One of the things that I want to do in life is be able to manage my money smartly. I come from a household that didn’t have the money to budget – we lived paycheck to paycheck. So budgeting was not something I grew up doing. When I made my first budget, I thought that it was too easy and that I had done something wrong. It wasn’t that I had done something wrong, it’s just that I need to think about a few more things to add in order to become more financially aware.
$500.00 – extra money from loans and scholarships that I received that I am using to help pay bills.
$349.80 – this is approximately how much I earn a month working my two on-campus jobs.
Total = $849.00 a month expected income
$358.00 – rent, including utilities.
$90.00 – my phone bill. It is usually a few dollars less than this, but I budget a tiny bit higher just in case.
$25.00 – car insurance. My mom pays most of it (thankfully) but I still contribute to part of it.
$60.00 – I hate doing dishes, so I’m paying my roommate to do them. Yes, seriously.
$160.00 – food. I budget about $40 a week for food, so four weeks a month equals $160.00. So far I’ve been doing very well and most often am under that amount.
$80.00 – gas. I originally budgeted $40 a month for gas, but now that I have a bigger gas tank it takes almost that amount just to fill it up.
Total = $773.00
Left over each month = $76.80
Paycheck 1 = $336.54
Paycheck 2 = $230.32
(Bonus Paycheck 3) = $244.17
Total = $1,311.03
So now that you see my budget, let’s take a look at how well it matches up with my actual expenditures.
Rent = $258.00. So my university owed me money, and instead of paying it to me they just took it off my rent (I live in an on-campus apartment so I pay rent through the university).
Phone bill = $88.47. Like I said, just a tiny bit under $90.
Car insurance = $25.00. Mom won’t let me slide on this one.
Food = (week 1: $27.59)(week 2: $37.85)(week 3: $36.24)(week 4: $37.13) total of $138.81
Gas = $61.93
Medicine = $77.11
Eating out = $ 111.77
Extras = $134.59
Total = $895.68
We can see right off the bat that I spent way too much money eating out. In my defense, I had to take several people to dinner as thank-you gifts for helping me out when I was car-less. And I spent more than necessary on extras. My extra paycheck this month really saved me, but I’m going to have to be more careful in the coming months. I checked and I won’t get a bonus paycheck until next year.
After all my expenses are paid, I have $415.35 left over from this month. In a few weeks, I am planning on going to Illinois and this will help for travel costs. Part of me knows that I should save the rest, but this is the first chance I’ve had in over a year to make a large purchase that I have been wanting. Whatever is left after that will be going in a savings account, promise!
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