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The budget

November 23rd, 2012 at 07:29 am

As promised below is my household budget.

Take Home Pay- 1790.00
Fixed Expenses......
Savings- $15.00
Rent- $634.00
Student Loan #1- $533.00
Student Loan #2- no payment due
Car Insurance- $199
Renters Insurance- $13.50
CC #1- $33.00
CC #2- $20.00
Variable Expenses......
Gas- $120.00
Groceries- $50.00
Dominion Power- $60.00
Cable- $50.00
Cell phone- $78.00
As is stands I am over budget by 6.50 per month

This is my budget for December as I will be paying all my bills for November tomorrow. Now I know what you don't see is my car loan listed in my budget. What I have done is year's past is pay my loan up for the year with my income tax returns, but that didn't happen like I wanted this year, the reason why I am past due. I have about $200 that I am going to put toward it and $300 in my state taxes that I have not filed yet, so this will get my account current.

Now looking at my budget, you are like me....where am I going to get the money from to pay down my debt, well I have a a part time job! This money is not ever going to be added into my monthly budget and applied directly toward my debt. Its not income that is steady so I don't want to make it seem I have more money per month that I do. I go on Monday to sign my paperwork and I hope to have my first check by December!

A few things about the numbers, my power bill is never $60 per month. For November it was $44.10, but just incase it is ever that high, I set that amount aside. Any money that is not spent goes to debt. And I know you are looking at my grocery budget, $50 per month WHAT!?!?! I use coupons and have a really good stock pile, so I am able to manage with that!

Well there you have it. Fell free to ask questions, pick my budget apart, offer suggestions!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Turkey Day! I'm paying bills tomorrow, so I will let you all know how that goes!!

18 Responses to “The budget”

  1. scottish girl Says:

    Hi Smile Is there any way to reduce your cell phone bill? Cut cable down to basic/get rid of it?

  2. Petunia 100 Says:

    Your budget is tight. Kudos to you for making it work.

    Last June, I switched my cell provider from AT & T to Ting. Ting uses the Sprint network. I am very pleased with the service. Just today I received an e-mail that my automatic payment had been made. My bill this month was $35.27, for the second month in a row. I have 3 lines! We do not have smart phones, but we get 1000 shared minutes and 1000 shared texts for that. (Really, the bill is $9 more, but we get a credit sometimes for not using all of the minutes.) You do have to buy a phone through Ting, but the non-smart phones run about $70 each.

    I think your decision to not include your part-time income in your regular budget is a very smart one. Since you are not depending on it to make ends meet, you can use it exclusively towards your financial goals.

    Will you share some of your grocery strategies?

    Are you contributing to a retirement plan at work?

  3. Petunia 100 Says:

    Also, your car insurance seems so high to me. I know rates vary greatly by region, so perhaps it isn't high. Have you shopped it recently?

  4. shannabattle Says:

    I am currently looking into letting go of my cable service if I can't get my provider to lower the bill, have been working on that for a few days now and no luck yet. I have internet and my son has a ton of gadgets to keep him busy, so I think if I make the leap to letting it go we will not go completely insane!

    I have looked into getting my cell phone bill lower, but I have a smart phone and Sprint has told me I have to have a certain type of plan....I know stupid right! I did get them to give me a 80 credit that took it from 88 to 78, but its still not enough. I will look into Ting, I have never heard of it until you posted it Petunia 100! $35 bucks a month is wonderful and I can live without a smartphone for a while until I get my money in a good place! My job adds a certain amount per month, but I don't add anything extra and I really need to. I said once I made 5 years with my company I would add to it and as of last week I did, so I am going to at least match what they add to start with.

    Grocery strategies-- Coupons, coupons, coupons...I could not make it work without them!! And let me point out, its not just food, personal items, household items are in this as well! I only buy what is on sale and add a coupon to it and I stock up when prices are low. Itís just me and my son, so everything really goes far. Like Sunday I am making a whole roast chicken and that main dish will last us all week. I try to only go shopping once a week and have some idea of what we are going to eat for the week so I know what to get. I am going to post my weekly shopping trips for December so everyone can see the numbers. I didnít think it would work, but with some planning it does work itself out.

