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What is the cost of your living expenses? sm

Posted By: Poll on 2005-12-01
In Reply to:

I would really like to know this as mine seem high.  My cost for the bare minimum, not including insurance, medical costs or entertainment, is about $1,800.00 per month.

Is that high to most people?  TIA.

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My cost of living expenses monthly is $2200/month
I'm self employed, so I'm killed in taxes AND I live in NY...but I wouldn't have it any other way

4 cpl goes further when cost of living is less. nm
Cost of living
Could someone live comfortably in the Phillipines on $2000 per month net with adult and 1 teenager?
Considering the high cost of living in.....
Florida, you are giving away your services.  Out in California they're getting 12-14 cents a line, and that was 5 yrs ago. 
More on high cost of living...
That is right about California; in fact, over 15 cents is common, particularly for docs and administrators who are interested in keeping the work local.
with cost of living going up and MT wages

How much do you think you would need to make a good living.  Meaning enough to cover all bills, enough to put some away for a rainy day, and enough to play, like dinners, hobbies, maybe a weekend getaway twice a year.  Be realistic.  I'm thinking for me, since i'm single, 50k a year. 

Second question.  If you hadnt gotten trapped in MT, what profession do you see yourself in maybe even earning way more than you can imagine, doing what you love?  For me, it would be psychotherapist. 

anyone???  ANYONE ???

you have a bargin cost of living!
Wow!!!! What I wouldn't give to have that as an expense!Here's mine - I live in Ventura County, California, and in one of the most expensive towns of Ventura.
House payment - $2,200.00,
insurances, all - $400.00 a month, utilities - $700.00 a month - electricity, cable is out of sight here and gas is almost double now, let's see, food, gas and personals - about $1,000.00 a month - wow!! It hurts to see it let alone pay it! (of course my home is now worth almost a million with the artifical inflate prices of real estate here).
no brainer, take it unless your cost of living....
in New York prohibits you from being able to live in a reasonable fashion on that. did you say UNION!!! Your pay will increase way more than the rest of us will ever see!
I get $23.50/hr. in N. Calif, which is still low for cost of living. nm
Almost 3 for me - no cost of living raises. - NM

Because the cost of living is higher here. Still, that
Which is exactly what it is - DISCRIMINATION based on where an applicant lives.
Not to mention that cost of living has gone up
I'm bringing home $2000/month and it's sending me right into foreclosure. My mortgage payment is a 'mere' $750/month, but add to that a car payment ($360), insurance ($200), electric ($150), water ($50), internet ($80), satellite TV ($50), for a total of about $1630, leaving me $370. After I pay that, I am supposed to give my daughter $300/month toward college expenses- room, food, books, etc. That means I get $70/month to feed and clothe myself. Five years ago, I was able to provide my son $1300/month for school and I paid $1500/month rent then...W2s from then show I was making $60,000 year. But in this brave new multinational world with the 'be glad you've got a job' mentality, we're tearing out each others' throats for the privilege of earning peanuts (which at least provide me protein).

So be glad I've got a job? Yeah, chicken ramen noodles are better than just plain noodles. That doesn't make them good.
Cost of living inquiry $1800/mo. (sm)

That's only electric, heat, cable, and mortgage.

Add in insurances, life, health, car etc. and you're talking  another $1200 more. Hubby drives a 12 year old PU truck and I drive a 13 year old car. BUT, 4 more years for our mortage...yippee....but it should have been paid off in 1991. Remortgaged so we could build a larger place. Still not finished with the house and it's been 11 years. No time, no money left over to finish. That's okay. I can deal with that.

If you live somewhere with a high cost of living, like
MTSOs are too cheap to give us a wage we can live on. CA also has more laws protecting the worker.
They'll figure it out as the cost of living in India rises
and their pay-per-line doesn't.
This has not always been the case, hence it hurts more. Merit raise/cost of living raise
cost of living raises? any raises?

