2012 (Split) Budget

In 2012 I reevaluated my budgetting and came up with this new “split” style budget. My budget cycle is based on my pay cycle. I get paid twice per month, on the 5th & 20th. Because of that, I have split my expenses into two sets of expenditures, one for each paycheck. My budget begins each month at the start of my first paycheck, which is the 5th of every month – this is a feature I’ve kept since I implemented it a year ago, and it works great for me.

My salary varies from paycheck to paycheck, but averages about $3200/month (after a 6% 401K deduction, 10% health care deduction per paycheck, and taxes).

New this year, my rent has changed, due to moving in late February to a cheaper place (after becoming newly single). I also no longer have any payments for pets or a pet emergency fund/health care fund as my kittens went with my ex. In 2011 I decided to revamp several categories: clothes, entertainment, anything I wanted to purchase, like buying art, or photography expenses (I have a fine art degree in photography and occasionally print/mat/frame art for shows, etc) have now been consolidated into one catagory, which I call, simply, stuff. It could alternately be named extraneous spending, but stuff seems to have a je ne sais quoi that fits – it’s a catch all for any spending that’s not a bill, debt, food, or gas.

Here goes:

Category Paycheck 1 Paycheck 2 Varies
Food $175 $175
Restaurant $75 $75
Gas $80 $80
Rent $745
Credit Payments $350 $350
Car Loan $253
Coffee $25
Liquor $50
Electric $25
Netflix/Hulu $18
Internet $40
Car Insurance 63
Gym $38
Car Fund $150
Xmas/Gifts $33
Stuff $100 $100
Vacation $100
Savings $75
Total Budget $1513 $1563 $133

The total budget equals $3209. Occasionally I will get paid a little less, sometimes several hundred above that. If my budget exceeds my pay, or if I’ve overspent in one area, then I’ll just reduce my debt payments for that 2 week period. Reversely, if I get paid more than my budget, or if I have extra left over in any category, I will apply it towards debt.

I don’t  yet know when my internet/comcast bill will be arriving, so I have it in the unknown/variable column. Once that is figured out, I’ll move it to either the first or second paycheck. Alcohol and coffee spending will be variable as well. As you can see, Paycheck 1 pays me first and lots gets put into savings. Paycheck 2 goes towards rent and day to day expenses.

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