28 May 2011

My budget

I'm going to do something that I don't know too many people to do. I'm going to put my income and expenses out there! Usually, finances are a private matter. People don't want to talk about how much they make or what they spend their money on. The government wants to talk about how important the budget is, but do we really know what goes on there? I have used Crown.org for a lot of guidance (and their free worksheets) and have been able to keep a pretty good picture of my finances.

Income:

Let's start with how much I earn and receive on a monthly basis.
I make $9.50 an hour and work about 4 days a week. After taxes, that comes up to about $559 and some change every other week. I also receive child support from my ex-husband. It's about $375 every other week. To figure how much that rounds out to be for the month, rather than multiplying these numbers by 2, I would want to multiply the number by 26 and divide by 12.

Sum of total income X 26 / 12 = Monthly income

Doing it this way, as opposed to the way of multiplying by 2, will yield a larger number, but this number will account for months where perhaps you will receive a paycheck 3 times, instead of just 2. Remember, there are 52 weeks in a year. If you get paid weekly, then you want to take your weekly amount and multiply it by 52 before dividing that by 12. I get paid bi-weekly, so 26 should do it for me.

559 + 375 = 934
934 X 26 = 24,284 (Without child support, I would only make $14,534 per year! Trust me, I'm looking for another job!)
24,284 / 12 = $2023 (and some repeating 6's) per month. Not too bad!

If I were to simply multiply by 2 = $1868. Sometimes it's better to go with the lower number to make sure that in the tightest situation, bills are covered and savings can be built.

Expenses:

Now the "fun" part. *rolls eyes* These things are the monthly bills that I pay. My rent is variable and depends on how much I make. Some bills are paid every 2 months or every 6 months or yearly (whatever) but I will break them down per month.

Rent = $445
Childcare = $500 ($125 per week = roughly $541 and some repeating 6's Usually about $6500 per year)
Auto & Property Insurance = $94.12 (since I have more stuff, I should probably redo this one)
Term Life = $5
Term Life = $20.79
Auto Loan = $71.58 (once I receive my tax refund, I will pay this off ^_^)
Verizon Internet & Phone = $95
Washington Gas = $80 (this is an estimate, based on the highest bill vs the lowest bill. It will not necessarily be $80 every month, but I budget for it, just in case)
Boost Mobile = $53 (soon that will change, as I am enrolled in the shrinkage plan)
The Grocery Game = $10 ($20 every 8 weeks)
Amazon Prime Membership = $6.58 ($79 for a year. Usually I pay the whole amount with tax refund, if I'm feeling up to it)
The Washington Post = $3.38 ($20.26 every 6 months)

The total of my regular expenses is *drumroll please* $1312.87. I have not included food, gasoline, or clothing (yet).

Differences:

Subtracting $1313 from 2023 = $710.

I commute about 45 minutes from house to job, daily, so what I pay in gasoline is probably not what most people pay. My gasoline bill averages around $450 per month.

$710 - $450 = $260 left for clothing, household needs, etc. Since I receive foodstamps, I'm able to use only that to buy groceries.

One thing that I am not doing, and I feel I really should be doing is tithing, or giving 10% of my income to the church. Some people don't have a specific church in mind, but give regularly to charities. If I were to give that 10% ($202 per month), I'd have $58 at the end of every month.

Needless to say, I need to find another job. One that is closer to me. I'm looking for a telecommuting job. Even if I made the same hourly wage, I would save a significant amount of money by not spending so much in gas.

A new job would most likely mean a new daycare. That could cause my childcare expense to go up or down. Because I am a recipient of child support and I'm eligible for medicaid, I may be able to apply for child care vouchers to help with the cost of childcare. Why don't I have them now, you ask? Because the lady my son has been going to isn't currently set up to take them. I haven't moved him because of a couple of reasons. He had been going there since my ex placed my girls there. I wanted him to be with his sisters. When his sisters were moved, I didn't want to move him, and I think that was a pretty good decision, since they were taken out of the other daycare. I've been doing the best I can to keep his life as stable as possible, in the midst of all the big changes we have been through these last few years. When I move him, if it comes down to it, I want to make sure it's not just a short-term solution.

I will be back later with some tools for dealing with finances that I find pretty helpful.