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Wedding Budget Breakdown

June 9th, 2016 at 02:06 pm

I know some people were curious as to how I managed to spend 32000 on one day. To be honest, I'm not sure how I managed to blow that much considering I thought I was extremely frugal in some areas. The good news is we paid almost this entire sum on our own. The bad news is...that money's all gone now, and I don't have anything physical to show for it. This isn't a completely accurate picture because I found that especially towards the end, I did a terrible job of tracking things. It was easier to throw money at an issue than stress over it, so I padded the budget I did track by a grand to account for all of those miscellaneous costs.


Venue 9264.29
Caterer 6889.04
DJ 1020
Photographer 1632.62
Videographer 1100
Florals Included in venue package
Officiant Included in venue package
Tips 490
Alcohol 1667.27
Dress 826.87
Shoes 76.29
Accessories 16.5
Other Events Clothing 160.45
Reception Dress 120
Groom's Suit 198.73
Rehearsal Dinner 1151.60
Hair/Make-up 240
Nails 404.60
Invitations 60
Rentals 1100
Bridal Party Gifts 890.33
Wedding Rings 120
Wedding Night Room 425.48
Centerpieces 133.9
Placecards 25
Cake Topper 27
Wine Box 82
Guestbook 65
Save The Dates 125.08
Bridal Party Proposals 118.61
Dress Steaming 140
Flight 560
Car Rental 706.12
Day Of Food 311.76
Honeymoon Activities 930.80

Total 31079.34

Miscellaneous 1000**

Estimated Total 32079.34**

**This is a rough guess and includes all the other small things that I didn't categorize. Examples include an orange petticoat, washi tape and other craft supplies, a video cable for the projector, a flower girl book, mini notebooks, markers, DH's flight for our planning trip, etc.

October Budgets

October 9th, 2015 at 05:59 pm

These will be a little different than normal. We have a dual-purpose trip planned, so I'll have less debt payments in order to cash flow the Vegas part of the trip for myself and my mom. DF had a really awesome (I mean, AWESOME) month, so we'll cash flow the Sedona part of the trip, move to living on last month's budget, and jump-start our wedding savings.

Below are our October budgets:

My Account
Capital One Savings: 25
Netflix: 9
Insurance: 88.68
Navient Loans: 152.35
ACS Loan: 170
Phone: 150
Wells Fargo: 50
Food/Gas: 90
Misc: 50
Mariner: 100
Chase Freedom CC: 0
Chase Slate CC: 25
NFL Points CC: 60
Vegas: 554
Apartment*: 1400

Our Account:
Rent: 1600
Electric: 140
Gas: 80
Verizon: 95
Groceries: 300
Entertainment: 1000
Wedding: 2000
Miscellaneous: 50
Pets: 200
Chase Marriot: 300
Capital One Venture CC: 100
Wedding Savings: 2000

The apartment under my account is my contribution to our account.

September Numbers

October 9th, 2015 at 05:49 pm

*Budgeted numbers in parentheses

My Account
Capital One Savings: 25 (25)
Netflix: 7.99 (9)
Insurance: 88.68 (88.68)
Navient Loans: 152.35 (155)
ACS Loan: 169.70 (170)
Phone: 149.25 (150)
Wells Fargo: 50 (50)
Target: 0 (0)
Food/Gas: 138.57 (90)
Misc: 31 (45)
Mariner: 100 (100)
Chase Freedom CC: 120 (100)
Chase Slate CC: 30 (25)
Capital One Venture CC: 207.51 (0)
NFL Points CC: 60 (60)
Car: 0 (0)
Misc: 35.82 (0)
Entertainment: 35.88 (0)
Taxes: 152.39 (0)
Wedding: 0(0)
Vegas: 132.20 (0)
Apartment*: 1400 (1400)


