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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.

3 Responses to “Budget”

  1. VS_ozgirl Says:

    To me it looks like the eating out category is really the only place where you can cut back- really I think you have a pretty good budget, and I would just say that if you find a way to generate some additional income keep your budget where it is now, and don't spend the extra money

  2. snafu Says:

    1st, sending best wishes for personal interview with potential to being offered the job. You're both doing remarkably well squashing 'wants' and sticking to basic 'needs' on your modest $ 21,228. annual net income . Good on you having an EF or buffer for the challenges life always throws out!

    I suggest you workout in advance your anticipated costs for the workforce like transportation, wardrobe, take along lunches, grooming etc. I missed the category for bank charges, gifts and clothes. I've no idea how you feel about 'thrifting' but the consignment stores and even Goodwill have smart merchandise at budget friendly price points. Would you consider advance planning using your skill sets to make gifts? {Our grandmother challenged us to make gifts because in her view...'any idiot could buy but it didn't have the element of love.']

  3. mimaki Says:

    Thanks for your commments! And yeah, Ozgirl--I think I'm going to try to cut eating out in half. I don't want us to feel super-deprived, so I'll leave some in there. And hey, adding that $40 to our retirement fund would almost double the new amount I'm trying to sock away there Smile
    Thanks snafu, I hope it goes well--I'm a bit nervous. Yeah, I should include those categories instead of just assuming the leftover from our budget will cover things, lol. Unfortunately I can't really estimate transportation yet (no job offer yet)--I hope to be able to bus (I hate driving in the winter, our roads get very icy), but that may not be possible. You're right about the wardrobe thing--my last place of employment was "business casual" and I'll probably need to buy a couple tops. I don't usually budget for clothes, since we have clothes and don't buy more frequently...hmm...I'll have to figure out a monthly average. Since we've moved to upstate NY, I haven't checked out any of the thrift stores here. I'm not averse to trying it out--maybe husband and I will make an outing of it if I get this job. Oh, and we don't have any bank charges since we use free checking.

    Your grandmother was definitely right about the gifts! That is somewhere that we spend too much. In the past year we've dropped like $700+ in wedding gifts alone..bleh. I just need to get over feeling "cheap" if we make our own gifts--which is stupid, since I personally love receiving handmade gifts. Anyhow, I draw, bake and calligraph, so I suppose those could be options--at least for b-day and Christmas presents. That would save us a bunch of money--especially come Christmas. I'll start looking into ideas soonish. Thanks!

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