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September Budget

September 2nd, 2006 at 06:07 am

Well, I finally have my September budget in order. Of course I know I should have done it before the first of the month, but I just got my first paycheck yesterday (YAY!!!) and didn't know how much my take-home pay would be till then. So after several drafts...

September Budget
Take-home pay: ~$2350 monthly

Rent: 640
Additional deposit: 55*
Grocery: 160
Toiletries/household: 40
Phone: 44
Electricity: 77
Transportation: 76
Internet: 11
Netflix: 6
Gym: 75
Clothing: 50
Laundry: 20
Dining out (entertainment): 50
Dining out (lunches/convenience):50
Entertainment: 50
Blow money: 50
IRA: 100
Emergency fund: 100
Giving: 100
Credit cards: 696**

*: They raised my rent this month by $55 and to add insult to injury they want me to send another $55 this month so that my deposit is still equal to one month's rent.
**: The minimum payment is somewhat less than $100. I'm following a slightly modified Dave Ramsey plan (you'll notice the $100 to emergency fund and $100 to retirement don't really fit in his step 2) so that whatever was not accounted for in the budget is going straight to my credit card debt. And lest you chastise me terribly for luxuries like an expensive gym (gasp!), a cell phone (oh no!) cable internet, and a $160 grocery bill for one person- yes, I could cut more. I could obviously cut more and would if I were deeply in debt.

But at this stage- if I put close to $700 on my credit card every month, I'll be out of debt in 3-4 months. I don't have a car payment, I don't pay for gas, I don't have a mortgage or insurance or any of that stuff. My expenses are relatively low, and I don't really have a problem with some luxuries in my life when I'm saving nearly half of my net income.

Though I am going to be happy when I'm out of debt!

Edited to add: I can't believe I forgot a category for 'giving!'. Fixed now. Next month budgeting will be easier.

4 Responses to “September Budget”

  1. yummy64 Says:

    You are doing what works for you and you are doing it with a purpose. Your money is working for you. I'd not worry that you aren't doing things "properly" or that you aren't frugal enough. If you are still in debt in March you might want to revisit what you are doing - you said 3 to 4 months and out of debt so if you are still in debt in 6 months your plan needs tweaking.

    I don't live as frugally as I could either and I don't have any intention right now of doing so. I am so happy that I know how - in case things in life change and I need to. So you aren't alone!

  2. veronak Says:

    Sounds like you have a plan, some time I splurge but as long as I keep on track there should not be any problems. I plan on being debt free by December. Like you I do not have that many expenses like a car payment or rent so I firgure there is no reason why I should not meet my goal by December. But I'd like to say good luck and I am sure you will meet your goals

  3. LuxLiving Says:

    Are you in an all electric apartment? No natural gas bill? Water?

    55 more on the deposit? I'd really balk at that one!!

    Sounds like you are on target!! Congrats on the paycheck!!

  4. meaghanchan Says:

    Thank you for the comments, guys!

    My main goal is to be out of debt by December, which, on this budget, is feasible. If I'm not nearly there by November, I'm going to get super-mega-intense in December. I do not want to start 2007 with debt hanging over my head.

    Lux- We do have to pay gas for cooking but that is usually less than $15 a month and is included on the electricity bill (same company). I just count it in with the electricity. Heat and water are paid by the landlord (I think that is the law in NYC). I definitely balked at the $55 extra for the deposit, but I guess that's just their policy... And as much as I hate it, I honestly don't have money to move out at the moment, though I might like to. But with luck, I should get the whole amount of the deposit back when I move out.

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