152 votes

Is $20/day and $603/month (USD) a lot, average or little for one person's "food and related" costs?

because I feel as if I'm living on poverty levels with 100% frozen junk food Considering that frozen junk food is about the most expensive food you can buy, I fail to see how that is poverty level. ...
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  • 11.4k
78 votes

Is $20/day and $603/month (USD) a lot, average or little for one person's "food and related" costs?

Some years ago I backed a kickstarter for Good and Cheap, a cookbook aimed at people "with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget". That's poverty level, at least in '...
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  • 3,602
77 votes

Are there any financial disadvantages to living significantly "below your means"?

It's important to differentiate between "living below your means" and being smart about money. Buying a used car with low mileage is generally a smart financial decision considering every car becomes ...
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  • 2,232
65 votes
Accepted

Charging the company I work for to rent from myself

Your biggest problem is that this may be seen as a conflict of interest - in other words there is potential for you to make decisions about company money that benefit you, rather than the company. ...
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  • 30.3k
59 votes

How to categorize time spent on family work as billable expense

Assuming you're in the US, you can't do that. The IRS doesn't value your time, they value your revenue and actual expenses. For your personal record keeping you can call it whatever you want, but for ...
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  • 63.9k
48 votes

How to manage monthly salary

A simple budget spreadsheet is fine for this. In one tab, track all your income: - take-home money from employment (use an online calculator to estimate if you only know your gross salary, but ...
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  • 21.8k
46 votes

What method do I use to pay current expenses while paying off credit card debt?

While you have credit card balances that are accruing interest, you should not be charging anything new to the credit cards. There are a few reasons for this. When your credit card has a balance ...
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45 votes

Is $20/day and $603/month (USD) a lot, average or little for one person's "food and related" costs?

In Sweden the Konsumentverket does yearly calculations on reasonable household expenses. These numbers are used for things like social welfare budgets. The following numbers is from their 2019 report: ...
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37 votes

Are there any financial disadvantages to living significantly "below your means"?

Other answers do a good job explaining direct financial disadvantages, so here's another point of view: Living frugally might negatively affect your social life. For example, if your friends like ...
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36 votes

How to categorize time spent on family work as billable expense

Years ago I did some free work for a non-profit and I asked my accountant if I could deduct that effort as an expense. He explained why I couldn't like this: If you want to deduct it, then invoice ...
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  • 45.6k
32 votes
Accepted

Can I send back money I "loaned" from my personal account to business account?

You won’t have to pay tax on it, but if HMRC asks about it (unlikely but possible) you will have to explain it. But saying “I was repaying myself the money I put in to start the business”, together ...
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  • 22.2k
27 votes

How to manage monthly salary

Vicky provided a great answer and I agree that a spreadsheet is good for budgeting, some of the budgeting apps available make it easier to track spending or resolve deficits/overages in your budget, ...
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  • 63.9k
26 votes

How to manage monthly salary

I think there are a couple of budgeting tools that have served me very well. Consider the big picture Think about money in terms of years, not paychecks. Netflix isn't just $12 per month, just one ...
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  • 48.5k
26 votes
Accepted

What does an IRS interview request entail when called in to verify expenses for a sole proprietor small business?

Should I hire a tax person to represent me? Or go in myself? I'm just afraid of saying the wrong stuff. I can't tell you whether or not you should hire someone, but here are some things you should ...
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  • 63.9k
23 votes
Accepted

What is fuel surcharge in India?

Credit card companies charge 2%-3% transaction fees. On typical retail transactions [buying clothes, groceries, electronic goods, etc] the margin is in excess of 10-30%. Hence the Merchants tend to ...
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  • 467
22 votes

Is $20/day and $603/month (USD) a lot, average or little for one person's "food and related" costs?

For the Netherlands you can check out the site from nibud: https://www.nibud.nl/consumenten/wat-geeft-u-uit-aan-voeding/ Here it states that the average costs for daily food related costs for a male ...
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21 votes

Is $20/day and $603/month (USD) a lot, average or little for one person's "food and related" costs?

It's a lot. Definitely above average and well above poverty. I've managed to live on $160/month with limited time to cook and still occasionally eating out (though this only accounts for about 80% of ...
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  • 348
19 votes

Are there any financial disadvantages to living significantly "below your means"?

The big financial disadvantage is likely to be the risk that the low priced home you purchase appreciates more slowly (or declines in value) compared to the better house you could have afforded. This ...
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  • 20.4k
18 votes

Are there any financial disadvantages to living significantly "below your means"?

For quite a number of products, the cheaper option ends up being more expensive over time, an often quoted paragraph in that context is the Boots theory of socio-economic unfairness which highlights ...
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15 votes

How to account for startup costs for an LLC from personal money?

Typically you give a loan to the company from yourself as a private person, and when the company makes money the company pays it back to you. Then the company pays for all the expenses with the money ...
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  • 20.9k
15 votes

Are there any financial disadvantages to living significantly "below your means"?

The downside to living below your means, is that you don't have the same level of luxuries attainable if you lived at your means. You may also have fewer opportunities. This can impact your life in ...
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14 votes

Should there be a copay after "out-of-pocket maximum"

Your best bet is to call your insurance provider and ask. Typically copays do not count towards the deductible but do count towards the Out Of Pocket Max. It's probably the case that the PCP does not ...
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  • 45.6k
14 votes

What method do I use to pay current expenses while paying off credit card debt?

can I use my credit cards for the monthly expenses Sure you can. But I think you're really asking if it's wise to use the card for monthly expenses. My answer is NO, especially if you're in so much ...
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  • 48.7k
13 votes
Accepted

How do I efficiently add credit card expenses to my monthly budget?

Is your credit card spending on things outside the categories listed in your question? I generally don't put credit card expenditures in their own category of spending because I'm buying things like ...
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13 votes

What method do I use to pay current expenses while paying off credit card debt?

While in my heart, I respect Ben's answer, let me play devil's advocate. You don't mention the details for each card, the credit line, interest rate current balance. Say you have one card that offers ...
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13 votes

Is $20/day and $603/month (USD) a lot, average or little for one person's "food and related" costs?

In the US, there's an invaluable resource we use when figuring out a reasonable grocery budget. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) puts out a monthly report at https://www.fns.usda.gov/cnpp/usda-...
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  • 231
13 votes
Accepted

In a Budget is Saving Considered an Expense?

I have a saving section but I am not sure if it is considered an expense? and how do you account for it at the bottom of the budget Budgeting approaches can vary. In my opinion, a zero-based budget ...
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  • 63.9k
12 votes

Should I buy a new car if I have only worked at my job for 8 months?

A brand-new car is a luxury purchase that loses ~10% of its value the moment you drive it out of the dealership. It sounds like what you need is a reliable used car. That would be an investment in ...
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  • 28.6k
11 votes
Accepted

Should there be a copay after "out-of-pocket maximum"

Generally speaking, under an standard Obamacare plan, you should not have to pay any copays or coinsurance on any essential benefits once you have met your out-of-pocket maximum (Obamacarefacts.com). ...
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  • 601
11 votes

How to manage monthly salary

In addition to the other fine answers here regarding spreadsheets, and zero-based budgets, I have found that another great key to success is to only allocate money to be spend in the month after it ...
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