Recent Divine Discussions

Monday, February 4, 2008

My new budget

Yeah I know......this is like my 20th budget revision but whatev. There probably will be 20 more.

I posted my January budget
results this weekend. Things got a lil shaky this past month. Some comments left by my loyal readers rang true and I decided to take another glance at my budget and see if I could beat shape my budget into submission. I was fortunate to have found this fascinating woman's blog via Single Ma and was reading through her Baby Steps to Financial Freedom posts and came upon her 13th step: Crafting A Budget That Fits Your Needs (I definitely suggest reading her post if you are looking into redefining your budget). I went back and analyzed my budget results for the past 3 months. I identified my weaknesses and my strengths. I created a list of my needs, wants, and values. I prioritized them and then created a budget that fit my family.

Just so that you all can get a gist of the changes I made, here is my original budget that I intended to use for February:

And introducing my new and improved budget:

I have added some new categories:

Dining Out: This used to be tracked in my Misc budget. We don't eat out that much and when we do, I buy one meal and split it with her (The meals are large enough for us to eat and still have left overs to take home).

Home Phone: Was being automatically debited from one of credit cards. I will now pay the bill using one of my checking accounts.

Maintenance (Car): I have been trying to incorporate this somehow into my budget. Well it finally made it.

Beauty: One of my 2008 goals is to get my sexy on so this is definitely place to start.

Medical: I am trying to get my health on the right track also. I know I will have at least one doctors appointment a month for the next few months. My copay is $15.

Households goods: This includes toiletries, cleaners, and other necessities. I shop at my local dollar store, hence the low budget.

Allowances: I give my daughter a $3 a week allowance. I am also going to give myself a $10 a week cash allowance. I know it seems small but this is for the little things here and there that I may pick up. And plus I am trying to discipline myself against spending frivolously. With everything being accounted for, $10 cash a week ($40 a month) is not so bad.

With my previous budget, I attempted to squeeze as much as I could out of the flexible categories and add it to my cc debt snowball payment. This resulted in me spending way more than I had budgeted. With this new budget, I have allotted for my needs and wants.
If I max out each budget category, I will have $216 left over to apply to my credit card debt. Of course, I will spend only what I need to spend and anything left over on top of the $216 will be used to pay off my credit card debt.

In 4 weeks we will see how this new budget works out.

What do you think about my new budget?


SingleGuyMoney said...

That looks alot better! Now, you just have to stick to it...LOL

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

I like it.. but $100 for groceries seems quite barebones no? :\ Or am I just eating too damn much?

(Psst.. I have a "Starbucks" category) LOL!

Mrs Nespy said...

I think that it is wise to take a good look at your budget from time to time to make sure that it is both working for you and really giving you the most help where you need it. I think you are being wise to re-evaluate. Good luck!

SavingDiva said...

I like how you broke down all of the categories. I totally need a beauty budget category! :) What are you including in your beauty category? Hair? Nails? Make-up?

I agree with Fabulously Broke in the City...I eat WAY too much! :) I do remember your post about your local farmer's market. I have to admit that I haven't gone to one since it started to snow...

Millionaire Mommy Next Door said...

Thanks for the mention of my budgeting post! I think you've done a nice job of incorporating your wants into your budgeted needs here. I, too, am impressed with your low grocery amount. (Count our family as one who eats too much, I guess!)

I have to ask, have you considered reducing your car payments by driving a less expensive make/model? Or is your life energy (time price tag) a good fit for you in this category? Either way is fine, of course, because we all find different things personally important. (Mine is apparently food, not cars!)

Dimples said...

@ Single Guy

Thanks. Yeah, thats the hard part.

@ fabulously broke in the city

Hey girl. I've been meaning to stop by. This following post will answer your question to my food budget:

@ Mrs Nespy

Thanks hon. My previous budget wasn't working for me so I had to do something.

@ saving diva

Thanks. Yes I am including all those in there. I only get my nails done on special occasions. I do my own hair and get a style every other month or so. I love my farmer's market!! :-)

@ Millionaire mommy

Your welcome and welcome to my blog. :-D

I WANT to reduce my car payments. Bad. I never thought about getting a less expensive car. I just assumed that I am stuck with this car. Thank you for piquing my interest. I am definitely going to look into this.

Single Ma said...

I like this format. I think it captures your actual spending habits better.

Just wanted to point out one thing I noticed. For some reason, this spreadsheet makes it more obvious than the last one. You dish out over $1400/month in debt payments. Wow! That's almost HALF of your income. Can you image the change in your quality of life if your earned income was spent on improving YOU, instead of a creditor's bottom line?

When I was able to see my debt in those terms, that was my wake up call. 1.5 years later, I was debt free. I pray the same for you.

Dimples said...

@ Single Ma

I know I know. *sigh* I DREAM of the quality of life I will have when I am finally debt free. Keep the prayers coming. I need all that I can get.