2012 Budget

January 20, 2012 at 7:05 am (budget, Uncategorized)

Budgets are not static, they need to change based on job changes, life changes, shifting needs and wants, etc. I stopped budgetting for the second half of 2011, and due to a computer crash, lost my old budget, so I’m restarting from an older version that I had saved on my external hard drive. Not too much has changed, but I have made some tweaks. I’ll have to reevaluate my budget after February; I’ve just become single, which will drastically change some of my basic spending habits, and the beginning of January was not typical, as I made some additional purchases based on splitting up of household items between mr. maven and I. Here’s my current plan:

Paychecks: 2 per month, paid on the 5th & 20th, average of $1600/check, or $3200/month
Total pay can range between $3100-$3400/month based on overtime and actual hours worked.
My budget cycle starts on the 5th of every month (with my first paycheck).

Paycheck 1:
Rent: $895
Gym: $38
Mini-funds: car-$200, vacation-$100, xmas-$33, clothes-$70

* My timing belt needs to be changed in about 8k-20k miles, so I’m increasing my car fund from the previous $125-$150 I used to save, especially as it’s virtually empty right now. Cost will be about $850-$900.

Paycheck 2:
SBA autopay: $100
Car payment: $253
Internet: $65
Car insurance: $63
Gas (house): $75 (average)
Utilities (water or electric): $125 (average)
Netflix/Hulu: $18
Any additional payments to SBA/debt: $300 (hopefully)
Emergency fund: $100 (it’s currently at zero, will take all year to build up)

Spread evenly throughout the month:
Food/restaurants: $450 (pre mr. maven totals) – will need to reevaluate after February
Gas (car): $150
Coffee: $25
Liquor: $50
Stuff: $200 (this includes home purchases, health costs, entertainment, or photography/art expenses, art purchases, and misc. spending).

Any additional income I receive (gifts/tax refunds/etc) always get put towards debt.

It’s always difficult to wait weeks to pay debt, but since the majority of my first paycheck goes towards rent, I’ve had to shift the majority of my bill and debt payments to the second half of the month. Patience is a virtue, I just wish I had more of it!

I’m not too worried about having a fully depleted EF right now. My excellent bank (BECU) has a no-fee use of a personal loan if my checking account is overdrawn (if my EF is empty, which is my first-tier backup for overdraft protection). If used, I always make sure to fully pay it off the next paycheck (which is very rare). Again, at no cost other than interest.

In March, once I reevaluate this budget, I will post any final tweakings. Of course, if I end up moving, this will also change (for the better, since I’d be paying less in rent and utilities with my future roommate), but there will be additional deposits and moving expenses (local truck rental, dinner/beer for anyone helping) incurred.


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