Our Account:
Rent: 1591.23 (1600)
Gas: 52.12 (80)
Electric: 123.10 (140)
Verizon: 93.12 (95)
Groceries: 425.79 (300)
Entertainment 390.72 (100)
Misc: 245.22 (0)
Couch: 649.95 (650)
Pets: 418.95 (400)
Capital One Venture CC: 0 (100)
Chase Marriott CC: 2332.49 (2495.24)
DC United Tickets: 165 (165)
Wedding Savings: 300 (500)

It was an okay month. Still way too spendy, but better. I do want to change the way I account for cards because in reality, half of my accounting from other categories goes on the cards, so it's not a true picture of it. Our miscellaneous spending was pretty much all wedding-related, so I'll break that into it's own category next month. I also added temporary Wedding and Vegas categories to my own budget to account for my spending in those areas.

September Budgets

September 15th, 2015 at 06:57 pm

I apparently skipped posting August's budgets although I did do them. Even though the month's half over, here is September. Although since starting YNAB, I may roll with the punches and do some adjusting in the second half of the month. One other thing that I didn't note on August payments was that we paid the remainder of our couch in full, so yay!!

Below are our July budgets:

My Account (Still have $270 unaccounted for)
Capital One Savings: 25
Netflix: 9
Insurance: 88.68
Navient Loans: 155
ACS Loan: 170
Phone: 150
Wells Fargo: 50
Food/Gas: 90
Misc: 45
Mariner: 100
Chase Freedom CC: 100
Chase Slate CC: 25
NFL Points CC: 60
Apartment*: 1400

Our Account:
Rent: 1600
Electric: 140
Gas: 80
Verizon: 95
Groceries: 300
Entertainment: 100
Pets: 300
Chase Marriot: 2495.24
Capital One Venture CC: 100
Wedding Savings: 500

The apartment under my account is my contribution to our account.

Finally some August numbers...

September 15th, 2015 at 06:46 pm

I've been terrible about getting this up quickly after the end of the month. To be fair, there is a lot going on, but I really need to be better about it..

*Budgeted numbers in parentheses

My Account
Capital One Savings: 25 (25)
Netflix: 7.99 (9)
Insurance: 88.68 (88.68)
Navient Loans: 1555 (155)
ACS Loan: 169.70 (170)
Phone: 149.25 (150)
Wells Fargo: 50 (50)
Target: 0 (0)
Food/Gas: 137.75 (90)
Misc: 0 (31)
Mariner: 100 (100)
Chase Freedom CC: 785 (45)
Chase Slate CC: 25 (25)
NFL Points CC: 60 (60)
Car: 710.01 (0)
Misc: 602.65 (0)
Entertainment: 87.73 (0)
Wedding: 5.29 (0)
Apartment*: 1400 (1400)


Our Account:
Rent: 1630.95 (1600)
Gas: 92.47 (80)
Electric: 102.21 (140)
Verizon: 93.12 (95)
Groceries: 381.08 (300)
Entertainment 903.28 (100)
Misc: 1807.64 (0)
Couch: 649.95 (650)
Pets: 1205.64 (400)

As you can see, August was pretty brutal for us. We had plenty of money come in, but we also pretty much spent it all. The entertainment budget includes a rather sizable investment in camping gear, a weekend camping trip and a weekend hosting out-of-state friends. The miscellaneous is wedding spending which I will probably start adding to a wedding category. My own car was paid by the other driver's insurance when I was rear-ended. The miscellaneous from my own account was paying back my FSA. Ouch...glad August is over.

