Monday, July 10, 2006

Revised Budgeting

Well well well, it's another post sharing my private financial information, to follow up on "The Cost of Living", "Blown Budgets" and "The Cost of Living Part 2".

Anyway, since we just went and made a major purchase, which not only saddled us with a new car payment, but basically doubled our gasoline costs, and changed our insurance costs, I thought I'd go through the budgeting process again.

This time, I'm going on the actual totals for everything except food, entertainment, and random; rather than estimating, so our numbers are far more accurate.

Our biggest expenses are the same, rent, car (including gas and insurance), food and entertainment, electric etc... but the car has climbed above food as our second biggest monthly expense, broken out roughly like this.

Car and Insurance$600
Entertainment (non food)$250
Subscription Services (netflix, newspaper etc...)$150
Phone and Cell$125
Cable and Internet$125
City water, sewer, and trash$75
Natural Gas$25

$4150 huh... about what I thought, considering we just added $650 to our monthly expenses with the new vehicle, and I had an estimated $3500 monthly before . I also moved the entertainment and random numbers around a bit, by creating the susbscription services category. Basically I was putting some of that in entertainment and random before, but I stuck it into the new category because they are all direct montly recurring expenses (in fact they are directly debited).

Actually, I don't think I've got enough in entertainment and random. Lets round up to $4500 and add that extra in.

Now here's the problem though. I make a lot more than that. In fact I take HOME a lot more than that.

So why don't we ever have any spare cash?

Again the same complaint as last month, we've got all this uncontrolled discretionary spending; and we've STILL got catchup spending to do from the three months of unemployment, as well as debts to repay.

This is why I didn't want to buy a new car this month yet; I was hoping to use this month to finally catch everything up, and start saving. As it is, most of the discretionary cash for this month is going to be taken up with the car repairs that we do still have to pay for (a couple hundred for work already done), the rental car (about $700), and the direct cash costs of the new truck (about $3000 over and above the part of his debt that my friend paid off).

Oh well, I guess this just proves the theory that expenses expand to consume the available funds.