Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Current Budget

Take Home – Bi Weekly = $690

Outgoing – Bi Weekly
House Payment - $375 (1/2 of the total)
Credit Card - $75
Angel Food - $25 (food package)
Soda/Beer (Hubby) - $20
Groceries - $75
Household Expense - $25
Pets (food & litter for 2 dogs and 4 cats) - $30
Yard Sales (clothing, gifts, etc) - $25
TOTAL Outgoing = $650

Take Home – Bi Monthly = $895

Savings = $100

Outgoing – Bi Monthly (Last Day of Month)
Car Insurance - $85
House Insurance - $65
Home Phone - $30
Internet - $45
Water and trash removal - $40
Property Taxes - $75
Gasoline - $150 (based on one tank of gas per week for me and one every other week for Hubby)
My nails - $20 (I have gel nail overlays)
Credit cards - $175
Medical - $50
Stop Smoking Aids - $40
TOTAL Outgoing = $791

Outgoing – Bi Monthly (15th of Month)
Bank Fees - $10
Call Phone - $112
Curves $32
Electric and gas - $225
Satellite - $55
Gasoline - $150 (based on one tank of gas per week for me and one every other week for Hubby)
SCA (Our Hobby) - $50 (this goes in savings until we need it for event fees)
My nails - $20 (I have gel nail overlays)
Credit cards - $40
Medical - $50
Stop Smoking Aids - $40
TOTAL Outgoing = $784

I can see a few things that are not frugal:


  • My nails for one. However, I have razor sharp nails that have actually cut my scalp and face while sleeping. The gel makes them not so sharp and therefore safe.

  • Curves - I'm in a contract for one year. The doctor prescribed exercise and I thought this was the best option at the time.

  • Soda & Beer - Hubby does not ask for much. He just likes the occasional cold beer and would like soda to be avaialble.

7 comments:

Mandy said...

Hi!

New reader to your blog and I find it very informative. :)

Here are some things I've noticed about your budget that could probably be changed.

- Try to consolidate your credit card bills into one. Transfer the balances to a low interest card if you can so you only have one payment.

- Why are you paying for life insurance? Do your jobs offer policies? If not, what type of policy do you have?

- As for dropping that $2,400 into savings while having a $5,500 credit card balance... bad idea. The interest rate on the savings account is more than likely MUCH lower than that of the credit cards, ergo you're losing money. Take that $2,400 and pay the credit cards. If you can't consolidate, pay off the highest interest card first while paying the minimum on the others. Once it's gone, start with the next highest, using the same payment from the first card and add the minimum you were paying on this one. Rinse & repeat.

- On the same line, why are you paying property taxes through the year? Doesn't that get put in with your mortgage payment?

- Do you really go to yard sales that often?

- Your power & gas bills are pretty high. Hopefully the warm weather will help with that?

- Forget the nails. Keep them short so you won't scratch yourself.

- House insurance... again, this isn't included in your mortgage?

- Soda - A better alternative I use to curb the carbination craving is to buy crangrape juice (or the flavor of your choice) at Sam's or Costco (big jugs) and some seltzer water from Publix (Ritz brand specifically, 2 six pack 12 oz bottles for $4.00) and mix half & half. Not only is it cheaper, but it's better for you and lasts longer.

- One thing I found missing - retirement. Are you contributing to a 401(k) plan at work? Do they match (free money)?

If you haven't read it already, check out Suze Orman's book "The Money Book for the Yong, Fabulous and Broke. Your local library should have it. It has a lot of great advice for us 30-somethings. :)

Kali said...

Hi Mandy,
We have two credit cards, one in each of our names. They are not the lowest interest rate because of past situations (exes, etc) but they are average.

Life insurance is avaialble through my job. I pay for hubby's premium but it is very reasonable.

The $2,400 is an anual thing. We have to have money for emergencies and that is one way to be sure it will be there, on hand, if we need it. Recently I had to deplete this for vehicle problems and property taxes. For this reason, we recently put property taxes into our budget.

Our mortgage is through an individual and the insurance and taxes are not included in our payment.

Our city is known for high bills. MLGW has the highest gas rates around. $225 is my AVERAGE for the year. Our bill is significantly lower than those around us.

Yard Sale money is only in spring and summer months. During that time, I do all of our clothing shopping for the next year (replacing worn out items), buy gifts, etc. This is also my only form of entertainment.

My doctor suggested the nails. Even short they cut. I have psoriasis in my nails and they are like razors - literally!

Soda is Hubby only. He has begun to significantly cut down on soda consumption and drinks iced tea, lemonade and water much of the day. I hope to have this down to 50% by the end of summer.

My 401K plan will begin in the fall (November). Hubby's job does not have any plan in place. I plan to roll my raise for 2007 (due next month) into the 401K plan as well as a small amount begining in 2008.

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Namaste,
Kali

viriatha said...

Mandy had some excellent comments but I'd like to add to it.

1) Get rid of the cell phone. Period. You can live without it really. If you need it that badly for a job, consider asking for a raise to pay for the bill.

2) My gosh, you spend alot in gasoline! Do you have any way to ride share or carpool at all?

3) Mandy suggested consolidating your credit cards. I suggest cutting them up entirely! Then pay those bills off as fast as you can with the money you save someplace else. I've used a bank card to shop online and I've never owned a credit card. They're a trap.

~Viriatha
http://cordovacreations.terapad.com/

Kali said...

Viriatha,

1) The cell phone is under a contract. Hubby MUST have one for his job. He works in apt maintenance and has to call in as needed. We will be dropping to a smaller plan in February when the contract is up (2 year plan) since you cannot down grade within the plan contract time.

2) Gas is up to $3 per gallon here and I have a 40 mile commute. There is no public transit that is dependable in Memphis. They run the MATA system irregulary to the bad neighborhoods only. Hubby works 5 miles from home so it does average out a bit.

3) We do not use the credit cards now. However, if need be, they are there.

Thank you for your comments.

Kali

viriatha said...

Guess that's where we're different :) Cards charge fees during the year I don't want to pay. Does anyone where you work live near you? Perhaps you could carpool?

Good luck! You've got the right mindset ^^

~Viriatha

Kali said...

Viriatha,

Lucky for me, the card I have has no fees.

Nobody lives as far out as I do!!

~Kali

Pam said...

I have acrylic overlays, and I recently switched to having them done every 4 weeks, from every 3. I can get away with this. If you could go one more week in between having them done, you would save $60 per year. If you could go 4 weeks, you'd cut your nail expense in half. It's small, but as you say, the small things add up.