July Spending

August 12th, 2015 at 03:55 pm

*Budgeted numbers in parentheses

My Account
Capital One Savings: 25 (30)
Netflix: 7.99 (9)
Insurance: 83.71 (83)
Navient Loans: 45.51 (45)
ACS Loan: 169.70 (170)
Phone: 149.25 (170)
Wells Fargo: 50 (50)
Target: 0 (0)
Food/Gas: 187.75 (90)
Misc: 0 (50)
Mariner: 100 (100)
Chase Freedom CC: 825 (653)
Chase Slate CC: 25 (25)
NFL Points CC: 60 (60)
Clothing: 235.87 (0)
Pets: 2 (0)
Entertainment: 497.84 (0)
Apartment*: 1400 (1400)


Our Account:
Rent: 1600.09 (1600)
Electric: 85.54 (140)
Gas: 0 (60)
Verizon: 93.15 (95)
Groceries: 321.55 (300)
Entertainment 85.40 (75)
Misc: 10 (450)
Couch: 50 (50)
Pets: 446.73 (400)

My account was just terrible, but our account was probably the closest I've ever come to being accurate in most categories. I'd hoped to pay myself a good amount back under Miscellaneous, but that didn't work out. DF has been doing really well though, so I should see at least a couple hundred this month. The entertainment category on my account was mostly the Florida trip and one set of exercise DVDs.

June Numbers - Our Account

July 10th, 2015 at 01:33 pm

Our Account:
Rent: 1532.02(1535)
Electric: 68.89(70)
Gas: 98.64 (60)
Verizon: 93.15 (95)
Groceries: 510.01 (300)
Entertainment 115.48 (75)
Misc: 545 (0)
Couch: 50 (200)
Pets: 375.75 (400)

Meh...I could have done better. The miscellaneous expense was a new living room table. DD2 destroyed our glass one, so we went with a much sturdier, wooden one with drawer storage since DC is so fond of knocking anything and everything off of the entertainment stand, side tables, etc. We plan for things like the couch and this table to last us a very long time, so while it's costly, I'm hoping it lasts close to a decade. Now that we have a wedding to plan for, we'll have to be much more focused on the budget to really put aside as much savings as we can in these coming months.

June Spending - My Account

July 10th, 2015 at 01:19 pm

Thanks so much for the well wishes everyone! I couldn't be more thrilled Smile I definitely think this will end up pushing my goal back considerably, but I think that when life throws you lemonade, sometimes you just have to sit back, sip, and enjoy it!!

Now's time to get back to regularly scheduled programming. Here's how June ended up:

My Account *Budgeted numbers in parentheses
BOA Savings: 0 (25)
Capital One Savings: 25 (30)
Netflix: 8 (9)
Insurance: 83 (83)
BOA CC: 33 (33)
Navient Loans: 45 (45)
ACS Loan: 169.7 (170)
Phone: 182.48 (170)
Wells Fargo: 50 (50)
Target: 83 (83)
Food/Gas: 428.28 (90)
Misc: 40.96 (50)
Mariner: 100 (100)
Chase Freedom CC: 1850 (656)
Chase Slate CC: 25 (25)
NFL Points CC: 57 (60)
Apartment*: 1400 (1400)

My BOA savings and CC will be removed starting next month. I closed both accounts in an effort to simplify things. My numbers will now start including cents as I no longer am enrolled in keep the change.

It pains me to look at the amount I'm paying to the CCs and still not be getting ahead. I'm still trying to find some way to kick them. I am owed over a grand from our joint account as I've put some joint expenses on the cc from time to time. I'm hoping now that the traveling is done for a bit, SO will really be able to focus and make some good money, so we can build our buffer back up and start paying some of that money back.

My raise was about $50/paycheck. Not much, but it's something.

June Budgets

June 15th, 2015 at 01:14 pm

I'm really late on this, but here's the June budgets:

My Account
BOA Savings: 25
Capital One Savings: 30
Netflix: 9
Insurance: 83
BOA CC: 33
Navient Loans: 45
ACS Loan: 170
Phone: 170
Wells Fargo: 50
Target: 83
Food/Gas: 90
Misc: 50
Mariner: 100
Chase Freedom CC: 656
Chase Slate CC: 25
NFL Points CC: 60
Apartment*: 1400

Our Account:
Rent: 1535
Electric: 70
Gas: 60
Verizon: 95
Groceries: 300
Entertainment 75
Misc: 0
Couch: 200
Pets: 400

The apartment under my account is my contribution to our account. For my account, I added in a miscellaneous fund for those random things that keep popping up.

