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Archive for May, 2015

Budget

May 31st, 2015 at 06:26 pm

Hmmm…I clicked post, but the entry didn't show up on my page. Fortunately, I wrote most of it in Word so I didn’t have to re-write most of the below post--but if it shows as being posted twice, I apologize!

First some good news—we got a good deal on husband’s computer, which only cost $422 (we couldn’t just get the most basic, since he uses it for programming and stuff). I was hoping to keep this under $500, and it was! And since it’s a Lenovo, we’re hoping it lasts through the end of grad school. Also, our car repair ended up only costing $95—the struts didn’t need to be replaced, it was just something with the suspension! Since unexpected expense only totals $517 we won’t need to go into my buffer or the EF. Yay !

So now on to our budget—I’m super motivated to find at least a TIIINY bit that we can put towards retirement. Of course, what really needs to happen is I need to get a job (had a phone interview last week, and will hopefully be scheduling an in-person interview in couple days—fingers crossed!)

1769 Monthly income—husband is a grad student, I’m not working right now
-790 Rent—included in our rent is internet and all utilities but electricity
-40 Electric bill—this is usually upper 20s unless we use the AC, but I prefer to round up the budget to be safe
-332 Groceries—this is budgeted at 75 a week, but we’re usually closer to 65. Fortunately (for our budget), we don’t have any little mouths to feed (not for a couple more years, at least!), so it’s just the two of us.
-80 Eating out—in case we feel like going out! We’ll spend this at one go in special months like anniversary if we do a day trip. Other times we go out a couple times a month with friends or on date nights. I think we could cut back here…
-30 Gasoline—we have an old Saturn so it doesn’t take much gas(since it is basically made of plastic). We also don’t have to drive much—mostly just weekends for outings and groceries. Husband buses/walks to work depending on weather
-8 Netflix—we don’t have cable and like to watch movies! I’d really rather not cut this.
-50 Cell phones—we each have a cell phone…we consider this a necessary expense
-25 Laundry—coin-op in our building, we aren’t allowed to have a machine in our apt
-86 Personal spending—we each get 10 a week for whatever we want. Husband uses his b/c he likes to go out to lunch sometimes—I don’t usually use mine
-10 Cleaning supplies and toiletries
-118 Debt payments (student loan and dentist)
-65 Car, renters, and dental insurance
----
130 (usually closer to 200, depending on other expenses that come up)

Since I’m not working now, I just let this overage accumulate to pay for periodic expenses I’m not sure how to plan for like gifts and various necessary costs (like car repair, new computer, clothes)…but this builds up more than necessary. Somebody commented on my previous post about what a difference just $50 a month makes over time…so I think starting this month (June!) we’re going to try that. We have my buffer fund and an emergency fund, but for some reason it’s tough for me psychologically to have us cut it so close at the end of each month.

Anyhow, if you have any advice/suggestions, feel free to comment! The husband does NOT enjoy financial discussions, and any conversation I try to start about our budget and financial goals gets met with him saying he trusts me to figure it out and that he’ll go along with whatever. Ugh. I love the man, but he can be so frustrating sometimes.

Getting to terms with our present financial situation...

May 30th, 2015 at 05:54 pm

I decided to join this site as a way of keeping myself accountable and motivating myself (as the budget-handler of the house) to keep us on track to eliminate our debt and start saving for retirement. I found this site shortly after I started trying to plan for longer-term goals (like retirement) and was impressed with how so many people here were having success in building toward their goals--I hope to do the same! Below is my work-up of our current financial state.

My student loan: $5,310 (yikes! but much better than the $12,000+ it was when it entered repayment in February...paid most of that down with my previous job, but since I quit we've only been making around $60 payments each month..interest rate is 4.25% This is the debt we most want to get rid of ASAP)

Husband's student loan: $5,500 (but since he's in grad school, and this is a subsidized loan, it is currently deferred and not accruing interest. Since there will be a 6 month grace period between when he graduates and when this goes into repayment, I don't consider this a priority to save for...especially since he's got another four-five years. I think saving for retirement is probably a more pressing need)

Dental bill: $924 (root canal...ugh. In any case, this is at 0% financing for 18mos, so we're paying $60 a month to get it paid off well within the promotional period)

Total debt: $11,746 (OUCH)

That is rather high. Fortunately we don't have any credit card debt...we use credit cards for groceries and gas whenever possible for the rewards, but we have always paid the full balances off each month.

In terms of savings, we are doing reasonably well...aside from retirement savings (whiiich amounts to nothing).

Emergency fund: $5,037

Travel savings: $2,000 (for visit back home and for going out with friends/fam who are visiting this summer)

Buffer: $1450 (built up when I was getting ready to leave my previous job, to deal with non-emergency overages in our budget)

Retirement: $50 (so not even kidding. This is terrible...as soon as I get a new job, we'll be working on this in tandem with my student loan..especially since the interest rates on retirement accounts is generally higher than the 4.25% interest we're paying on my student loan)

Total savings: $8,537

So we have a negative net worth! Of -$3,209! Ack!

Well, of course as soon as I started trying to buckle down with our finances, unexpected necessary spending comes up! Sooo... I'm off to go figure out if we're going to need to dip into our buffer to pay for the unexpected expenses of a computer (husband's died and will cost more to fix than replace...unfortunately this is necessary for his research. Hoping to keep this cost under $500...we'll see) and necessary car repair (we were quoted $800 at one shop, now it's at a shop where they quoted $350...we'll see what comes of it). Fingers crossed!