

Next, add up the amounts beside “Television”, “Phone Service” and “Internet Connection”. Record this amount in cell E11.

Row 12 is Food. Look at the bottom box on your leavingthefolks.com report. Add up the amounts next to “Eating Out”, and “Groceries”. Put this amount in cell E12.

That same box has an amount listed for Clothing. Put this amount in cell E13.

Skip row 14. Row 15 is “Recreation”. Type in the amount next to “Recreational (Movies, etc)” from the bottom box of the table into cell E15.

Finally, change cell A16 from “Personal” to “Gas”. Use the Gas Buddy Trip Calculator to figure out how much it costs you to go to work and back home. Multiply this amount by 21 (estimated number of work days per month). Put this amount in cell E16.

Grocery Shopping

The final piece of your My Future Budget is a detailed meal plan and grocery list . It should look something like this when you finish. Netgrocer is probably the best source for grocery items.

Click the plus sign in the bottom right corner of Google Sheets. This will create a new sheet for you to use.

This document will be a list of things to buy on your first trip to the grocery store. It will include a menu for the week at the top of the page, and an itemized grocery list below. At the bottom of the groceries list, you need to add at least 5 non-grocery, household products you will need for cleaning, grooming, etc.

Once you’ve completed this list, calculate the total cost by using the sum formula.