I have yet to charge anything new to the Chase card, and that budgeted amount is the full balance, so if all goes well, then it will be paid off fully. I made a meal plan for the rest of the month and this may be the first time we come in under budget in the groceries category. I already know we're going to be over our entertainment budget, but I didn't want to fudge it, so I put what I had budgeted.

May Numbers (Our Account)

June 12th, 2015 at 12:44 am

We really bombed this...

Item: Spent (Budgeted)
Rent: 1555.84 (1560)
Electric: 89.09 (140)
Gas: 58.35 (60)
Verizon: 93.15 (95)
Couch: 50 (100)
Groceries: 105.60 (200)
Entertainment: 682.03 (300)
Misc: 144.93 (0)
Pets: 1083.91 (200)
Total: 3862.90 (2651)

The last three categories really killed me...especially pets. I'll post June budgets tomorrow, but I upped the June budget to $400 as a result of this egregious failure of pet expenses.

May Numbers (My Account)

June 12th, 2015 at 12:31 am

Below is my April recap. Apparently, I missed May budgets, but I'll put in the numbers from my personal spreadsheet:

Item: Spent (Budgeted)
BOA Savings: 25 (25)
Capital One Savings: 30 (30)
Netflix: 8 (9)
Insurance: 84 (84)
BOA CC: 67.67 (0)
Navient Loans: 34 (0)
ACS Loan: 170 (170)
Phone: 178 (178)
Wells Fargo: 50 (50)
Target: 0 (0)
Food: 66 (40)
Gas: 138 (50)
Clothing: 40 (0)
Pets: 0 (0)
Miscellaneous: 261.39 (50)
Entertainment: 192.64 (0)
Taxes: 0 (0)
Chase Freedom CC: 1396.52 (460)
Chase Slate CC: 25 (25)
NFL Points CC: 57 (57)
Mariner: 100 (100)
Car: 353.48 (0)
Apartment*: 1400 (1400)

April Budgets

April 2nd, 2015 at 08:02 pm

Below are my budgets for my own account and our joint account:

My Account
BOA Savings: 25
Capital One Savings: 30
Netflix: 9
Insurance: 84
BOA CC: 33
Navient Loans: 152
ACS Loan: 170
Phone: 132
Wells Fargo: 50
Target: 49.60
Food/Gas: 100
Misc: 67
Mariner: 100
Chase Freedom CC: 148
Chase Slate CC: 260
NFL Points CC: 60
Apartment*: 1400

Our Account:
Rent: 1650
Electric: 140
Gas: 80
Verizon: 96
Couch: 1020
Groceries: 400
Entertainment 75
Misc: 0
Pets: 900

The apartment under my account is my contribution to our account. For my account, I added in a miscellaneous fund for those random things that keep popping up.

The big changes are to our account. Our budget is much more than normal due to SO's stellar month. The three big goals are to have $1500 in our account after all of April's budget is deducted, pay off the couch, and fully fund new puppy. Any additional funds will go towards paying me back, but there's not too much urgency in that. May and June may be a little tight because SO will be at training and not working per se, so I think the higher we can make our buffer, the better.

March Numbers - Our Account

April 1st, 2015 at 04:19 pm

Our numbers:

Item: Spent (Budgeted)
Rent: 1573.62 (1650)
Electric: 122.37 (140)
Gas: 69.59 (80)
Verizon: 126.36 (127)
Couch: 150 (150)
Groceries: 343.39 (300)
Entertainment: 78.88 (75)
Misc: 166.85 (0)
Pets: 69.85 (200)
Total: 2481.06 (2722)

Our numbers came in well under. However, I still haven't started putting aside the deficit from the $200 pet budget for future emergencies. SO had a really amazing month, so his next paycheck should give us a legitimate buffer in the joint account. The one we'd had in there sort of disappeared because February was a really tight month. My first goal for his paycheck is to put in $1500 plus whatever deficit is needed to ensure our account covers our $3540 budget for April (more on that separately). If there's anything left, I'll begin paying myself back for Dec./Jan. spending.

