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  • Budget

    IMC! Spending Plan
    S.M.A.R.T. goals
    When setting goals it helps to make sure that they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound.  It'll be more likely that you actually follow through and achieve your goals.


    "I'll go to the coffee shop only twice each week" is more specific than "I won't go to the coffee shop as much as I used to."


    "I will call and speak to an advocate at my local Parent Center to get at least one list of organizations that might be able to help pay for assistive technology" is measurable; "I want to find out how other parents pay for assistive technology" is not.


    "I will save $5 a week" is more achievable than "I am going to save $50 a week" if you don't have the money.


    "I will shop around for a low-rate, low-fee credit card by the end of the month" is realistic only if you set aside the time to actually do that.

    Time bound

    "I will start contacting funding sources for assistive technology by the end of next week" is a more specific time frame than "I will start looking for funding sources after the holidays."
    Time based goals

    Goals for spending get broken in to 3 categories: Short Term, Mid Term, and Long Term goals. Making this distinction helps you plan your saving and spending in order to reach your goals.

    A short-term goal

    (Less than a year) might be something like buy a new CD or setting up an Emergency Fund with 6 months expenses in it.

    A mid-term goal

    (Under 5-years) could be to invest $1200 a year for grand total of $6000 in 5-Years time.

    A long-Term goal

    (More than 5-years) is something like having saved up a certain amount of money towards buying a house, or have $1,000,000 saved for retirement.

    Develop a budget

    After you've decided what goals you want to accomplish and figured out the numbers that you need to meet, follow these 3-steps to budgeting your way to those goals: Planning, Tracking, and Reviewing. 

    You may use either of these two forms to help you budget. 

      Budget Worksheet
    Click here  for this basic form 
      Personal Monthly Budget
    Click here  for this more detailed form




    Calculate your income and expenses and write them down.  You can use the forms above to help you.  After that you can visibly see how long it will take to save for different things, and remember to keep some money saved away for when the forces of chaos, evil, and mayhem decide to break something expensive.

    Average Student Budget



    Watch your money, keep your receipts, keep a purchase log, track your accounts online, and whatever else you can do to keep an eye on your money.  It will be easier to save and to prevent identity theft.



    Regularly check your accounts to make sure your sticking to your budget and that others aren't accessing you're accounts.


    Gross Pay

    This is your total hourly wage.

    State Tax Withholding

    You will pay a percentage of your gross pay as State Tax withholdings. These taxes pay for state level activities, and though the percents vary from state to state, it is currently about 10% in Wisconsin.

    Federal Tax Withholding

    Similar to State Tax withholding, you will most likely pay another 10% from each paycheck to the United States Federal Government.


    The Federal Income Contributions Act costs about 12.4% of your paycheck. That money will go towards paying Social Security, and another 2.9% will cover Medicare. Your employer may pay half leaving 7.65% to you.

    Net Pay

    After the approximate 27.65% of your pay has been deducted, what is left is your net pay.
    Sources of income

    Wage Employment

    Salaried Employment



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    Money Couple
    Interesting Facts 

    If the money you spend in four years at a public college was a stack of pennies, it could reach more than 8.5 miles high, higher than most airplanes fly.

     84% of college students have a credit card.  50% of them have 4 or more.

    The average total debt for the Class of 2013 is $35,200.

    There will be approximately $1,200,000,000,000 in circulation in 2013.

    $67,000,000,000 in student loans were in default in 2011.


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