I have no expenses except to buy my
computer, desk and chair, which after time becomes a wash and are nominal expenses. All my references are online paid for by the company (all Stedman electronic word books, my free personal subscription to Monthly Prescribing Reference, etc.)
Maybe you can cut your expenses? sm
If you are using telephones for dictation, maybe switch to handheld units? Or use a TASP to save money on calls? Use the Internet more to cut down on expenses. Hope this helps. If you can, keep your clients. They are hard to come by nowadays.
Remember that's $40 before all expenses. nm
Medical expenses

January, 2000 - DH tore rotator cuff, needed MRI/arthrogram, followed by rotator cuff repair.

January, 2001 - I had foot surgery in podiatrist's office. 

January, 2002 - DH had cervical MRI/myelogram, followed by anterior cervical diskectomy with fusion, two levels.

January,  2003 - DH had knee MRI, followed by arthroscopy.

January, 2004 - I had LASIK surgery. 

OMYGOSH, it's almost January again! 

Why not just add it to your business expenses? nm
You can still deduct your MT expenses if your and IC - sm
regardless of taking the standard deduction. Your write offs for MT are on the Schedule C (not B). My husband and I take the standard deduction as we don't have enough on our Sch. B; then I write off all my IC deductions and report my income on the Sch. C.; putting the bottom line (income minus IC write-offs) on the 1040 line 12. So I am not quite clear on what you are talking about but I know how I do it is how most of us (if not all) do our deductions. You may want to do an amended return.
Tax Deductible Expenses
We ran a business for years from our home.  As far as I know, you can take the base rate of your telephone bill as an expense (which includes FCC taxes) and any long distance calls related directly to the business.  As for Home Owners Insurance, you can take 7% of the insurance because you use 7% of your home for your business.  Also, anything related to the business such as equipment, paper, tapes or special software programs can be taken as well.  If you have to travel to deliver the finished reports, I believe the rate is 28 cents a mile.  If you travel, you can also deduct any maintenance on your vehicle.   Hope this helps. 
Taxes, Expenses
I would have internet anyway; now I get to write it off. I would have long distance anyway; now I get to write it off. Everyone pays taxes and insurance, it is just a matter of who is doing the bookkeeping. Walmart STARTS at $8/hour and then when they pay all that same stuff they are really making $5- $6. You can write off ALL your health insurance, a portion of your utilities and the area you work in, computer, software, and other supplies.....save on gas (this is HUGE right now), work clothes, make up, day care, and and and. There's always more than one way to view something.
Also, are these figures before tax/expenses or after? sm
Some ICs might be quoting their pay before taxes and expense deductions, which isn't their ACTUAL pay for the year. If someone has their own accounts and says they bring in $50K per year, that's possible, but probably not the amount they receive free and clear.

I find it hard to believe anyone makes that much free and clear unless they are working 12 hours a day, every day, and pulling in a significantly high per-line rate. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I base this opinion on the fact that I make a very good line rate, type over 100 wpm for easy accounts I've had for years, and still don't bring in that kind of money free and clear. I come close with my gross income, but after taxes and expenses, it's only about 65% of that! And I work 9-10 hours a day with only one week of vacation per year.

Come to think of it, that's pretty sad when I see it on paper. LOL I'm going to go look for a new line of work now.
$350 a month for my share of expenses.
get a credit card just for your IC expenses
it will keep all your expenses in one place and you won't need to keep receipts, just the credit card statements. Other than that, track mileage, though to be frank most people will just claim an average mileage and then create a mileage journal if audited. Also if you will take the home office deduction, you can claim percentage of heating, etc. but easy enough to do that. Might be worth your while to consult with a CPA if you take the IC job, and then the first year that you do your taxes. He can explain everything you need and then you can take it from there. Just one or two more forms to fill out, nothing earth-shattering.
Poll: Earnings vs Expenses

1.  What are your monthly earnings -- just you (no spousal income) -- doesn't matter how many jobs....monthly earnings?

2.   Do you work more than one job?

3.  What is your base line rate?  If you have more than 1 job, list all base rates.

4.   Now what is the minimum bring-home pay you need to survive each month?  This is your housing, energy, transportation, insurances, food -- what you have to have to make it. 

5.   What's the difference?  Are you in the hole?  Got surplus?  Breaking even?

My answers:

1.   About $3100 each month.

2.   One job.

3.   $0.095 cpl plus some incentive bonus each month.

4.   $2287 gets everything paid.  Savings and pocket money not included in that figure.