March Numbers - My Account

April 1st, 2015 at 03:55 pm

Here's how March shook out...

Item: Spent (Budgeted)
BOA Savings: 25 (25)
Capital One Savings: 30 (30)
Netflix: 8 (9)
Insurance: 84 (84)
BOA CC: 32.67 (0)
Navient Loans: 175 (175)
Amazon CC: Closed!!
ACS Loan: 170 (170)
Phone: 159 (157)
Wells Fargo: 50 (50)
Target: 0 (0)
Food: 148.11 (50)
Gas: 92.58 (50)
Clothing: 11 (0)
Pets: 15 (0)
Miscellaneous: 73 (0)
Entertainment: 24 (0)
Taxes: 13.74 (0)
Chase Freedom CC: 454 (226.47)
Chase Slate CC: 105 (330)
NFL Points CC: 60 (70)
Mariner: 100 (100)
Apartment*: 1400 (1400)

Next month, I will be making a few adjustments. I'm going to budget a set amount for variables which will include Clothing, Pets, Misc., Entertainment, etc. My budget is very bare bones and outside of required payments, I only budget $100 for food/gas. I always have expenses in those other categories, but never really knew how to budget for them, so I think I will try having a single variable line item, but still track spending in each category, so that I can better refine my budget in a few months.

March Budgets

March 6th, 2015 at 07:20 pm

Below are my budgets for my own account and our joint account:

My Account
BOA Savings: 25
Capital One Savings: 30
Netflix: 9
Insurance: 84
BOA CC: 0
Navient Loans: 175
Amazon CC: Closed!!
ACS Loan: 170
Phone: 157
Wells Fargo: 50
Target: 0
Food/Gas: 100
Chase Freedom CC: 226.47
Chase Slate CC: 330
NFL Points CC: 70
Apartment*: 1400

Our Account:
Rent: 1650
Electric: 140
Gas: 80
Verizon: 127
Couch: 150
Groceries: 300
Entertainment 75
Misc: 0
Pets: 200

The apartment under my account is my contribution to our account. For the CC's, Freedom will be paid off, and Slate will only have about a $500 remaining balance.

Making Progress

February 18th, 2015 at 02:34 pm

I just did a mini-assessment of my (and our) accounts, and I'm feeling pretty accomplished. Even though I went slightly over my alloted V-Day limit, I should have $14 left to send to a CC if I don't spend between now and Friday.

Thanks largely to my tax refund, I've paid off the Amazon, Target, and BOA cards. Chase Freedom only has $100 and Chase Slate has about $950. I anticipate fully paying off the Freedom and paying about $500 to the Slate card by the end of Feb.

SO's large check will go towards our $1500 buffer. I have to review the numbers a little more, but I believe the buffer will be fully funded. There is a $500 deficit between the minimum that we're putting in and the monthly budget I have set up. I base that number solely on what I know SO is able to contribute and not counting any additional contributions he may make. It's not so bad as there are definitely areas where we could cut back in leaner months. Starting with March, I'll share both my budget and our budget as I had to clear it with him whether he was okay with my sharing our finances (he's on board!).

It's going to be close, but it looks like I should be able to stick to our $300 grocery budget too which a huge plus considering we spent $560 last month!

Keep on keepin on...

