Tag Archives: networth

New Budget, Now That I’m Making $$$

New Budget


$1300 ING Savings For Tax Account
$300 to ING for Emergency Account
$300 to ING for Grad School
$200 to ING for House
$300 to Sharebuilder / Investing
$200 to Roth
$100 HSA

$1050: Rent / Utilities
$71.33: Cable/ Internet
$48.33: Verizon Phone
$128: Health Insurance
$138: Car Insurance
$100: Gas
$27: Gym


$1237.78 left for…


$400 food / vitamins
$300 clothes / tech
$200 gas
$150 gifts
$100 dry cleaning
$50 laundry
$30 charity

Now am I forgetting anything?


At the end of the year, from my ING tax account I will pay my taxes. I should not spend all the money on taxes because I’m “taxing myself” at a 25 percent rate for all the money I make, but in the end all my money will not be taxed at that rate.

Any extra money is going towards a Digital SLR camera!!!

Budget – Fixed Monthly Costs

Since I’m oh-so bad at not racking up random late fees on things, here are my fixed costs
and what they should cost me each month:

$1050: Rent / Utilities
$71.33: Cable/ Internet
$48.33: Verizon Phone
$128: Health Insurance
$138: Car Insurance
$100: Gas
$27: Gym

Total Set Monthly Income (actual, not dreamed)


Have to put 25% of that into taxes savings account…

$925 into savings account.

Leaving $2775 for monthly spending
$1562.22 of fixed costs


That hypothetically leaves
$1212.78 for food, fun, investing, medical spending, extra gas, etc

A reasonable budget would be:

$400: Food
$100: Invest (roth IRA)
$100: Invest: ETF/Stocks
$200: HSA Account for Medical (Need to Set Up!)
$200: Clothes / Makeup
$100: Extra Gas
$112.78: Entertainment

What am I missing?

Monthly Spending

Total Non-investment & Non-rent spending for Jan: $1778.34

Investment $: $4062

($3000 Roth 2008, $1050 Sharebuilder, $12 Sharebuilder fees)

Rent: $1050

Total Spending in January: $6890.34

Things I still owe money for that I should have paid this month:

1. Dermatologist Bill: $160
2. Driver’s Insurance $200
3. Two fix it tickets for late registration: $20

Things I’m owed money for
1. AT&T bills for past 3.5 months, owed over $300 from previous company
2. $200 — I need to send in paperwork to old health insurance for doctor’s visits I paid for before my insurance card arrived (should offset dermatologists bill)
3. 10 hours of work (I need to file an invoice asap) at news company at $25 an hour, $250

What I spent Money on This Month…

$201.41: Verizon Wireless Bill (my minutes went way over last month, grr)

$67.85: Safeway (Groceries)

$62.76: Longs Drugs (drug store)

$129: Health Insurance

$.97: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$44.03: Safeway (Groceries)

$19.08: Safeway (Groceries)

$81.31: Haircut

$55: Brazilian Waxing (ouch it hurt)

$28.71: Brunch for two

$1050: Rent

$6.17: 24 Hour Fitness Dues (i’m not sure why I owed any more money this month, but I’m too lazy to complain about a $6.17 charge. They just better stop charging me now.)

$.75: Parking

$2.98: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$106.41: AT&T Phone Bill (that I didn’t owe that my old company needs to still reimburse me for!)

$.59: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$31.77: Longs Drugs

$.23 Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$71.29: Whole Foods (groceries)

$15.47: Dry Cleaning (spend too much on this.. long story I’ll explain later)

$1.24 Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$113: Hair Color

$23.71: Whole Foods (Groceries)

$7.40: Safeway (Groceries)

$.89: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$19.46: Lunch for Two

$.54: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$65.80: Lucky (Groceries)

$.20: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$500: Transfer to Sharebuilder Investment

$15.77: Whole Foods (Groceries)

$.23: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$71.33: Cable/Internet Bill

$33.19: Whole Foods (Groceries)

$6.50: Lunch

$1.31: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$500: Transfer to Sharebuilder Investment

$50: Transfer to Sharebuilder Investment

$12: Sharebuilder Monthly Fees

$6.99: lunch

$.01: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$75.60: Piazza’s Fine Foods (Groceries)

$30: Gas

$.40: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$37.82: Bookstore

$.18: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$3000: Roth IRA Investment for 2008

$91.20: Smog Check & Oil Change

$20.09: Walgreens (drug store)

$14.06: Clothing

$2.74: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$26.07: Dinner for Two

$18.26: Whole Foods (groceries)

$1.67: Bank of America “Keep the Change Transfer” to savings

$161.34: New Cell Phone


Other than investments, my largest cost was obviously groceries…


$441.98: Groceries

That’s actually not as bad as I expected, considering how often I go food shopping. I did really good on NOT spending a lot of money on clothing this month. However, I do owe money for various bills I’ve yet to pay. That will come out of my February salary.

Crap. I got pulled over.

