Budget Revamp

I’ve made some changes to my budget that should remain unchanged through 2009.

Income (Bi-Weekly)

Gross – $1780.20
401K Contribution – $53.41
Net – $1187.85

Fixed Expenses (Monthly)

Rent – $750.00
Personal Loan – $237.30
Auto Insurance – $115.00
School Loan – $54.27

Debt Repayment (Monthly)

Fixed
Washington Mutual – $200.00
AMEX – $100.00
J Crew – $100.oo

Variable
B of A – $400.00 – $1,000.00

I have made two main alterations. I’ve decided to begin contributing to my 401K again; just 3%. Also, I have told my boyfriend that I cannot contribute to his property taxes as I have my own financial goals to work through and I feel my rent is appropriate.

I have set up automatic payments for my WaMu, AMEX and J Crew accounts. Payments are billed monthly and cover the minimum payments. My focus in 2009 is to pay off the B of A card as it has an INSANE APR (28.99%).

I’m leaving myself between $180 and $240 per pay period. So, roughly $100 per week discretionary income. This includes gas, food, prescriptions, toiletries and those inevitable miscellaneous medical bills that seem to pop up now and then.

Any additional income from freelance work, eBay, taxes, gifts, etc. will go toward paying down debt and added to discretionary spending.

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3 Responses to “Budget Revamp”

  1. Anna Says:

    Good luck with your finances, I am also trying to pay off a BoA card with 25% APR- ugh. only 4000 to go, down from 10000. but I wanted to tell you I spoke with a CSR and she said if I made 6 payments on time (I wasn’t very good at that for a while) I could call and request that they lower the APR. I hate doing stuff like that so I never tried, but wanted to pass along the suggestion. again, best of luck!

  2. lululucy Says:

    Hey, PP, followed you here from Jez and just saying congrats on your efforts to get the plastic debt under control. I’m 40 and have been ignoring mine la la la all through my 30s, and believe me, it just gets worse (much worse) instead of better. (I’m currently trying to pay off 3 times your debt, and it sucks.) So budgeting now will make life so, so much better in the future, says this possible future version of someone in your situation.

    Would suggest that while aggressive repayment on the high-interest cc is very good, you might also divert whatever cash you can into an emergency fund. So that all your good work paying down the evil, evil BoA isn’t undone by the sudden need for a root canal without dental insurance. Ask me how I know.

    And Anna is right — call after 6 months on-time payment and get that rate down.

  3. pennyplastic Says:

    Thanks for the words of support, Lucy. I am not the greatest motivator, but I certainly hope that this blog can become a place for everyone to feel comfortable talking about their financial failures (and successes!).

    I will certainly be calling B of A in a few months.

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