Gift-Giving & (Final) Updated Budget

I've had three friends with near-consecutive birthdays in the past two weeks, and it made me realize that even with all my edits to the budget, I was still missing something - namely gifts. My bf and I have always been big gift givers (both to family and friends). I need to take a break from that... like a 2 year break! Until I go back to working full-time. I think (hope) everyone will understand. It's harder in a way to buy cheaper gifts. You don't want to get them crap they won't use. It has to come more from the heart. This definitely means I need to buy gifts in advance (waay in advance)... I don't do "from the heart" very well when I'm rushing the day before their birthday trying to find something! It's much easier to just plunk $60 down on perfume. My mom is SO good at finding inexpensive but tasteful and usable gifts... maybe I need to get her to share her secrets rather than relying on her to bail me out (like she did with aforementioned friends this week!).

Anyway, here's the new budget (additions: gift-giving, visa payments, braces payments (assumed)), sans commentary:
Rent: $1050/mo
Gas: 100
Food: 250
Cell: 120
Car: 370
Health & Dental: 100
Drugstore: 30
Visa Payment: 200
Braces: 200 (ending after a year)

Yearly Expenses (1st figure is how much I should save per month to cover these)
Eyecare: 12.50 (150/yr)
Oil change: 15 (180/yr - 45/3 mos)
AAA: 8 (100/yr))
Costco: 5 (60/yr)
Gifts (b-day & xmas): 33 (400/yr; about 30 per person... going to be very hard when it comes to the parents; will have to figure out what to do when I get there)

Makeup: 20 (40/3 mos)
Pedicure: 16 (31/2 mos)
Haircut: 16 (100/6 mos)
Dry cleaning: 20

Grand Total = $2549.50
Note: I am very lucky to have my dad still paying for my car insurance, and my bf covering all the utilities other than our cell phones. I'm going to have to budget for the car insurance in the near future, but I'm reeeeally hoping his generosity won't run out until after I graduate. ;) And then as soon as I get a full-time job again, I'll go back to paying half of the utilities.

About $10,200 for four months (Oct-Jan). I have 13K in the bank. I make 500/mo (though I will probably make little or nothing during December, since I work on campus and I think I'll get a vacation from work & school simultaneously). So I'll earn about $1500 in the next 3 months. This is cutting it much closer than I thought! I'll have to do a follow-up post so I can figure out if I really can afford to pay off my Mastercard by the end of this month.....


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