5.   Surplus but not much.  Trying to save as much as possible and have a few greenbacks in my wallet each week. 



Was told could deduct pet expenses. sm.
If it is a dog and is over 50 pounds, you can claim its food, vet bills, pet insurance, vaccinations all that as long as your business is run from your home. It applies as a guard dog. It does not matter which breed the dog is either. This is the state of Missouri, not sure about other states.

I am gonna try it as we shelled out alot of money over a period of time for a dog that was poisoned. Luckily, he lived.

as if I were working outside the home, if not more.  The only thing I would spend money on an outside job would be the $4.00 daily bus fare.  I have more than enough clothes for work, no problem there, maybe lunch or can brown-bag.  The company pays the office space, light, electricity, internet, cable, AIR CONDITIONING in summer (imp.)

On the other hand, even as an employee, I am not reimbursed for my high-speed, HIGH-COST cable/DSL/telephone I need to make these few cents a line, electric costs, lights, AC BILL JUMPS WHEN SITTING AT PC ALL DAY IN SUMMER, buy my own office supplies, books, references. 

Just another mind sc---ing they give you by telling you it's cheaper to work at home.  (I have no kids). 

6 months of expenses "tucked/socked" away? No way. sm
I am the owner of a small transcription company. We have 50 transcriptionists. We invoice $150,000 per month. Our payroll, taxes, manager salaries, postage, bank fees, overhead, etc run approximately $140,000 per month. That means that we should have $840,000 tucked away somewhere. No way. We depend on our customers to pay. Our employees are paid on time and paid a decent rate. Our bills are paid. To say that someone needs 6 months of expenses put away is unrealistic and naive. Where did I attend school? For undergrad, University of Michigan, for graduate school, Northwestern University, with a master's degree in Business Management and a Bach degree in Finance. The rule of thumb is to have one payroll worth of cash on hand or a line of credit available equal to that amount.

It's really annoying that people can toss out comments like that, stating them as if they were fact, without any basis of fact. Most companies do not have close to a million dollars lying around. If they do, it is foolish.
I also took home office expenses as an employee, but --
You can only get any good out of it if you are also a homeowner with a lot of mortgage interest or have a lot of medical expenses, etc., that would make it higher than the standard deduction.
deducting home office expenses -
For the home office expense - You would measure the amount of space you actually use to work (your desk area) and figure the percentage of that square footage to your total square footage. Then you would use that percentage of your utilities costs, etc., to count on your taxes.
I got into this because it paid more money and I didn't have daycare expenses.
I have more time for a social life now that I work at home.  I go to lunch or coffee with family and friends.  I used to run errands on my lunch half-hour at my old job and either pay my bills or balance my checkbook on my breaks.  I know all the other parents at the school now, so we get together on weekends or chitchat at the school.  When I used to work outside the home, I was so exhausted from dealing with crabby people all day long that I just wanted to isolate myself at home on evenings and weekends.  Now that I work at home, I actually seek out friends to keep from getting isolated.
You could take him to small claims to get expenses and pain and suffering.
Need help with calculating expenses for bid on large account. At the moment I do not know *sm*
how many lines they dictate per day/week.  I am going to call the person who sent me the bid forms and ask.  I do not have my own call-in system and would be using a TASP. Can someone tell me that currently uses a TASP how to go about figuring my costs in so that I do not under bid.  I know that each dictator and the type of report is going to vary but on an average what would you say?  Bottom line is I need to know how many cents per line I need to charge to cover the call-in system and my other expenses.  Another thing they listed in the bid is that the vendor is to provide all other supplies including plain paper to complete each assignment.  The hospital will provide any special letterhead, envelopes, etc.  How do you provide the paper and probably the toner if you are doing this remotely?  Would there be any other expenses that would fall under other supplies that you can think of other than toner and paper?  How much toner and paper do I provide or should I ask the hospital what they use on a  weekly basis?  I would assume I have the right to ask questions as to how much paper, toner, how many lines they do each day or week on average.  I want this account very much but I do not want to have to pay a cheap line rate and I need to make this worth my while.  Thank you very much for you help. 
One thing also - keep all your receipts of any business related expenses