Change in Plans

February 3rd, 2015 at 01:42 pm

I had planned to work on the credit cards before anything else, but I just messed up. A few weeks ago, I wrote a check for DC's adoption. Normally, I'm good about tracking those things, but with all the stress of these last few weeks, it totally slipped my mind. So this morning, when my bank account was -86, I naturally freaked out. I have 45 in my linked savings and will get cash out of my other savings to cover the remaining difference, but the damage is already done as the check hit yesterday and they've already charged the overdraft fee ($35). This completely changes my February budget.

My new priority is the $200 buffer which I will take from Friday's paycheck. It means some of the cards may not get paid in full this month. No interest is accruing on one of them, so that will be my last priority.I will certainly still try to have all 3 paid, as I will be babysitting for half the month. I also plan to do my taxes this week, so depending on if/when I get a refund, that will help as well.

February budget

February 2nd, 2015 at 04:53 pm

I haven't added up the January spending yet, but I do know I still have work to do. I also lost my first month of my 6-month dietbet. Not the greatest start, but I am 1/6 of my way to my 10% goal...

This is random, but I so enjoy looking at this February on a calendar because it is exactly 4 Sun-Sat weeks. Below is my February budget:

BOA Savings: 25
Capital One Savings: 30
Netflix: 9
Insurance: 84
BOA CC: 165
Navient Loans: 175
Amazon CC: 150
ACS Loan: 170
Phone: 158
Wells Fargo: 50
Target: 207
Food/Gas: 100
Chase Freedom CC: 25
Chase Slate CC: 25
NFL Points CC: 45
Apartment*: 1400

If all goes well, Target, Amazon, and BOA CCs will all be paid off completely. I will then close Amazon and put the BOA away.

*I keep SO and I's joint budget separate from my own. If he's okay with me sharing, I will post that budget in a separate post. The line here is my contribution to that account which covers rent, utilities, the couch, pets, and our groceries.

January budget

January 2nd, 2015 at 07:09 pm

In keeping up with my goals, here's my projected budget for January:

Joint Account: 1400
BOA Savings: 25
Capital One Savings: 30 (Divvied up through several accounts)
Netflix: 9
Insurance: 87
BOA CC: 175
Navient Student Loans: 155
Target CC: 200
Gas: 110
Food: 25
ACS Loan: 170
Phone: 159
Wells Fargo Loan: 50
Mariner Loan: 100
Chase Freedom CC: 45
Chase Slate CC: 25
NFL Points CC: 40
Amazon CC: 40

Ugghh...all those debts are painful to look at it. In January, I plan to close the Total Rewards and Kohls credit cards (both at 0 balance). BOA and Target will be paid off in full since those accumulate interest. The others will be a slow and steady race.

I also found out where both of my missing checks were, so those will be allocated to the pet fee for our apartment and my new tires. If there's any left, we may go ahead and do the Costco membership.

I also have 0 plans for the money from babysitting, so I plan to throw that straight at the credit cards. It'll be a couple hundred in December and about 400 in January.

Just a note on the food...I gave myself a bit of a budget, but the majority of our food spending will come out of the joint account.

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

July 22nd, 2014 at 12:45 pm

It's payday...which just means it's time for another round of allocating my money to everyone but myself...

I will be so glad when the vast majority of my paycheck is mine and mine alone.

My new 401K enrollment has taken effect, so my consistent paychecks from now on will be about $50 more than I had guessed.

After paying my car, 2 student loans, 2 credit cards (one of which will be completely paid off), and the phone bill, plus funding my various savings accounts, I will have a grand total of $75 in the bank which is my money through next paycheck. I've decided to have a semi-tough conversation with SO about dating on the cheap and as somewhat of a concession, any shows I do from now on (got another this coming Saturday) will go half to fun money, half to debt repayment. I think this will be a good compromise since I don't currently allocate fun money to myself because this way, I won't totally resent not being able to go out, but I'll have to work for it if I want to be able to do more expensive activities.

Sometimes, I get so frustrated with dealing with this whole financial mess, but then I just try to remind myself that I'm setting up future me for success.

Awesome Sauce!!

