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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Budgeting and Goal Setting

Here it is, the 1st day of September! Wow, where DID the summer go? Sort of makes me sad, but then again, time goes on...

So you already know that I do a spend/save post every week. This is just the discretionary spending stuff. The stuff that can and does change frequently. The stuff that can be eliminated for the most part in times of need.

But then I also have a regular budget, so to speak. These are the bills that come in every month, that MUST be paid, you know, like the electric, phone, etc. So here’s how THAT looks:

FPL       $400.00
AT&T     $45.00
Tmobile $220.00 (this will be back to about $165 in 2 months or less - $60 will be applied to cc or kitty)
Water     $150.00
sprinkler $20.00
bug man $24.00
cap1       $150.00
Gas*       $125.00
Publix*    $400.00
Costco*  $300.00
Target*   $100.00
Kids*      $100.00
Misc*      $60.00
SunSave$500.00
WAMU no touch  ALL BONUSES
kitty/cc*   $128.00

It should be noted that I make about $2700 a month and that does not include my monthly bonus of anywhere from $300 to $500 average. Of course, if I stuck with this budget, I’d have quite a bit of money saved in both savings accounts, wouldn’t I? But I don’t. I only have $600 in the no touch account and $300 in the sunsave account. The sunsave should be for the bills like insurances and taxes that come up periodically. The no touch account is suppose to be my vacation and real savings account but that’s not working too well either.

I know, you don’t see a mortgage. Hubby pays that. Yes, we DO have separate accounts. Always have. Always will. No big deal, my money is still his and his money is still mine. If I could get the kids to jump on board, that would be GREAT!

So a few new categories were added in for September. Costco. Target. I did the Publix as my general grocery since that’s where I shop the most. And I did Costco on it’s own as I’m going to try and stick with that every 2 weeks.

Based on the way it’s laid out up there, every penny is accounted for. $2722.00 exactly. See the Kitty or cc? That’s the “free money jar” or apply towards the credit card. I have ONE. Capital One. It sits in a drawer here. I do not use it very often, but it’s nice to have for an emergency. I try to put $75 on payment every other week. About $1200 or so for my balance but HIGH interest. I know, technically I should just pay it off and be done but…I don’t know. Dedication? Discipline? That stuff? Uh Huh.

Let’s see…some of those are very flexible and marked with an asterisk. And then some, electric (FPL) for example, goes from one end to another. My bill last month was over $400. But 4 months ago, it was like $250. I pay a lot for electric. Large house. Big air conditioner units. Lots of stuff.

Ironically, hubby was saying once he knows where he will be landing after the CHANGE, he wants to get himself a BETTER financial advisor and discuss options and ways to approach to become debt (mortgage) free within the next 5 years. Huh. I don’t think we need to hire a NEW financial advisor to tell us how. Fire the one we have now (if we want a BETTER one, why keep the one we have?) … but definitely need to get a little more focused and dedicated to the common goal. Oh well. This will have to be a conversation to approach again in the near future.

So there you have it. My full budget. Of course, it’s not set in stone, as it should be. The stuff marked with an asterisk comes to about $1100 a month. Generous, don’t you think? I believe the problem most people have when they set a budget is keeping everything too low and too tight, therefore, undoable. I know, I’ve been there, hence the high food allowance. If I stay under (trust me, I should) then that can be applied towards either the credit card OR the savings account.

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