Budget. Ugh. Just typing that word makes me cringe. There is absolutely no positive connotation to the word budget. You instantly either think of a bad rental car company or an emanate decrease in life’s luxuries! Sticking to, being on, or creating a budget will inevitably involve cutting back on a few items you have grown accustom to. A budget equals change, and most people do not like change. However, if we want what we have never had, we have to do what we have never done, and that means being honest with ourselves about where we are, and where we want to be.
As you all know I have big goals for 2013. I want to start saving for a down payment on a house and create a college fund. My first step was to max out every employee benefit my company has to offer. No matter how tight money may be, you can’t afford not to take every cent of FREE money your employer is giving away. My take home pay is a bit smaller each paycheck now, but I know it will pay off in the long run. Step two is creating a budget (I immediately envision lightening flashing behind count Dracula’s castle when I say that-budget!).
I have given a lot of great thought into how open I should to be about my finances on a public forum…how much information to share regarding my income, bills, and growing savings account. Part of the purpose of this blog is to hold myself accountable and while I am not going to outright say how much money I make, or how much I contribute to my 401K etc, I am going to be honest about how much money I have remaining after all bills each month and how I choose to spend/invest it. I will not mention my husband’s job, income, or his contributions. The small income I receive from my part time job as a personal trainer will also not be included.
Okay, okay, I know I have procrastinated long enough. It’s time to roll up my sleeves, bite the bullet and create that budget (cue thunder).
There are tons of great free financial resources available on line. Charles Schwab, Suze Orman, and Mint.com’s are a few of my favorites. Here are the links to their budget and spending spread sheets for your own personal use:
*I apologize, I haven’t figured out how to insert a table or graph yet*
Expenses Cost/ Due Date/ Notes
Rent $650 /1st/My share of rent
Electric $0 / My husband pays
Gas $0 /My husband pays
Cable/Internet $116 /9th
Cell Phone $156 /21st
Subway pass $0* 1st $* 70 taken from my paychek pretax
Child Care $1472* Weekly * $416 per month pretax taken from paycheck
Insurance $372 20th
Total Expense $2,766 $1294 w/o daycare
$124. There it is. The truth, the bottom line, the reason a budget makes you cringe! Reality that after all of my bills each month, and paying for that darn daycare I will have a whopping $124 remaining ($62 each paycheck). Drinks on me? Ha!
Next Step: Reduce spending and enroll in an automatic savings and brokerage account!