It truly is amazing what a little time and willpower will do for your life and financial outlook. After some “creative accounting”, I was able to payout over $1,000 towards my student loans in September. I still have a long way to go, but it feels good to be making progress above and beyond what I had never even previously considered.
$525.00 - Rent
$1105.64 - Education
$344.67 - Car (Payment and Fuel)
$172.39 - Bills & Utilities
$61.71 - Miscellaneous (Travel, etc)
$97.48 - Personal (shopping, grooming, etc.)
$186.95 - Food & Dining
Rent - No Change.
Education - I had a really good month because I realized I had not been looking at my budget correctly. I had been forgetting to account for whatever I had not spent in previous months, basically I had a surplus that was available for spending on my loans.
Car - On the surface I spent a little more than normal because of parking garages and an attempt at saving a little money by replacing my brake pads (turns out they were fine, but something is making my wheels squeak). However, I was refunded or reimbursed for those expenses and that is not shown here.
Bill & Utilities - I have become efficient with all of my utility services and streamlined everything that I am willing to at this point. I did read an interesting post over at Mr. Money Mustache’s blog that talked about getting a pay-as-go type cellphone plan for only $10 a month. I’m always looking for ways to cut my spending but I’m not quite ready to take the plunge on changing cell services. Thoughts?
Miscellaneous - I finally got the Porsche! Before you start thinking I’m an irresponsible manager of finances, let me clarify: It’s a hard drive. I wanted and needed a backup hard drive for my computer that I use for work. So Porsche Design company and LaCie - (a hard drive maker) teamed up to make this great product. My laptop has a lot of important files on it, and I need to protect them even though I am gradually shifting to cloud based services like dropbox and google drive. At 500GB for just under $100, it was definitely worth the piece of mind. (Update: I convinced my employer to reimburse me for the Porsche! Don’t forget about your resources around you, like your employer because they might be interested in helping you financially with things that help them!)
Personal - Apart from my recurring Netflix subscription, I haven’t really spent anything on myself that hasn’t been reimbursed, and I have also been waiting longer to get haircuts or asking a family member to help with a light trim, which saves me about $20 each trip.
Food & Dining - I went back up in food spending but I think this was mainly because I had been traveling. It’s hard to keep prices & calories low when you aren’t able to control the ingredients used and of course the cost of labor.