    As far as the car insurance, my driving record SUCKS!! It is the cheapest I could find. I talked to my agent and tons of stuff is falling off my record, so it will go down by at least 100 bucks when I'm up for a renewal middle of next year! Excited about that!

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    Shanna, sounds like you're in the right mindset to tackle this debt! I look forward to following your journey...

  6. snafu Says:

    Way to go girl! You've created a tough budget but you are tough minded and I believe you can stick to it no matter the challenges life throws at you. We're here to cheer for you and offer ideas that might help. I notice the cost of gas at the pumps is lower, by planning errands on each trip out you might be able to slightly lower that cost. My gran believed if you watched the pennies [small expenditures] the dollars could look after themselves.

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    How is the nutritional content of your meals on such a small food budget? Do you manage to get in dairy, protein, fruits, and vegetables? I'd imagine it was possible if you were very careful.

  8. shannabattle Says:

    LuckyRobin you would be suprised! I have a ton of veggies; frozen and canned, a good stock of chicken, a good deal of whole wheat grains and my son only drinks soy milk so I get a ton when I can get it for really cheap. Trust me, it is hard, but I get it done.

  9. North Georgia Gal Says:

    Sounds like you have a good plan for paying down debt! I look forward to your posts.

  10. Shiela Says:

    It sounds like you have a really good plan. Do you have an Emergency Fund?

  11. FrugalTexan75 Says:


    You may be able to bring your current phone with you to Ting. I think the bring your own device plan is in beta right now, but it wouldn't hurt to check. That way you might not even have to buy a different phone. Smile

  12. shannabattle Says:

    Shelia--I do have an emergency. I had a little over $500 in it, but about two months ago my car needed reapirs done and I took out all but $10 to cover the cost, so I am in the process in rebuilding.

  13. Sian Says:

    hi! i just wanted to say that since you have internet have you considered getting netflix? that way you can watch that on tv since you have a tv. you still get to watch movies and tv shows but it only costs about $8/mo. that way if you decide to get rid of your cable then you're not missing out on much. =D

    i understand about the cell. i did that for about 2years. now i can actually afford a smartphone which now is only $30/mo more.

    good job so far!

  14. Momma and the boys living on budget Says:

    Welcome to the blogs

    I would drop the cable-if you son has a wii get hulu plus for $8.00 a month. They just added all the Nick shows.

    As mentioned the cell phone bill is high-can you get out of the contract and pick up a cheaper tracfone

    The student loan is your biggest expenses-are you putting that education to use? How much longer for it.

    How much are your total credit card debt? Is it worth it to transfer balances around to get a lower rate.

  15. shannabattle Says:

    Thanks for all the advice! I will be looking into other forms of tv watching today and I have to stop by the Sprint store,(my smart phone is acting dumb,)so I will get more information about Ting :-)

  16. FrugalTexan75 Says:


    I don't know that the people at the Sprint store would know anything about Ting. Ting is an MVNO - in other words, it is an independent company which works off of Sprint's network.

  17. shannabattle Says:

    FrugalTeaxan75- I alomost figured that as soon I wrote it! I have been on the stie for it and I'm loving the plans, who knew cell phone service could be so cheap!

  18. crazyliblady Says:

    Another good cell phone possibility is Tracfone. It is a prepaid plan. You can get a lot of different kinds of phones, but I stick with a really basic, dumb phone. ;P I don't need internet access on it, so getting a smart phone just doesn't work for me. 60 minutes costs $19.00. 120 minutes is actually a better deal at $29.99, but I don't seem to use minutes up that first, so I usually get 60. You can get a Tracfone at stores like Walgreens, Big Lots, and Dollar General. The phones start at around $5.00 and go up from there depending on the kind you get. You could buy more minutes every month, but I only do when I am down to about 15 minutes or so.

    A good option to cable tv would be to look at Netflix instant viewing. They have all kinds of documentaries, movies, kid's programs, etc. If you already have a bluray player or PS3, you should be able to play Netflix instant viewing through it. It's only $7.99 a month.

    A super cheap entertainment option would be to visit your public library and borrow books, dvds, etc. for free.

    A good way to supplement your food budget would be to grow some of your own, like herbs in a window box or various other plants in large pots or your yard.

    You have a great plan. Good luck.

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