Monthly Budget

I'm re-evaluating my monthly budget - the one I did last month was pretty useless.

Rent: $1050/mo --> Our landlord increased our rent by $100 when we renewed the lease. I figure we can count on this happening every year. :(

Gas: 100 --> I really like From it, I figure I use about $3.84 in gas driving to/from school. I do that 3 days a week, so that's $11.52/wk or 46.08/mo. On the weekends, I usually don't drive more than the 7 miles to the beach or mall ($3.76/mo), but I do drive 80 miles to visit friends about twice a month. ($33.66/mo) In total, that's $83.50/mo, but I figure I need to leave room for when I make an extra trip to see a friend.

Food: 250 --> I honestly have no idea how much my bf and I spend on food every month (likely A LOT). I thought that maybe it would be a good idea if both he and I put 150 each into our joint account per month with the understanding that $300 is the max we can shell out for our groceries and restaurants. The other $50 will be from my personal checking, allotted to the Tuesdays & Thursdays I have to eat dinner at school. That's $12.50 per week. I think that should be enough. And then the extra $50 is for when I go out with my friends.

Cell: 120 --> I pay for both my and my bf's phone (but he pays all the other utilities, which is very very wonderful of him).

Car: 370 --> Payments will end in May 2011!

Health & Dental: 100

Eyecare: 12.50 --> includes once a year check-up and contact lenses (150 total). I'm not sure if I'm high or lowballing this amount.

Drugstore: 30

Oil change: 15 --> I do this about once every three months, costing around $45. They also wash my car for free.

AAA: 8 --> I think this is $100 per year. Has been absolutely invaluable on several occasions.

Costco: 5 --> I think this is $60 per year. I shop here once a month; I love them!

Makeup: 20 --> I figure I spend about 40 every 2-3 months, just on face powder/concealer.

Pedicure: 16 --> I usually get this done once every 2 months, at $31 each time (incl tip).

Haircut: 16 --> I do this about twice a year, at $100 per cut (75 plus tip).

Dry cleaning: 20 --> I have two cardigans that I wear constantly that are dry clean only. :( Plus a few dresses, blouses, suits... but I don't wear any of those often, now that I don't have to dress up for work.

Grand Total = $2116.50

Maybe I could put the money for the eyecare/makeup/pedicure/oil change/haircut every month into a separate savings account? Then I can draw on that when I need to. (Edit: I did set this up, so I'm going to try to funnel $90 per month into this account)

I've started doing my eyebrows myself, so that's saving me $30 per month. I'm going to get rid of the gym membership, saving me $37 per month.

I'm not counting clothes into this budget... I haven't felt much urge to shop lately (probably because I've been too busy with school/work!) so we'll see how long that lasts. I've also been looking through my closet, cleaning it out, and overall feeling pleased with what I have. :) A good sign!

Right now, I have about $15,000 in my checking account. I'll be getting about $500 every month from my job, and another $10,000 at the beginning of January. At the budget I outlined above, I'll need $8466 for Sept through Dec. That leaves me with $6534.

So, I think I should be able to pay off my Mastercard and still have enough to live on until my next loan payment comes through. AND have enough for my family and friends' Christmas presents. :)


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