September Expenses

Here is a breakdown of my expenses for September.

Household

$507.31

Food

$84.39

Transportation

$458.89

Medical/Dental

$190.22

Entertainment

$73.35

Debt

$449.70

Total

$1763.86

Expenses went up higher than I wanted.  I had a car repair and a traffic ticket that inflated my transportation expenses.  They should be lower this month although I do have a repair to make.  Medical expenses were high because I had my quarterly health insurance bill.  This ought to go down this month but I hope to have a dental appointment so it may not go down much.  Entertainment was higher than usual because I gambled $60.  That is out of my system for now and this month’s entertainment expense should be very low because I have two free gift cards that can be used for movies.  Food and household should be about the same.  I probably won’t be able to pay as much towards debt this month.  That is the one category of my expenses I want to be bigger.

August Expenses

Here is a breakdown of my expenses for August.

Household

$516.70

Food

$101.75

Transportation

$201.3

Entertainment

$7.30

Debt

$620

Total

$1447.05

I’m very pleased with my expense results for August.  If you take out the amount for debt repayment my expenses were well under 50% of my income. This is the kind of month I’ve been wanting to have since I started tracking my expenses.  There were no unusual expenses this month such as car repair or dental bills like I have been occurring. Unfortunately I won’t be able to repeat this since I have a traffic ticket, car repair, and quarterly health insurance bill to pay for this month.

I’m going to try again to reduce my food bill.  I was very close to my budgeted amount of $100 but I think I can spend less.  A large percentage of my food budget is spent on impulse junk food purchases.  If I can eliminate or reduce these purchases my food budget should go down plus I’ll be healthier.  Since I work in a pizza restaurant I need to take advantage of the free food available to me and use that to satisfy my junk food cravings.  Entertainment should stay low because I received a $50 AMC gift card for opening a bank account. Also I stopped seeing the woman I was dating so there won’t be any expense there.  Debt reduction will probably also be less since my other expenses will leave me with less available to pay on debt.

August Income

Here is a breakdown of my income for August.

Job Income

$1853.7

Medical Study

$125

Online Income

$76.41

Ebay/Half/Selling stuff

$85.92

Surveys/Mystery Shop

$26.11

Interest

$2.86

Total

$2170

My income for September should be roughly the same. The medical study has ended so I won’t have that income. My interest income has almost disappeared because I ended my credit card arbitrage.  The other categories shouldn’t change much.

Budgeting and the 60% Solution

The 60% solution is a budgeting method I’ve seen mentioned on a couple of blogs. The basic concept is to limit your committed expenses to 60% or less of your total income.  Then commit 10% each to retirement savings, long-term savings, short-term savings for irregular expenses, and fun money.  Looking at my budget for last month my committed expenses are quite easily under the 60% limit.  I don’t actually follow the 10% guidelines for what to do with the rest of my money but as the article indicates once you have your committed expenses at 60% it is simple to save money.

Since I have a lot of debt to repay I don’t think the 10% guidelines work too well for me.  Right now I just put as much extra money as I can towards debt.  Since I’m frugal I don’t worry that I’ll waste my money without specific guidelines on where to spend it.  I use Pear Budget to do my budget and it works fine for my simple needs.  I use it more as a way to track my income and expenses than as an actual budget.

July Income

Here is a breakdown of my income for July.

Job

$2089.41

Medical Study

$100

Online Income

$30.96

Selling Stuff/Bonuses

$66.25

Surveys

$10

Interest

$17.84

Total

$2314.46

Online income was down because I didn’t receive an Adsense payment or sell any links in July. Also I paid for one more year of hosting for this site and two others. Job income will most likely go down in August because I will hopefully be returning to school. Interest income will also go down because I’m ending my credit card arbitrage. My other sources of income will probably be about the same.