A crass attempt at budgeting

I filed my taxes yesterday with my Aunty Chacha, who does my taxes every year. I’m getting $1,071 back. I feel like everyone I know is always getting thousandin returns. but they must have more withholdings during the year. I’m just happy to be getting a refund at all; for several years while waitressing and in the first years of my other job, I always owed money.

I should have $5,000 coming to me in the next week or so. Let’s do a budget breakdown for fun:

Monthly Costs

  • Car Payment: $200
  • Car Insurance: $110
  • Rent: $685
  • Electric: ~$100
  • Cable/Internet: ~$100
  • Cell: $60
  • Credit Cards: ~$300
  • Gas: ~$300 (much lower right now- nearly half-, but let’s estimate for when it goes back up)
  • Tolls: $88
  • Groceries: ~$400 (inflated for more expensive months)
  • Savings: $400

Total: $2,293

That leaves me with a surplus of just over $1,500 a month or so… I’m guessing on my weekly take home for now.

So this month, I should have an excess  of $2,707 (after I receive my refund and a paycheck for God’s sake). I don’t know what I’ll do with it- Put more into savings… perhaps a grand? Or put it toward credit cards to try and get those under control. Or just leave it in my checking to start saving there. Let’s look at upcoming expenses with the June move:


  • 1.5 month security deposit: $975
  • 1 month rent $650
    • Numbers are assuming our rent is $1,300, and factoring in the split with Mark.
    • Total by May: $1,625
  • New Mattress and Box Spring: $1,200
    • A quick search found me this pillow top mattress. I don’t plan on spending any more on it.
    • Total by June (split with Mark): $600
  • New Couch: $1,100?
    • I told Britt she and Eric could take the couch and Mark and I would buy a new one because, I’d like a better one. Between Mark and I, I think we can afford a couch and we should – it’ll be with us for a long time. A quick search on sectionals brought up this, which  I like.
    • Total by June (split with Mark): $550

TOTAL BY JUNE: $2, 775

I think we have enough stuff to get started outside of the couch and mattress, so we wouldn’t need to buy everything right away. Plus there’s plenty we can salvage and get for cheap, those are just two things we’ll need to get right away. My mattress sucks- it’s uncomfortable and squeaky- and his is awesome but only a full. We need a queen. He spoke about getting a king, but once he sees the price tag I’m sure he’ll be happy with the Q. Plus, I already have the bed frame.

Other expenses that are coming up in August:

Vegas Vacation: I would like to have, after airfare and hotel, $1,000. I doubt I’d spend all of that – it’s just a long weekend- but let’s make that the goal. Falling short is okay.

Estimated Flight: $600  (That’s an inflated estimate from the very cheap prices now, bc it’s so far away- hoping to buy early enough to be able to get a decent price)

Estimated Stay: $450 (Not planning on paying more than $150 a night and I think it’ll only be 3 nights and 4 days)

Total: $2,050

So my total savings for this summer that I would need, not counting if I go to Hawaii or not, is: $4,825

I think my vegas costs are very inflated, but let’s say I want  $5,000 of surplus money in my checking account come June in order to pay all my moving costs and a vacation without feeling the pain- then I should continue to live on my strict budget, continue putting money into my savings (and never touch it) and just let my checking account hold more and more.

That’s rough- I like to spend and when I have money I suddenly need so much stuffff.

But I think this is doable- I said I will have on average an excess of around $1,500 a month. So let’s count:

Jan + Feb + March + April + May = Excess of $7,500.

But that number will be smaller seeing as I will be going out to dinner, or movies, or just doing “Entertainment” as Mint.com would say. Regardless- that means I should be very capable of savign enough money to do everything I want this summer, if I am just smart. Plus groceries and gas aren’t that expensive. But maybe I miscalculated my weekly earnings after withholdings, 401k and benefits.

Well that was a fun waste of time. Back to work.

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