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My New Budget

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have never made a budget before, but I tried last night. I need some help, or someone to tell me if this seems ok.

Credit Card - $40/month
Cell Phone - $40/month
Mastercard - $20/month
Food - $100/week, $400/month
Entertainment - $25/week, $100/month
Gas - $50/week, $200/month
Car Insurance - $130/month
Personal - $40/month
Money Owed - $500/month
Save - $500/month
Extra - $30/month

The Money owed is money that my boyfriend owes. We want to pay it off in large amounts to get it done quickly because it is almost $2,000. We might even use the save money to pay it off because it needs to get done so we can save. Once that is gone the credit cards will start to get paid off with bigger amounts (but that is not that much, they don't have huge limits). I had an extra $30 and wasn't sure where to put it.

This is all new to me. I have always been able to just spend my paycheques but I really need to save.
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover19 View Post
I have never made a budget before, but I tried last night. I need some help, or someone to tell me if this seems ok.

Credit Card - $40/month
Cell Phone - $40/month
Mastercard - $20/month
Food - $100/week, $400/month
Entertainment - $25/week, $100/month
Gas - $50/week, $200/month
Car Insurance - $130/month
Personal - $40/month
Money Owed - $500/month
Save - $500/month
Extra - $30/month

The Money owed is money that my boyfriend owes. We want to pay it off in large amounts to get it done quickly because it is almost $2,000. We might even use the save money to pay it off because it needs to get done so we can save. Once that is gone the credit cards will start to get paid off with bigger amounts (but that is not that much, they don't have huge limits). I had an extra $30 and wasn't sure where to put it.

This is all new to me. I have always been able to just spend my paycheques but I really need to save.
Stick with how much you want to put towards the debt, and still save. You never know when an emergency can come about. I would also just leave that extra $30 sitting around until you can find a good place for it, and if you're still not using it, add it to the savings pile. Also, expect to adjust the budget according to your spending habits until it's "just right."

I think you're off to a really good start. Good luck!!
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover19 View Post
I have never made a budget before, but I tried last night. I need some help, or someone to tell me if this seems ok.

Credit Card - $40/month
Cell Phone - $40/month
Mastercard - $20/month
Food - $100/week, $400/month
Entertainment - $25/week, $100/month
Gas - $50/week, $200/month
Car Insurance - $130/month
Personal - $40/month
Money Owed - $500/month
Save - $500/month
Extra - $30/month

The Money owed is money that my boyfriend owes. We want to pay it off in large amounts to get it done quickly because it is almost $2,000. We might even use the save money to pay it off because it needs to get done so we can save. Once that is gone the credit cards will start to get paid off with bigger amounts (but that is not that much, they don't have huge limits). I had an extra $30 and wasn't sure where to put it.

This is all new to me. I have always been able to just spend my paycheques but I really need to save.
Why not try putting that extra $30 in a money market fund and you can use that account for saving? Not only will you be putting a small amount in automatically, you can always add to it and it will collect interest. There are many that are low risk and worth investing in.

I would put in a miscellaneous or emergency category for things that come up unexpectantly.
post #4 of 18
Are you budgeting for two people or just yourself? If it's for 2 people, I think your food amount is probably budgeted way too low. I know, just for myself, I spend more than $100/week, plus I buy food at lunch in the cafeteria. What about pet food, cat litter, paper products, cleaning products, etc?

I just met with my retirement/financial advisor and had to make up a budget. I was amazed at what I really spent money on. I actually wrote down everything for two months, so I knew where my money was going. There's so much insidious spending that gets done, that you don't really think about....Postage stamps, medications, vet bills, the list really does go on and on. Try making a list (carry it with you and write it down as you spend it) of all of the things you purchase, or just save receipts for a month or two. It will really be an eye opener! Good luck!
post #5 of 18
Wya to budget your money, that is great. If you can go over past statements and see what you buy. Write everything down, even a single coke. Save your reciepts.
post #6 of 18
You've had some great advice so far..I would just add be sure that you allow for clothing expenses and haircuts
post #7 of 18
Two thoughts:

First, you may want to make paying off the credit cards your top priority. The outrageous interest they charge far outweighs the tiny pittance you make on a bank savings account. It really makes sense to wipe out that debt as fast as you can. I know it's reassuring to have money in savings in case of emergency -- but as long as your credit is good, you can always run up that debt again if you have to. For most people, it's better to pay cards off fast, rather than let interest drain away so much of your money. Then focus on savings.

