Payday #6: you mean a budget requires a plan?

It’s been 11 weeks since blog post #1 and the beginning of my journey to squash my remaining non-student-loan-debt (I paid that bad boy off last month 🙌). I’ve already reduced all of my fixed costs as much as I can, so I’m really relying on keeping my disposable income budget under control and making more money through a side hustle.

So far, I’ve only been successful at hitting my disposable budget goal once. I’ll give you $5 if you can guess how I made out this time… 😞

Where my money went August 30th-September 6th: 

  • $100: cash that went to a ladies night out and a sushi date later in the week.
  • $57.36: Gifts.
  • $109: Gas.  Lots of travel for (more) camping- I basically live outside in the summer.
  • $138.23: Groceries.
  •  $43.63: Booze.

For a total of $448.22 which is $78.22 over budget. Again.

Somethin’ ain’t workin’

Now, before I beat myself up too much, I have successfully cut my spending in half (based on my 10-year spending pattern). That said, I know I can do better.

I really do treat my disposable income disposable-y. 🗑️

I still have not been planning where this money is going. I know I’ll use it to purchase gas, groceries and to finance miscellaneous activities, but for the most part I don’t have much of the details figured out. This results in me doing quite well with the budget week 1, but inevitably something comes up in week 2 that puts me over – and I let it happen.

Going with the flow is for the fishes

Picking a ballpark budget number with no plan is like filling the car with gas and randomly selecting a destination on the map- maybe I’ll make it, but likely not. I know  better,  so I really need to do better. Specifically, I need to plan better.  This can be a bit difficult for me as I like to keep my options open. That said, I think it is possible to  have a plan and to maintain some flexibility.

Payday #6_you mean a budget requires a plan_

Where my money is going September 6th -20th:

  • $125: Emergency Fund
  • $330 debt repayment
  • Other fixed costs

New totals:

  • Emergency Fund: $525.32 (that extra $0.32 was an interest payment- jackpot!)
  • Debt: –$33,560  which is a total of $2,591 down since my first blog post in June, and over $5,925 paid off (and kept off) since January.

Plan for disposable income Week 1:

  • Groceries: $100
  • Lunch out: $20 for a co-worker’s going away.
  • Medical cost: $60 not covered by insurance.
  • Hair trim: $40
  • Entertainment: A quiet weekend (finally) at home should keep these costs at @ $0.

Plan for disposable income Week 2:

  • Gas: $40
  • Gift: $50.
  • Concert weekend: $235. Tickets were purchased and paid for in the Spring, so these dollars  cover my portion of hotel and spending money.

For a total of $545/2 weeks.

Could I budget less? Yes. Do I want to? No.

Honestly, when I started to write this plan, I had full intention to budget $370 again… but when I look at what I have on the go over the next 2-weeks, it’s not doable (without cancelling plans).

I know I could cut costs further, but the whole idea behind paying off debt and building wealth is to gain freedom to do what I want with my time and money. Am I willing to sacrifice my current freedom for future freedom? Somewhat,  but not enough to cancel a hair cut or concert plans that have  been in the works for 5 months.

I’m confident that I can still hit my debt repayment goals. The proof will be in the balance sheet I guess.

See you on September 20th for my next check-in!

 

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3 thoughts on “Payday #6: you mean a budget requires a plan?

  1. $5,925 paid off since January? That’s amazing!

    I completely agree with your point about cutting even more costs off your disposable income. I feel like being super frugal doesn’t suit everyone. I constantly struggle with how little pocket money/disposable income I give myself, and actually I’m planning on increasing my disposable income starting in January.

    If you’re paying off debt at a good rate, which I think you are, then enjoy your summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      No, being super frugal doesn’t suit me at all… I feel like it makes it easier to binge-spend, kind of like when you restrict food to lose weight and end up eating alllll the food in one sitting.

      I think part of the struggle with knowing how much pocket money to budget is that people don’t really talk about budgets, so you have no idea what ‘normal’ is. That said, it also depends on so many variables like income and lifestyle- what’s a small amount for me might be huge to someone else.

      I think as long as I’m not taking on any debt and still able to hit my debt repayment and savings goals, I’m doing okay.

      Side-note, I started to check out your blog the other day and your journey looks exciting too!

      Liked by 1 person

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