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A Glance at my Budget and Efforts

October 25th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

My total living expenses, which are regular bills, debt repayment, groceries and gas, comes to roughly $2500 a month.

My Income is:

$1575 directly deposited into my checking from my regular job.

$170 - the house I clean twice a month (I am adding more houses after the holidays).

$3,379.46 for my 2011 summer seasonal beach job (Memorial Day to Labor Day, which includes what I charge to clean the club for rentals). This was directly deposited into my savings account for my emergency fund. I have dipped into this cash to pay property taxes, and the most recent $1000 for the items listed in my previous entry. I now need to rebuild.

$20/day for each 2 hours in the morning I babysit the children next door. This is sporadic and usually comes to between $120 - $200 extra each month. This job runs through the school year. I have been putting this money in a seperate savings. I should have somewhere between $1200 and $2000, by the time the school season is over in this account.

I get sparadic amounts of money from my husband when he is working. I try not to rely on this income, and use this for any extras (savings, gifts, debt repayment, whatever is needing to be paid). I would like to try to allocate different amounts of this money to different categories (rebuilding my emergency fund, Christmas, debt repayment, etc.) This is the biggest part I am working on.

Debt Repayment Goal:

I have not been using my credit cards and slowly paying down my debt. I plan on using my 2011 Income Tax return to help eliminate debt. I might also use the money I am saving from babysitting to put towards my debt next June, once I re-evaluate where I am at after I apply my income tax return.

My snowball says a little over 4 years if I keep paying what I have allocated each month, but if I add some windfalls, I will be out of debt earlier. My goal is to not have any debt come January 2013, which is 15 months away. I know it sounds ambitious, but it is a goal that I think I can attain if I just stay focused, or at least have eliminated a good size amount of.

I have reduced my spending on groceries, but have found that lately I have been spending more due to my stocking up with using coupons, which in the long run will save me money.

My recent purchases was Shampoo/Conditioner. They were on sale and I had 20 B1G1 free coupons, so I took advantage of the sale and stocked up. This saved me over $90 and I am hoping to repeat the process when our stock gets low again.

I also purchased a 40lb box of chicken. The chicken is fresh, not frozen, all natural with no hormones or antibiotics for $1.49lb. I will be doing a chicken prepping day for the freezer on Thursday. This saved me almost $80.00. I am hoping to make it to the next chicken sale, but I am also contemplating purchasing another 40lbs right now.

I gardened this year and put up some foods from our efforts. I am still needing to make some apple butter and more strawberry jam, once strawberries go on sale.

I have also been thinking about changing around my cable/landline/internet package. Right now I pay about $1,900/year, which I think is outrageous, but that is what is offered in our area. I did find some information on a Roku box (roku.com) and using online streaming with something like hulu and possibly using a converter box for the regular tv channels, like 2, 4, 7. I could eliminate the cable tv part, my home phone and upgrade our cells a little, and just use internet, which would bring me to around $600/year for all above. Does anyone do this here and could give me more advice?

2 Responses to “A Glance at my Budget and Efforts”

  1. MonkeyMama Says:

    Yes, we just dropped cable for hulu. We simply use an antenna for regular TV channels (you can get a small indoor antenna for $20-ish? We have an old one that is not compatible with the way they have changed frequencies around - we can't get all the channels - so I know it is inexpensive since we want to get a new antenna so we can watch Public TV, etc.). Is the convertor box for HD signal? That makes sense, but you may still need an antenna?

    The complicated part about Hulu is you can pay $9.99/month to stream to your TV, but you have to purchase something called "play on"(?) to watch all the free internet content. & the play on is a wee bit more complicated (it cost $40 per year).

    I'd say the roku overall is pretty easy to figure out. It's the complication of getting the free internet content to your TV. You could always just watch that stuff on the internet instead. We use the roku to stream hulu, netflix, and Amazon streaming (shows cost $1.89 or so per episode - just the few shows we don't want to give up and can't find elsewhere). There is other free content available for the roku.

    My hubby is the one who got it all set up, but I will ask him if you need any help with any specific questions. We are easily saving $80 - $90 per month.

  2. patientsaver Says:

    My neighbors absolutely love their Roku. I like free Hulu, but i guess due to my slower than desired DSL with AT&T, I have to put up with frequent "buffering" when the video freezes. Still, it's free, so who can really complain?

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