I can’t blame anyone else for this mishap. My registration expired… a while ago. However, I paid the $120 registration fee at the DMV (which, I think included a late fee) and was to get my smog checked by Jan. I had until Jan 1 to get my smog checked and get my stickers for my plates.

Of course, being the procrastinating idiot that I am, I waited a little too long to get this done. I received one ticket (for $35) for my expired registration while my car was parked in a public lot. So I finally got around to getting my smog checked THIS MORNING. I paid $90 for my smog check & an oil change that was overdue.

Ten minutes later, I was driving on the freeway and I got pulled over.

I showed the cop my smog receipt and the little registration card (that may or may not have been expired… I’m a bit confused about whether it expired on the 1st of the month, or at the end of the month.)

The worst thing was that somehow my insurance card had gone missing. I kept it in my glove compartment, but the robbers threw everything out of my glove compartment when they went through my car last month. I thought I had put everything back, but apparently my insurance information was missing.

So now I have this “notice to appear” paper that says that I have an infraction for an expired registration and it also notes that I did not have insurance on me, though neither the infraction or misnomer boxes are checked for that. I’m not sure what that means.

The cop said that I should get my sticker and then go to any police department with the paper. He didn’t really explain whether I’m going to owe a zillion dollars or if I just need to prove that I’m actually registered to avoid paying.

This really sucks because today I decided I’m going to start being really tight on my budget and living with a minimal amount in my checking account. I figure I’ll spend less if I pretend I have less to spend. Simple psychology ought to do the trick.

Except now I’m worried I’m going to get an overdraft fee because of all of these unexpected expenses. That’ll teach me to stop procrastinating, eh?

I owe quite a bit of money for different things… $200 for health insurance… $150 for my cyst removal bill… $35 for my ticket… and now who knows how much more for this other ticket-type-thing.

Right now I have $600 in my checking account. I’m supposed to get paid Monday for my work… so that would bring me up to $3900. BUT I plan on putting $1000 of that in a special ING savings account for taxes. That leaves me with $2900, and I have to pay rent in a few days. So I’m at $1850. Not so bad, but after I pay all those bills, plus my phone bill, plus the cable/internet bill, plus the gym bill, plus buy a new phone in two days (my old one is lost and I am eligible for the discount on a new phone on Monday)… well, I won’t have much money left for food.

At least this setup will keep me from spending money on clothes I don’t need!
At least that will keep me from

Oh Boy! A $600 Rebate!

I’m a little excited about getting a $600 rebate this spring, thanks to the tax rebate package that passed today. While I’m not their ideal rebate grantee (I’ll likely invest the funds, maybe into my Roth, which now has $2000 left until I max it out for 2008, though) it will make it easier to buy a few new spring pieces to my wardrobe without feeling terribly guilty about my spending (to be honest, guilt and financial logic never stopped me from spending anyway).

The good news w/ the rebate is that even if I end up owing money on taxes for 2007, I’ll actually still get a rebate or… break even.


I wish this happened every year!

Dreams of a 401(k)

Oh 401(k), when I think about you, I touch myself.

Employers matching contributions? That’s a truly beautiful concept, and one I’ve never been able to take advantage of.

At the moment, my freelance career prohibits me from obtaining full benefits at one company. That’s how I chose to live my life, so I have to deal with the fact that my Roth IRA has lost significant amounts of money this year, while if I had been able to contribute to an employee-match 401(k) I might have at least broke even amidst this recession mess. However, I just have to go it alone. That’s my choice.

But that wasn’t always the case. My first full time job at a magazine showed me how even full-time gigs at companies don’t always equate to earning the luxury of a 401(k). That company was a bit, how-do-you-say, confused in terms of organization. We had a meeting about getting 401(k)’s where the financial companies came in and presented our options, then they came in another day and we met with the reps and signed the paperwork. Of course, since the company was not making any money, our 401(k) was not going to include a match at all. So ultimately the only benefit was that it would encourage employees to start saving (but tax-wise, most of us would probably be better off with a Roth anyway).

Next up on my job history resume, I obtained another full-time gig at a startup where I was to get stock options instead of a 401(k). I never actually earned any of those stock options because I left the company after three months. I was fired. I was bored with the topics I was writing about. And I couldn’t keep up with the pace. It was for the best.

I worry a bit about my retirement. I know it’s many years off, but I won’t have the security that my dad has. He retired early so my family is living on a tight budget now, but in a few years he’ll have access to his pension and he and my mother can live off that. What will I have to live off of in 2058? Or whenever it is I end up retiring?

Thus far I put $4000 into my Roth IRA (started in 2007). It’s down to $3600. I know… I know that investing is a long term thing. Still, I can’t help but be concerned about what my future holds. Maybe the smartest thing to do would be to get a stable full-time job at a public company or government agency. But I’m trying to balance my happiness and my future. It’s hard to find that balance. I’m worried I’m leaning too far towards happiness right now.