Second, I know nothing at all about your relationship, so I may be 'way out of line, but... you may want to look forward and try to imagine a time when this relationship could come to an end, and then ask yourself whether you would regret having paid off debts that were your boyfriend's alone, rather than yours as a couple.

If your relationship is truly dedicated and stable, that's a wonderful thing, and I hope you'll forgive me for raising such a question. But when you're in a relationship that has no legal status, it's a good idea to give the issue some thought.

Oh, I hope that's not offensive to you... it's just that I encountered something similar once myself, and I wished I had considered that possibility. Please ignore me if it's irrelevant!
post #8 of 18
By the looks of that you are only paying the bare minimum on your credit card and master card. You don't really want to do that because of the high interest rates, which is probably 18%, so very little of what you are paying will be going towards lowering your debt.

I know you want to stock pile a savings account, but you may need to sacrafice some of that and cut back on something else too in order to make larger payments on those credit cards.

Also, cut up those cards and do not add any new charges to them because it will be defeating the whole purpose behind making payments on them to pay off the debt.
post #9 of 18
I've heard that you should "pay yourself first."
I suppose this means keeping your savings, possibly putting it into a retirement, or some sort of interest-paying account.

I would not tap into my savings to pay off boyfriend's debt.
Like an other poster said, you never know when unforseen expenses will pop up.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
Are you budgeting for two people or just yourself? If it's for 2 people, I think your food amount is probably budgeted way too low. I know, just for myself, I spend more than $100/week, plus I buy food at lunch in the cafeteria. What about pet food, cat litter, paper products, cleaning products, etc?
It is for 2 people. I probably should have explained myself a little better. $100 a week is $20 per meal because we only make 5 meals a week. On the weekend, my boyfriends mom makes dinner. I don't buy lunch at work, I usually just eat soup. I added cat food/litter to personal stuff or food...doesn't really matter it doesn't cost too much. I don't have to buy any toilet paper, cleaning supplies etc because my boyfriends mom buys them.

We just decided to give her $50 a week too to help with bills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix View Post
You've had some great advice so far..I would just add be sure that you allow for clothing expenses and haircuts
I really don't buy much clothes and I don't get my hair cut that often. I would just take some money out of savings to get a haircut. We have a salon that I get a 20% discount at because I work in the mall so it is only about $11 to get a haircut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Two thoughts:

First, you may want to make paying off the credit cards your top priority. The outrageous interest they charge far outweighs the tiny pittance you make on a bank savings account. It really makes sense to wipe out that debt as fast as you can. I know it's reassuring to have money in savings in case of emergency -- but as long as your credit is good, you can always run up that debt again if you have to. For most people, it's better to pay cards off fast, rather than let interest drain away so much of your money. Then focus on savings.

Second, I know nothing at all about your relationship, so I may be 'way out of line, but... you may want to look forward and try to imagine a time when this relationship could come to an end, and then ask yourself whether you would regret having paid off debts that were your boyfriend's alone, rather than yours as a couple.

If your relationship is truly dedicated and stable, that's a wonderful thing, and I hope you'll forgive me for raising such a question. But when you're in a relationship that has no legal status, it's a good idea to give the issue some thought.

Oh, I hope that's not offensive to you... it's just that I encountered something similar once myself, and I wished I had considered that possibility. Please ignore me if it's irrelevant!
I can't really make paying off my credit cards a top priority. The money my boyfriend owes, which is somewhat my fault, is more important. It is the government and if we don't pay it, they have threatened to go into our bank account and take it. Plus, my credit cards do not have high limits. I plan on changing my one credit card (which is a store card...the store I work at) over to our new mastercard and then getting rid of the mastercard I have now.