I have a folder and everytime I buy anything related to work whether it be a pen, a printer ribbon, a book, a keyboard, etc.  I put in that folder.  Those things add up and they are all deductible which comes off of your gross.  This is in addition to the home use of your office.  A statutory IC is a great way to go because you don't have to pay the entire social security but you are still IC and can utilize the business deductions.  If you pay your own health insurance and it is in your name that is also deductible.  Keep good records...this is the most important I have learned being an IC.  Also you will probably have to file quarterly if you make over a certain amount.  If you don't you will be penalized by IRS and have to pay the penalty fee with your April 15th filing. And also remember to figure your state taxes for the year.   However it does depend on your personal situation and if you file jointly with your husband that may change things.  Good luck.

Personally I think IC is great but unless you have some really good deductions you can end up paying a lot in taxes.  If you have to pay your own social security at 15% and you were taxed at 20% rate for federal and let's say 6% for state you would be paying 41% of your income in taxes which is no fun.  But you only pay on your net income and not your gross so it sort of comes out in the wash.


home office expenses are still deductible if you are an employee - nm
Any help on form 8829*Expenses for Business Use of your Home would be greatly

Hi All,

I was a statutory employee last year but not now.  I usually do my own taxes but am having trouble with form 8829 and am not sure if the accountant can squeeze me in at this late date.  Thought I would try here first for help.  I use my den exclusively for work (almost) and am going to take this 7% of our home as a business expense. 

Under Part II... Lines 10 and 11.  Deductible mortgage interest and real estate taxes...I am going to take the entire amount on schedule A, so, hopefully, do not have to enter anything here. 

line 17. Insurance.  Are we allowed to take a portion of our homeowners insurance as a deduction? I have no separate business insurance. 

Line 19. Utilities.  I know I can take 7% of my electric, gas, water, garbage (I think), but what about phones? We have both cell and regular phone.  When I call, I use the regular phone for toll free numbers, but the cell phone to my boss who does not have a toll free #. 

Then, I need to find the value of my home for Part III. I guess I will check home sales in the neighborhood and go by that. 

Geez..sorry for sounding like such a dummy.  I can do all the other...capital gains, etc, just not sure what is allowed for home expenses.

As I say, I will try to get in to the accountant, but any advise for any of this form would be greatly appreciated.  I cannot complete schedule A until I have my Profit or Loss done, which I cannot complete until I do this form.


I too question you overhead expenses. I work for a company that only gets 11-12 cpl and pays us 8-8.
True but that is to cover the expenses like rent, office supplies, sm
manager salaries. That does not include payroll that is based on service.

A good example woould be this: You are starting a book store. You need to plan the original inventory and six months worth of expenses. If you sell that inventory, you use the money from that to buy more books. If you do not sell any at first, you can stay in business for six months while you get noticed.

With transcription or any service business, you need enough in the bank to cover the same expenses, those that can keep you afloat while building your client base. However, you only hire more people as you get more customers. The payroll does not figure into the 6 months as it is based on what you provide, whereas the 6 months takes into account what it takes to get it going even if you do not have 1 employee.

Very, very few companies can have $800,000 lying around. If they did, they probably would need to invest it in equipment or spend it in other ways or the IRS would consider it profit and tax the heck out of it!
I figure income minus expenses, send 23% for federal and 7.5% to state--sm
quarterly. The state probably differs state to state, but that is the percentile my accountant came up with. Have never had to pay and additional.
I deduct all expenses that relate to my home office-% of utilities, taxes, repairs to that room, --s
mortgage (we do not plan to sell our house so this deduction will not affect us)as my office is used only for that purpose, internet, phone, I print out a daily schedule so paper/ink, computer repairs, pens, pencils, tape, staples, file cabinets, storge bins for tax recepts/tax returns,file folders. Anything/everything I use to do my job.

I was using mileage for another account where I pick up tapes every day, but found for me the time it took to keep track of the mileage, write it down, add it up was not worth the effort so I quit doing it this year.
Anybody know what living in Ky is like?

