My medical AND entertainment costs are adding up, and I’m behind in accounting for them. I really need to sit down and make a budget for all of these costs. Some are not necessary, of course, but I’m still struggling to understand how much money I should/can spend on LIVING versus SAVING.
A reminder… I do have $8k in a CD for my emergency fund as well as another $4k in laddered 6 month CDs. I’m about $150 from maxing out my Roth IRA for 2009, and I have put about $5k in stocks & ETFs over the year. Additionally, I overestimate on my taxes so I will have enough to put at least $3k into my Roth for the next year to get it jump started. Plus I put $100 a month into my 529 plan, which may or may not be a stupid idea.
However, I’m worried my current medical and non-medical “fun” spending is going to hinder my savings at all. Basically, I really need to budget. I don’t think I’ll be getting a raise this year… (I don’t know if companies like mine give raises, esp in this economy.)
Here’s the thing. I have decided that I want to spend on ME. That is, on making myself a better person, inside and out. But all of this soul-searching guidance and external beautification is expensive. Very, very expensive.
This weekend I want to come up with a serious budget, but right now I just want to look at my major expenditures per month. Please don’t judge yet — I KNOW there are many things here that I don’t need, and that I’m very fortunate to be able to afford such things! I know one day when I have a family or even after I go to grad school and have to pay back loans I will have much less flexibility in spending on myself.
Extra Monthly Costs:
$250: laser hair removal financing plan (over 18 months)
$250: group therapy to deal with social issues (4x month) OR
$200: career counseling (2x month)
$190: voice lessons (2x month)
$60: one dance class
$32: gym membership
There are actual medical bills I need to sort through:
$2000: one-time necessary (non cosmetic) dental work (this is beyond my insurance coverage)
$400: foot doctor, 1 consult, xrays & 1 follow up
$100: gynecologist ultrasound
On top of all this, I’m trying to get a grasp on how much graduate school will cost me. I’m completely confused about financial aid. If my savings will hinder me from getting need-based financial aid, shouldn’t I spend it all before applying to a grad program? That sounds counterproductive, but if they really decide on your financial aid based on how much you’re making and how much you have in savings, I should spend all my money and quit my job! I’m just not 100% sure I want to go to grad school yet, so I don’t want to spend all my savings yet. Oy.