As for the relationship. We are common law. We have been together for almost 6 years now. Out of the approximately $2,000 a month we get (plus my boyfriends comission), only about $600-700 is money I earn. Most of what is getting paid off is his money.
post #11 of 18
I agree with everyone that stated the Credit Card debt repayment is really important...
If you just pay the minimum every month you could just end up owing more and more money..
You said your priority is the government debt so when you finished with that next focus on the credit card..

If it is possible to place all your debt on one credit card and get rid of the other that might be a good idea as well...

Also there's the line of Credit option, apply for a line of credit these usually have a interest rate of 5-8% much lower then credit cards. Pay off all outstanding debt with that then just focus on that one payment...That will free up money for Savings, and a RRSP if you want one..

That gives you less items to budget as well..
post #12 of 18
I see that you live in Canada, so I am not sure how common-law marriages work there.
First, I would find out if his debt is legally yours and if any of your debt is his.
Second, I would do all I could to pay off the credit cards. Can your in-laws loan you the money? Is there a non-profit service to help you consolidate debts? Non-profit, not for profit.
Third, save money for the cats.
Good luck!
post #13 of 18
With small payments of $20-30 on credit cards the payments are too small for credit consolidation I would think, and since her common-law's wages are also included in the budget they are paying both of their bills so it would make sense to pay the government first as long as there is money left over for savings.

I would personally pay an extra $100 to the credit cards for the first few months and get the balances down to $0 and then go back to saving $500 a month.
post #14 of 18
I agree with everyone who says to get that credit card debt paid. I'd put (at least) the extra $30 on the credit card debt.

*sigh* Wish our grocery bill was that cheap. We pay about $30 per person per day at the grocery store.
post #15 of 18
I dont see any utilities, rent, mortage, heat, gas, sewer, garbage, or any of those things??! Do you live with someone else who pays them??
My Utilities includes the heat gas sewer and garbage, But I must admit I paid 356 dollars for it this last month!
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by butzie View Post
I see that you live in Canada, so I am not sure how common-law marriages work there.
First, I would find out if his debt is legally yours and if any of your debt is his.
Second, I would do all I could to pay off the credit cards. Can your in-laws loan you the money? Is there a non-profit service to help you consolidate debts? Non-profit, not for profit.
Third, save money for the cats.
Good luck!
In-laws definitely could not lend me the money. His dad does not work right now so his mom is paying everything and she has less in her bank account than I do. My mom also could not do it because she just bought a house and a car and does not have much money since my dad died (who was the one making a lot of money)

Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch View Post
I dont see any utilities, rent, mortage, heat, gas, sewer, garbage, or any of those things??! Do you live with someone else who pays them??
My Utilities includes the heat gas sewer and garbage, But I must admit I paid 356 dollars for it this last month!
I don't pay any of that stuff. Last night my boyfriends mom asked if we could help with bills so we are going to be giving her $200 a month. We pay her weekly $50. We used to pay double that but then we starting buying our own food so she stopped asking for it but now she needs help because his dad is not working so she is paying everything and has no money.
post #17 of 18
Frankly, I would pay much more to your bf's mom.
Two adults living in her home - with no bills on utilities, just $200 to cover "rent" for TWO people. I think that is a shamefully low amount.
She might have an issue accepting - make her take it anyway.

Regarding the $30 leftover you mentioned - definitely put it in the miscellaneous category IMO. Misc. stuff crops up all the time - a watch battery needs replacing, you have to buy a gift for a coworker, etc.

Or, split it - some into 'gift' as a category, some to misc. You dont have to use it every month if it isn't needed.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDubbie View Post
Frankly, I would pay much more to your bf's mom.
Two adults living in her home - with no bills on utilities, just $200 to cover "rent" for TWO people. I think that is a shamefully low amount.
She might have an issue accepting - make her take it anyway.

Regarding the $30 leftover you mentioned - definitely put it in the miscellaneous category IMO. Misc. stuff crops up all the time - a watch battery needs replacing, you have to buy a gift for a coworker, etc.

Or, split it - some into 'gift' as a category, some to misc. You dont have to use it every month if it isn't needed.
$200 is what she wants. We used to pay $400 a month, and she would buy food but now we buy all our own food (except for weekends) and cook for his dad during the week a lot too. The $200 is to help with bills. We can't afford to give her $400 plus buy all our own food. We would never save anything.
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