You want to make a living don't you?
Then you listen to idiot dictators.  You want to be in the spotlight and be on TV, stay in Aruba.  You want to grieve the loss of your daughter privately, stay at home and appoint a spokesperson.  You ultimately make choices about what you do based on facts and necessities.  It is NOT NECESSARY for Mrs. Twitty to be in Aruba or if she decides she rests more easily in Aruba it is NOT NECESSARY for her to give press conferences acusing people of being criminals or incompetency. 
the living conditions

The only life they know is confinement and pain.  From the little I let myself watch, they have absolutely no room to move, they are crammed and shoved in together.  They don't get to roam and do whats natural to them outdoors.  They are being born and raised primarily to be brutalized for crop.  Like a canned food factory.  They get their body parts cut off, injuries from other animals, and have to live in physical pain until they are ready to be put out of their misery for whatever purpose they serve.

In all honesty, I absolutely love meat and enjoy it on rare occasions, and it is meant for us to consume.  There is another way to do it!  They cannot be treated as if they do not have feelings, they 'feel' pain, the mother's are distressed when their calves are taken away, the calves are scared, you see it in their eyes, as another living thing, you have got to connect with this.  Its an awful way for any living thing to go through, even in a short time. 

I can see being raised on a farm, room to roam, be outside, run, eat normally, socialize with their breed, have a life.  They do not know the better that they are being raised for our consumption, there are living in peace without pain and living freely.  Being crammed, thrown around, beaks cut off, having throats slit, hung upside down while still alive thriving in pain is not a peaceful life. 

Sounds like you are living beyond
your means or you've got absolutely the lowest paying 3 positions in the world, which still means you are living beyond your means if you can't afford to simply live.

The house pymt, car pymt and utilities and food -- those things are supposed to be put on "the paper" when you budget.

I feel for you but something truly isn't adding up here. I don't believe you're in as hot water as you say. SOunds like either super poor money mgmt or a strange sense of priorities.

Either way, good luck.

wouldn't that be the living end?

Talk about production!!!

However, that only works if the person who has dictated the voice file is also the one who trained Dragon on the system. IOW, Dr Smith has DNS 8 Med Suite in his office, and he's trained it enough to provide a good level of accuracy. He can dictate into the mobile unit, say, after seeing a patient, but things still have to be in the same manner that he dictates into DNS on his home system. He can give the voice file to his office manager to upload and do the editing.

But you can't do that with Dr Smith's dictation, unless Dr Smith has sat at your computer and trained it. As soon as you input the voice file, your system will give you a great big "do what?"

I hope this explains things better.

living it for the past 2.5 yrs---
my ex quite working a legal job so he doesn't have to pay support.  my 3 yo son was able to get insurance through the state but it was very hard to get (and didn't keep it) they don't cover that much. the state keeps rewriting the laws and cut benefits each time.  I'm an ic and have my own health ins for my son and myself. I'm robbing peter to pay paul right now and probably will be for a long time.  we're doing without a lot of things so that I don't have to take a job outside of the house not to mention that I couldn't afford full time child care.   I would try getting extra side jobs so that you could stay home.   I worked 3 jobs for 2 years and went down to one job that promised full time work a couple of months ago and needless to say they haven't kept up their end of the deal-as usual-so I'm looking to pick up at least 1 other job.  the peace of mind knowing that I'm here and flexible, especially if my son gets sick, isn't worth trading right now.
Look at working for a living like this: (SM)

YOU don't work for SOMEONE/COMPANY.  You work for yourself (even if you're an employee).  I say that because you are working to provide your own needs, not those of whomever benefits from your work.  You arre responsible for providing for yourself and it is your personal responsibility to make sure your own needs are met.  If the beneficiary of your need to work (i.e., pay bills, earn money, whatever) is not providing what you need, you owe it to yourself to take care of yourself and find enough work to achieve that goal.

Now, I'm not saying don't have a team attitude or be selfish, demanding, negative, self centered, but when you think about it, NO one is going to take better care of you than YOU!  If you are sitting around waiting for someone else to take care of you, then you are not taking care of yourself.  Get proactive!  Find a supplement source of income.  The first company doesn't need to know what you are doing...besides, if you are an IC, by IRS guidelines, YOU are in control, not them.  They only need you IF they need you and have no obligation to be reliable in meeting your financial needs.

Really meaning to help.

off my