First off, this question is related to this one.
But in general, the answers are depending on the US-Situation. I would like to ask you the same question but specified on the Situation in the European Union.
I just started a job after graduation 6months ago. My payment is appropriate to the local(Germany, Hessia) average for people of my skill and age. We don't like to talk about payment here in Germany, but it's a little under 20.000/yr (after taxes and insurances).
1/5 of my payment(net) goes in rent, I live in a shared flat and will move together with my girlfriend in a view months (searching for flat at the moment). I'm planning to pay 1/3 of my payment(net) for rent then, she is taking the costs for household (food, cleaningstuff etc). We are already living together for 2 yrs, but atm with roommates.
100-150€ goes to tobacco, ordered food and other stuff I buy just because I'm in the mood to. I don't want to cut this down because it's some kind of sense of live and not that much money I'm wasting here.
100€ goes to gas. My car just got damaged beyond repair and I had to pay my whole saving for a new one(done).
So now my saving is 0 and I want to restart, surely I can make it better this time.
After my girlfriends graduation, I'll ask her to marry me(She knows about this plan and is not happy that she must wait :D) and we both want to go this 08/15 way of "building a house" and stuff, but we both don't want children. She's going to work as a teacher, so we both can catch if one is getting unemployed.
I wonder if it might be more efficient to marry before her graduation due both, taxing and the fact that as public servant she will have benefits when she's married.
We'll need a second car then.
We strictly divide our money, she has hers I got mine. If we buy things, there's a definite owner who has bought it(e.g. the TV is hers, the bed is mine,...). Smaller things are payed by whoever just pays in this situation, we don't organize everything.
- new car every ~10yrs (price range of VW Golf)
- earning ~30% more (net) in 10yrs due pay rise and other tax category.
- girlfriend (hopefully wife then) as sidekick for large factors like the house.
- Building or buying a house in about 8-15yrs (One of the most expensive locations in the Germany here, a little south of Frankfurt am Main, building a normal one family house can easily cost about 300-500k (incl building site).
- saving for rent, so that I can pay myself a annuity of ~600€ over 15yrs + public annuity (which is to little to live and to much to die). This will happen in ~40-45yrs.
So now you know a little about my situation and expectations, what would you recommend me?