January 2009 budget – Part III

February 4, 2009 at 9:52 am (budget) (, , , , )

This is the final recap of January budget.


I didn’t spend any money in several categories, or used very little in others. I’ve decided to save any unspent money for a few of them: car, clothes, home, photo, and gifts. These are the categories I expect to spend larger amounts throughout the year. To make this money available for last minute purchases, and to keep each category compartmentalized rather than lumped together (which I’m currently against), I’m keeping them in cash envelopes. I’m going to cap each category at a certain amount, so when it is reached (as a type of savings), I will stop saving and turn the unspent money 100% towards debt payment.


I decided to put in $125 in savings this month. I may change this from month to month, depending on how much extra money I have for debt. But right now, I think I’m comfortable saving that amount regularly until I reach my $1000 emergency fund. I’ve been thinking of raising that amount to $1500. Depending on how badly the economy gets, and how well my company does, I may decide to keep saving every month, no matter what. I’ll see when I get there. I’ll at least keep shunting money towards my savings account through at least April (when I expect to hit that $1K figure).


My minimum debt payments are also going to change quite a bit in February (increasing what I need to spend in my budget). January saw me moving $4800 from my 10% interest line of credit into a new 0% discover card. All previous 2 minimum payments will now become 3, and will go up from $400 to $500, making my budget increase $100 for February.


I didn’t have any snowflakes this month. I didn’t get a bonus. I didn’t sell any art. I didn’t try and sell anything on ebay or craigslist. I need to start going through my closets and getting rid of some stuff. In my defense, I have worked an inordinantly large amount of overtime, so I haven’t had a lot of free time, which I blame quite a bit for the extra wine drinking this month (and wanting to just relax when I can), and some of my coffee spending – I am not a morning person, and having to work until 12:30 am doesn’t make me want to get up extra early at 6 AM to make coffee at home – I elected to buy it at work instead more often than I expected to.


On the other side of the coin, I didn’t do a lot because of my overtime. I sometimes went to bed rather than eat dinner. I didn’t go anywhere over the weekends. I would stay home, sleep in, stay home to read and play with my cats, and that’s it. The highlight of my entertainment life was going to the coffee house to use internet and buying coffee and a danish.  I think February is going to be a lot more well adjusted.


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