June 18th, 2014 at 02:39 pm

So that unconfirmed good news is officially great news!!!

21% increase in salary. This is definitely going to entail some budget changes. I know for sure 2% will go to retirement to fulfill my company match. I was originally intent on splitting the rest between my car and Vegas. However, my car only has $5500 left, I'm debating going gazelle on it and trying to have it fully paid before my Vegas trip (double the celebration!!). My struggle would be that I'd have much less cash saved up for the trip than I would like.

Oh but how good it would feel to free up that $317/mo...Any thoughts?

Dance dance

April 26th, 2014 at 09:28 am

I got my first call for the Polynesian dance job. It's a training show a couple of hours away. 50 bucks and I can carpool so little to no gas. Considering I thought it was 10 an hour and shows last less than 2, I was pleasantly surprised.

I'm a little nervous since I only know one dance and my technique is not at all refined, but I'm guessing the untrained eye really only cares that your hips are moving and doesn't really notice whether it's the exact shape Smile

I've been trying to decide whether to snowball the money from this job or use it to start building a slush fund. I have a linked savings account that I put 25 a month into, and I could use that as the slush fund and (since I've stopped touching it) put the job money into debt repayment. Any thoughts?

Lots of Numbers

April 22nd, 2014 at 04:48 pm

Below is the updated numbers for what I owe at the end of April:

Car: 7876.26
Sallie Mae 1-6: 20786.57
Dept of Ed 1/3: 8220.55
ACS: 10439.37
Wells Fargo: 2480.56
Personal Loan: 3278.15

Slowly but surely making progress. However, I am noticing that I'm spending much more than budgeted in categories outside of debt so here's my planned April spending versus the actual for everything not accounted for above:

Item

Planned
Actual

External Savings
$30
$30

Netflix
$9
$8

Insurance
$85
$85

Credit Card
$110
$330

Gym
$30
$29

Linked Savings
$25
$25

Phone
$205
$205

Kohls CC
$60
$59


Obviously, my problem is the credit card. In order to continue to show utilization, I am trying to only charge my 110 food/gas/catch all budget and pay it in full each month.

I've started analyzing my credit card purchases to figure out where I'm going wrong, so more on that as I pinpoint my problem areas.

Well that was eye opening...

April 10th, 2014 at 03:30 am

I didn't particularly feel like physically decluttering, so today I decided to see where I could break my budget down a little further. I broke my food/gas budget out into Entertainment, Gas, Groceries, and Other. Turns out I'm going way over the 220 I allot for the month. Since I put it on my credit card, I guess I didn't realize it was over so badly. I mean...I sort of knew since I'm now paying in full each month and it was always over 220, but I was kind of operating on a head-in-the-sand mentality. So now that I know where the money's going, I'm going to set new budget numbers, put the credit card away, and try the envelope system to see if that helps me stay more on track.

More small savings!!

March 31st, 2014 at 02:21 pm

One of the other blogs I read regularly had a post about car insurance savings, so I decided to look at mine. While I didn't make any coverage changes, I did update my payment information to my bank account which saved me 4 bucks off each of the remaining 3 installment charges. Seriously?!?! 80% savings even though my debit card takes from the same bank account... Come June, I plan to pay the 6 month period upfront and then apply the budgeted monthly insurance to my extra car payments.

Looking at my budget, the only things left that I could cut/reduce are Netflix, the gym, and the cable box. The cable box isn't an item in my budget right now as I don't actually pay for it. However, part of our agreed terms when I moved in with the family was that I'd cover my cable box since they had to add one. It's approximately 20/month.

I haven't touched Netflix in a very long time, but my family all uses it. I'm thinking I'm going to have us rotate months of paying for it. It's only 9 bucks, but if I can only pay that 3 times a year instead of 12 when I only have the occasional Netflix binge, it would be better.

