<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Category: Budgeting
 

Viewing the 'Budgeting' Category

May madness

May 3rd, 2011 at 11:45 am

New month, new budget ... new expenses. After a banner debt reduction last month (to the tune of $2,000), I knew April would be a hard month to beat. And I was right: May is already looking to hammer me with some snowflake-hungry expenditures.

The worst offender is the last minute spending that I failed to account for in last month's budget. So I'm already down nearly $200! Some of it was necessary (or so I keep telling myself), but it looks like we're going to have to majorly rein in the dining out.

May, on the other hand, is staring me down with the lament of broken necessities in its eyes. The laptop battery is near death. The kitchen faucet's handle is hanging on by the proverbial thread. Worst of all (to my DW, at least) is the inoperable ice maker. So much for making progress on debt this month.

Switching to a different topic, I applied to write for The Content Authority yesterday. Assuming my writing sample passes review, I will have the opportunity to get paid as a ghost writer. Does anyone have any experience writing online for them or other content mills like Textbroker or ecopywriters?

My monthly budget

April 20th, 2011 at 08:08 pm

Certainly, the monthly budget has been my game changer in tackling debt. I've tweaked and revised it many times in the last year, but I'm hoping that exposing it to more eyeballs might spotlight areas to improve.

-----

Monthly budget

Income (after tax, 401k, and disability ins.)

Paycheck: $3500-4720 (depending on # of Fridays)
Bonuses and other income: $150-500

Expenses

Sinking funds
Christmas gifts: $25
Home/auto repair: $50
Irregular bills: $85

Debts (minimum payments)
1st mortgage (includes PITI): $944
2nd mortgage: $245
Auto loan: $273
Credit card: $175
Student loan: $128

Bills (all on equal payment plans)
Electric: $89
Natural gas: $61
Internet/phone: $35
Water/sewer: $40
Irregular: covered by sinking fund account

Insurance
Health: $312 (covers myself and both kids)
Life: $29 ($300,000 coverage each for my wife and I)
Auto: $84 (for 2 vehicles)

Spending
Groceries: $250-300
Fuel: $275-300
Dining out: $100-150
Clothing: Variable (generally $0)
Miscellaneous (gifts and "blow" money): $25-50

-----

This is a typical monthly budget for our family, though several line item amounts vary depending on the month. Any excess cash goes straight towards paying down the highest interest debt (which currently happens to be the auto loan).

For the most part, I'm satisfied with the numbers. However, that health insurance amount just kills me every time I pull up the budget. Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out a solution (my wife is covered 100% by her employer, but my employer plan is awful and neither one covers the kids cheaper than private insurance).

So, any thoughts or suggestions on what could/should be improved upon?