Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April/May Budget

April/May Budget

April is almost over, but the budget shouldn’t be changing much between now and next month. I’ll give this an initial posting and then hope to explain some ‘odd’ numbers from it.

Bills (Electric) $108.00
Car Insurance $42
Car repairs/upkeep $40
Cellphone $30.00
Clothing $20
Free Money $60
Gas $200
Groceries $120
Health $80
Rent $280
Savings $20
Student Loans:
AES $257
Private loan $100
Direct Loan $65
Sallie Mae $79

Grand Total: $1500/month

Bills – in my currently living arrangement the only thing I need to worry about is the electric. Some months are high than others. With that in mind I want to keep any ‘extra’ money from month to month for those times which require more electric to be used.

Car Insurance – currently I’m on a month to month plan, which is costing me about an extra $4 a month. With the next renewal I plan to switch to just pay all 6 months at once. I have very basic insurance. My car is probably worth less than $500. Yup, an old beat up thing. I don’t care. She’s all payed off my Lizy Luminia of the clan Chevy.

Car repairs/upkeep – This should be a lot higher! With a car approaching age 20 she needs a lot of work ever time inspection comes around, but I don’t have much extra to spare.

Cellphone – Still on one of those family plans with my parents. Next year we need to recalculate the price because dad never did when he added things like unlimited texting to all lines instead of just my sisters. He hardly ever uses his.

Clothing – I’m not a big shopper. Enough said.

Free Money – It is what it is. Each week I go to the bank and draw out some cash. This is all I have for my week of entertainment of any variety. Can be tough, but most weeks I find I still have a dollar or two left over.

Gas – Last post I mentioned living about 45-60 minute drive from my primary job. That eats up a lot of gas and old Lizy isn’t exactly the most eco-friendly car in the world.

Groceries – This is the amount I set aside to put toward food, toiletries and cleaning supplies. I do get an additional $40 from my sweet heart and with that I manage. I know this isn’t a lot, but combining with drugstore deals and coupons it is very possible to do. Every now and again I might dip into my ‘Free Money’ but I’ve never been hungry. Some people still look at me funny. One of my previous roommates told me “You don’t have to live like a pauper any more. We’re not in college.” I only looked and told her “This is what I can afford.” Her grocery budget is three times mine, but she is also the one who told me “I’ll always have a credit card payment. It’s the only way to get the stuff you want.”

Health – Currently I have an emergency health plan. Last year HR screwed up my open enrollment so I didn’t get the paper work in time. When the renewal comes up this cost will go down. Yea! That’s not until June 1st though.

Rent – I know this is a low number even with a roommate, my sweetheart. My sweetheart pays about $400 of the rent. He also pays for our internet. Unfair? He doesn’t pay for the electric or groceries except for that $40 I mentioned earlier. He knows I don’t have a lot of spare cash and he’s willing to help out with that.

Savings – Honestly I think I should just pay all the loans straight out. Realistically I need at least a little something to be going into savings. You never know what might happen.

Student Loans – Do I really need to explain?

One further note: Any extra money above and beyond get lumped into the student loan category. Currently I’m project to pay everything off (only paying the minium) in 15 to 20 years. I want to do it in 5. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to, but that is the goal.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Beginning

I’ve thought about this for a while. I keeping thinking to myself that I should write a blog about becoming free of debt. I might not have a lot compared to others my age, but it’s still there. $44,000 for student loans is a good bit, but I don’t have any other kinds of debt. (This is the approximate amount just for a general idea.) What would this blog be about? Saving money and getting rid of all that debt. (FREEDOM! Yes, I’m a fan of Dave Ramsey.)

Where to start? I’m 25 years of age with a BA in Anthropology and I have extensive collage credit in computer science, almost enough for a BS. (Maybe I’ll finish it off one of these days.) I work a full time job (in retail) and a part time job (with a consulting firm) clocking in 50-55 hours/week between the two. My full time job is almost an hour away so there isn’t always a lot of extra time on any given day.

I live with my sweetheart as my last two roommates didn’t work out. We could be friends or roommates not both. (Money changes everything.) Moving back in with my parents was not an option because it would have destroyed my relationship with my mother. It would have been a better finical decision, but my relationship with her is far too important to risk obliterating. We would have driven each other absolutely nuts! (I’m not kidding. Someone would have ended up in the hospital. I swear it.)

I have a budget and have managed to live on it for about 4 or 5 years now. (Doesn’t mean I followed it 100% of the time.) I had some early practice with the budget during the last two years in college. I go over it once every two to three months (sometimes obsessively once a week) and make adjustments as needed. I would like to post the budget on this blog, but I don’t know if that is really a smart idea.

I think this will be a good start. Hopefully I can post things about deals I manage to score and that kind of thing. More than anything I would like to keep the focus on getting out of debt. However saving money on things is part of that process so it might turn more into a deal blog that brings a lot of life into it.