The other thing I want to look into is Hulu Plus. My understanding is that it contains recent episodes of new shows which is what I keep the cable for. If I could cut that bill in half, then the vast majority of my paychecks would be going towards debt reduction!!

Side note: I'm keeping the gym for the time being although I do plan to put it on hold come cheerleading season since I won't be able to go to the classes I like.

Financial Freedom vs. Fun

March 27th, 2014 at 01:47 pm

Let me preface this by saying I'm fully prepared for any and all flak that may come my way. And part of the reason for this post is that a part of me is hoping someone's logic will be enough to change my mind...

I've never had a vacation, like a legitimate go somewhere (or stay home) week-long break that belongs solely to me. The past few years, I've had the unfortunate luck of regularly being sick and so all of my PTO went to sick days.

This year, a good friend of mine who lives far away (1.5 flight; 8 hr drive) wants to do a girls' trip. The idea sounds phenomenal - 4 women relaxing and living it up somewhere warm with ice cold drinks Big Grin

Since the trip is in August and I have the (mostly) fortunate luck of living with a family rent-free, I could easily pay for this trip by saving my surplus for the month of April. The trade-off is that it'll push my payback plan back a month.

I'm torn...on the one hand, I've loved seeing the balances go down or disappear completely, so I think I'd miss it going back to the minimums for a month. On the other...VACATION!!

What to do, what to do...

Who doesn't love numbers?

March 27th, 2014 at 01:34 pm

This post is a little late, but last week I shared my debt. Today, I'd like to share my anticipated budget for the next few months...with the caveat that my priorities may shift a bit (more on that soon) as I struggle with trying to pay down my debt while still living the fun, fabulous, carefree life most 20 somethings do before financial reality sets in. I'm just trying to do it a little smarter...if that's possible Smile

Here's my regular budget (Paycheck = 1348)
Removed Savings (at a different bank than BOA) - 15
Netflix - 9
Insurance - 89
Car - 317
Gym - 30
Sallie Mae - 175
BOA Savings (linked to checking) - 25
ACS Loan - 170
Wells Fargo Loan - 50
Food/Gas/etc. - 110

As you can see, it's a pretty bare bones budget. I don't always stick exactly to it, but I'm pretty close. Whatever's left goes straight to extra car payments. As I mentioned in a previous comment, I haven't really gotten the hang of budgeting for things like car maintenance/taxes, pet expenses, etc. For the months in which I anticipate these will occur, I simply take it from the overage when I look at where that paycheck will go and adjust the leftover amount to throw at my debt accordingly.

I also have 3 credit cards. These balances are at 0. In the rare case that I do use them, I pay it off as soon I receive the statement, so that I can show utilization without running it up. The money for this also comes out of the surplus.

I'm sure some of you more seasoned pf gurus probably have more sophisticated examples. I'd love any advice or feedback as I try to find something that works well for me.

Family Values

March 24th, 2014 at 04:34 pm

I think it's time I mentioned the biggest factor potentially holding me back in my debt journey - my family.

My mom grew up in a very traditional Filipino family where everyone does things for the family. It's simply expected that when someone is in trouble or needs help, you help them.

While I've gotten better with this lately, this past weekend was a little bit of a setback. My mom's terrible with money. Because of that, I've been vague about increases and finances, so she's not aware of what I make or what little I have in savings. You can bet if she knew, she'd come calling more often (she is, however, aware of my living situation).

She's been spending what little she has on a lawyer for her sister (told you, they all pay help each other...even at their own expense), and asked me for a loan. While I don't mind giving it, I usually have to put myself in the mindset that that is money I'll just never see again if I agree to give it to her. If it comes back, I just consider it a nice snowflake, but more often than not, it doesn't. Unfortunately, that was money I had intended to put my car well under the 9 grand mark. Now, I have to settle for just getting it to 8 grand and (LOTS OF) change.

Has anyone else experienced this sort of family culture? How do you escape it without losing those you hold dear?