Tuesday, January 1, 2008

So begins the budget

Today is officially the day of fresh start. I'm damn happy about that. I didn't get to posting my budget yesterday as I had a lobster bearnaise sauce to make. Good excuse, no?

I think this budget is manageable but it's way too tight. You'll immediately see why I need to supplement my income. I had my year end review last month but won't find out about a raise until the end of January. Our budget at work is tight and I'm hoping for 3% but don't even want to plan for it so I've used my favorite Yahoo Paycheck Calculator to see what my net pay will be.

My weekly net pay takes into consideration: 15% of my salary, or $234, going to my 401(k) and $96.15 going to my Flex Spending. The net pay per week come right on the nose to $900. I figure my budget multiplying that by 4 paychecks. The extra paycheck 4 times a year goes go my mortgage payment and the left over $300 will go toward my credit card debt.


  • $3600


  • Mortgage - $2,348
  • Groceries - $250
  • Electric - $125
  • Water - $0 (paid in full for the year assuming $80/month)
  • Natural Gas - $50
  • Cable - $65
  • Internet - $50
  • Cell Phone - $0 (paid in full for the year assuming $60/month)
  • Ann Taylor Card - $50
  • Victoria's Secret Card - $50
  • Discover Card - $150
  • Car Insurance - $150
  • Gasoline - $200
  • Car Payment - $0 (paid in full for the year assuming $285/month)
  • Child Care - $50 (this is the amount left after FSA payment)

Total Expenses - $3,540

Cushion - $60

Yes, folks I will have NO social life this year. You see why I need the supplemental income? I don't care how many online surveys I need to do at this point. I just need the cash. I need to find solid sources of income online. I do, however, see places to cut.

I am farming out my car insurance. It's really high. I had a minor fender bender in April of 2005. That comes of this year so that should drop my rate pretty well to begin with. My ex-husband was in the National Guard so I can get a good rate through them. He pays $50 a month. That's a steal.

I'll be watching the grocery store flyers and cutting coupons and printing them online. I hope to be able to drop my grocery bill to $200. The only other thing I can see is dropping the electric bill below $100. My Victoria's Secret card will be the first one paid off and it's scheduled to go away on February 1 with the additional paycheck I get in that month. I'm hoping to have a new and better card to transfer the Ann Taylor balance to. It occurs to me that need to be top priority in my goals.

Let's hope I can do this and manage my personal finance right. I am open to any and all suggestions or tips you may have. Let them roll!


ryan said...

As a memberbjh of the military you might be eligible for insurance through USAA. Try giving them a call, I have a pretty good rate through them. Oh, and consider doing paid posts, I made $2,500 last year doing it.

Stephanie Denny said...

You seem to be on the right track! I'm really glad you're still contributing to your 401k, in spite of everything else. That is so important.

All I can say is hang in there! I was also a single mom, and I know what it's like to have no money left after the bills are paid. But YOU CAN DO IT! Take one day at a time.

Your ideas about earning extra money online are great -- it's something you can do without leaving home.

It does get easier, too, as time goes by. I started out with nothing -- I didn't even own a home when I was divorced at a young age. But over the years, I managed to buy two houses, get out of debt, and build a solid retirement. I just retired from the banking business this year, and although I'm not wealthy, I'm in a comfortable position now, thanks to my 401k.

I wish you the best of luck. This experience will make you a stronger person.

Little Dough Girl said...

Ryan - I am givign them a call in the morning. If I can get my ins. to $75, I'll be happy!

Stephanie - THANK YOU for the wonderful words of inspiration and support. Honestly, it meant a lot. There are times I feel like I'm doing better than most but at the same time, I have so far to go.

Seine said...

dang ... is $3600 your gross income? Or after taxes? $2348 on mortgage is 2/3 of that! such a hefty mortgage to pay :(

good luck with the finance managing! i need to do some myself ...

Little Dough Girl said...

$3600 is my net after everything is taken out. My mortgage is hefty. No doubt. That the biggest reason my finances are screwed up. I had to sell my house because of the divorce at a horrific time in the market. I could only put 10% down so $222 of it is PMI!

My old house had a very quick close so I had to find something and have it close in three weeks! Admittedly, I bit off more than I could chew. I hate it.