Leyia and Larry Hartley of Columbus, Ohio have decided to start a family next year, so they are looking over their budget (illustrated in Table 3-5 as the “young married couple”). Leyia thinks that she can go on half-salary ($2,400 instead of $4,800 per month) in her job as a college textbook sales representative for about 18 months after the baby’s birth; she will then return to full-time work.
(a) Looking at the Hartley’s current monthly budget, identify categories and amounts in their budget where they realistically might cut back $2,400. (Hint: Federal and state taxes should drop about $600 a month ($7,200 annually) as their income drops.)
(b) Assume that Leyia and Larry could be persuaded not to begin a family for another five years. What specific budgeting recommendations would you give them for handling (i) their fixed expenses and (ii) their variable expenses to prepare financially for an anticipated $2,400 loss of income for 18 months as well as the expenses for the new baby?
(c) If the Hartley’s gross income of $8,830 rises 3 percent per year in the future, what will their income be after five years? (Hint: See Appendix A.1 or the Garman/Forgue companion website.)