Miss Money

Miss Money is my anonymous personal finance blog. I will divulge my career opportunities, income, expenditures, savings, and debt. My goals include moving my net worth from "negative" -$45,500 to -$33,000 in one year, get out of credit card debt and improve my FICO credit score from 656 to 750.

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Location: South Carolina, United States

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Budget Update

As I discussed in my debt reduction post, I have made a decision to alter my budget in order to pay off my credit card debt more quickly. I have also taken some other actions in preparation for September 1, 2005, when I will begin my weekly budget audits and disclosures here at Miss Money. I want to make it easier for me to succeed.

I have . . .
  • changed my iTunes account to be connected to my debit card instead of credit card, forcing me to consider the bottom line before I hit "Buy Now."
  • put all three of my credit cards in a safe drawer in my home. (I had previously only put 2 of them away.)
  • reduced my 5-at-a-time Netflix rental plan to a 3-at-a-time rental plan, saving me $10 per month.
  • began making a list of items I can sell on E-bay (wedding china, old laptop, etc.)

Here is my updated budget. As stated, I will begin posting budget updates and audits weekly beginning September 1, 2005. Every penny will be accounted for and disclosed.

Income from Paychecks: $1,980

Fixed Expenses
Rent (my part): $450
Electricity (my part): $25
Student Loan #1: $118
Student Loan #2: $56
Cable and Internet: $50
Netflix: $20

Total: $719

Variable Expenses
Credit Cards: $450 (distributed between the 3 cards)
Savings: $100
Food/Groceries: $325

Total: $875

Discretionary Expenses
Clothing: $100
Entertainment: $80
Miscellaneous: $200

Total: $380

Final Expense Total: $1,974
Income: $1,980
Difference: $6

3 Comments:

Anonymous YoungMiser said...

That is a tight budget! Is there a way to combine those credit card payments into one and lower the interest rate? Also try to call you credit card company and request a lower rate. They usually will lower it for you. Also threaten to move the balance to another company, but be ready to actually transfer, because they might call your bluff!

Also is there a way to reduce food costs? Do your food costs include going out?

August 21, 2005 6:35 PM  
Blogger April said...

Young Miser:

Thanks alot for the tips, although I don't think they will be effective in my situation. I wrote the budget to include everything and have little padding. The reason the food line item is so big is that includes going out to eat, and non-food grocery items such as cleaning supplies and shampoo and such. I just wanted to roll that into one category. I just recently got two of my three credit cards, so lowering the interest rate is not an option. None of them have enough of a limit in order to transfer balances, and because I have recently applied for two cards, I'd rather not apply for another in order to transfer balances, especially when my FICO is lower (see other posts). my plan is to have the CC debt paid off in 6-12 months total and it won't affect my savings or lifestyle too much. I may also have some additional income soon (see my other posts)which will help me get it done sooner, thus freeing up more money. Not to mention that by the time it is paid off, I hope I will have a bigger salary!

August 21, 2005 7:10 PM  
Blogger April said...

Again, thanks for your feedback. Please continue reading Miss Money and checking in on me, as I have read your blog and appreciate your thoughts and goals. Thanks for the advice, even though I don't think I can take it this time! :)

August 21, 2005 7:12 PM  

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