Week 5ish and so far keeping up with my financial resolution

someecards.com - I'm just going to recycle my resolutions. I didn't get shit done in 2012.

Ha, pretty much, since I did attempt this in 2012 and managed to get my debt down a bit, but I’d like to get rid of all of it.  So it’s the end of January and though I underestimated my expenses, I still managed to get rid of $1055 in debt! I mostly did this through a huge payment, Ebay sales, and some returns (then of course, interest was added).  I’ve updated my stats of what the balances are as of today, and in February I’ll be able to pay off even more.  It’s still a daunting total, but I compare this to the first couple miles of a marathon… I’ll finish eventually, slowly but surely.

That reminds me of one marathon when I was waiting for my friend, and this one older lady crossed the line in her slow but steady stride.  Her family was waiting for her at the end and cheered, and when she excitedly asked, “Now where’s my chicken?”, a family member busted out a bucket of chicken! haha

Anyway, here’s my expenses to finish off January (assuming no expenses tomorrow):

1) $31.64 – gas

2) $39.43  – Target (bought cold/flu drugs, Vicks vapor rub, Throat Coat tea, honey, fruit, etc.)

3) $58.81 – groceries (bf pays 1/3, so adjusted total $39.21)

Total: $657.09

Not taking into account that my bf will contribute for groceries, the “real” total I spent was $762.67, which, even with the Turbotax and Restaurant Week dinner, was quite high since I thought I usually spent around $400-500 a month.  I’ve decided to revise my budget, mostly because we’re going to a new pay schedule where I’ll have to really learn how to budget now that it’s more staggered.  My health insurance, retirement contributions, parking, etc. are taken out before I receive my paycheck, so the rest of my expenses include (total cost each month):

1) Rent/utilities – SD cost of living

2) Car insurance/registration/maintenance – $100

3) Cell phone – $80

4) Gym – $34

5) Credit monitoring service – $13

6) Personal care – $100

7) Savings – $100-200 for now

8) Groceries/gas/going out – $600 (or, $300 every two weeks)

9) Debt payment – $950, and remainder from #2, #6, #8 (if any)

It’ll be nice once I put the majority of the debt funds towards #7, but I’ll get there.  I added a bit more to my car stuff since it’s fairly old and needs more maintenance than normal, but I’d rather not get a new car until I absolutely have to despite it looking like a shitbox since it’s for the most part reliable.  I’ve never regarded cars high on my priority list, so I’m just gonna run it to the ground.

Personal care encompasses haircuts, chiro/masseuse visits (not frou-frou massage, but deep tissue/sports massage), Shiseido/Mac purchases, running shoes – run of the mill toiletries I’ll keep in #8.  I have these things on a fairly consistent rotation that I’m on average probably spending about $100 a month on myself (well, more, but limiting myself to that), but since I was clueless about my food/gas budget, I’ll keep track of that, as well.  I’m not sure if I’m missing anything else, so I’m going to check out other blogs to see what they have.  I’d like to get my groceries/gas/going out budget to $500 a month, but I’ll see how a 3 month account of expenses looks like first.  I was inspired by another blogger to try a long haul grocery trip for two weeks, but the list was so long that mild panic set in, so I’m going to work on that after Super Bowl and Palm Springs weekends are done and groceries are back to normal.

Any suggestions or tips on budgeting is definitely welcome while I try to figure out this whole thing!

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6 thoughts on “Week 5ish and so far keeping up with my financial resolution

  1. Wow, sending $950/mo to debt repayment rocks! You’re doing great. I suppose you could drop to a cheap dumb phone and quit the gym in favor of running outside, but those are more extremes measures. Thar would ave you about $100/mo but who knows if it’s worth it?

    • Thanks for the nice note, Cashrebel! I agree about the phone, and looking at cheaper plans (I love Verizon, though, so skittish about changing it). The gym is my church, no way! Just kidding… but I actually use it to get ready since it’s close to work and my running routes (well, and for non-running workouts, too). Not sure if you’re going to talk about your training on your PF blog, but if you write about it elsewhere would love to follow!

  2. Looks like you’re got a really good plan, which is half the battle. You can sign up with free credit monitoring services with credit karma, credit sesame, and even AAA(if you’re a member). I also use annual credit report to get free copies of my credit report 3 times a year.

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