The beauty of a budget

I have a pretty basic budget.  Although I get paid biweekly, it is easier for me to set it up monthly because I pay most bills monthly.  Reviewing my situation for next year, I was just able to make some adjustments to it that felt quite good.  Both my rent and gas money went down because the apartment I’m moving into is both less than I expected and very close to where I work.  I plan at taking a look at this whole thing again in late September –early October, after I have been situated for a while and I can see how close I am in my estimates.

 

Rent – $400/month.  (This includes utilities.)  I am moving to a fairly small town and sharing an apartment with a roommate.  Both of these things mean that rent is pretty low. 

 

Gas – $80/month ($20/week) While it’s nice out, I can easily bike or walk to work.  As the weather starts to change, this might get more difficult.  But even then, it would take an extraordinary week or some sort of emergency for me to need more than $20.

 

Food – $80/month.  This is the one area I’m most unsure about.  This would have easily covered my expenses in college, but my roommates and I did a lot of cooking together and frankly-there were lots of opportunities for free food.

 

VISA – $100/month.  Again, this one is harder to calculate since my minimum payment will actually be decreasing (yes!) but until I re-do the budget, my plan is to stick with $100 and get a bit extra paid off.

 

Phone – $30/month.  I’m actually still on my parents’ plan and it benefits us all if I stay on it, so I just pay them about my share of the bill.  $30 sounded fair to everyone and I wasn’t going to argue about a few dollars either way when I can swing it pretty easily.

 

Store CC – $15/ month.  I cannot believe that I fell for a gimmick for a store card, especially after beginning to read so many other blogs.  But, there is only a relatively small amount on here ($95) and I plan on paying it off ASAP and then I’ll decide whether or not to close the card.  (It is one of only two cards that I own, so it might be better to keep open with a zero balance.)

 

A few things might be notably missing from this.  First of all, I have no cable/internet package because I have no television.  I don’t think we will wind up getting one.  I rarely watch television anyway.  Once my roommate and I settle in, we’ll decide whether or not we want internet in our apartment.  My guess is that we will get it, especially because we won’t have a tv – but we’ll see.  Secondly, I’m very healthy.  I’m only on one medication and because of the coverage I have through work, it only costs me about $10/month, which I can pay out of the cash in my wallet.

 

Also, I currently do not have any type of emergency fund.  I realize this is horrible and I plan to change this fact as soon as possible.  $1000 is my starting goal and I’m going to start saving, but I don’t know how much per month I’m going to be able to stock away until I re-do this in a month or so.

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July 31, 2009. Uncategorized.

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