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Our Monthly Budget

To lay the last bit of our financial foundation, I wanted to share our monthly budget.  Our exact expenses change a little month-to-month, but this is the basic picture of our spending: Mortgage – $900 Emergency Fund – $500 Tax Account – $400 Home Account – $350 Roth IRA – $300 Vacation Account – $250 Cash – $200 Extra Roth IRA – $120 Extra Masters Money – $125 Car Payment – $330 Car Insurance – $110 Gasoline – $150 Electricity – $150 Cable & Internet – $100 Cell Phones – $80 Water – $30 Garbage – $20 Groceries – $300 Fast Food/Restaurants – $200 Misc Bills/Car Maintenance – $200 Entertainment/Misc Fun ($75 each and $100 joint) – $250 Medical – $100 Maid Service (biweekly $45) – $100 Lawn Service (biweekly 8 months a year) – $50 Netflix – $20 Pet Expenses – $100 Massage Envy – $50 Total = $5485 That comes to $65,820 a year.  We make $78,000 before taxes plus the $4000 a year my hubby makes as a sports official.  Taxes, the pension, the 401k, and our benefits account for the other $16,180. Needless to say, I am anal enough to keep up with every single expenditure.  Unplanned expenses are taken from the appropriate target accounts.  Also, before … Read more

How We Chose to Budget in the Fun Stuff

As my last post explained, we do make it a priority to have fun now while saving for our future.  My husband and I actually went back and forth on this for a couple of years since I felt we should save everything we possibly could, but he thought we should be able to live a little too. He was right, but we had to find a way that could make us both happy.  He asked me what I was worried about, and I realized that I just wanted all our bases covered.  I wasn’t pissed that we spent money, I was worried we weren’t saving enough. We started a plan that would make us both happy. We sat down one Saturday evening and wrote out our big life goals.  We then broke those into financial goals that could be achieved with our combined $78,000 income before taxes.  We set target amounts for each goal.  That sheet looked something like this in a couple of hours: Targets: Mortgage – Continue overpaying $160 a month. Tax and Insurance Account – $400 a month since we don’t escrow and this would cover taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and our CPA. 401k – Continue contributing 6% of my … Read more

General Steps to Financial Stability

Before I start posting specific spending scenarios, I wanted to post a general idea of how you could cover your basic financial bases.  Please disregard if you are beyond this of course.  These are the steps we use: 1. Create a budget after monitoring your spending and income for a month.  This will need to be updated with forgotten items as you go. 2. Pay all necessary bills. 3. Set up an emergency fund for at least 3 months (see below for the rest). 4. Maximum matching to your 401k. 5. Max out at least one Roth IRA. 6. Add small “fun” money allowances into the budget.  This is important to keep yourselves on track.  Without a little “fun” money breathing room, you’ll catch yourselves splurging more often…this could slow down your progress quite a bit. 7. Overpay your mortgage to at least the nearest $100. We overpay to the $100 after that for a total of an extra $160 a month. Continual extra principal payments will save you thousands in interest. 8. Hit your specific goals – In our case, we put money aside for my husband’s graduate classes, extra into our emergency fund since we want it to be large enough to cover at … Read more

January 2010 Net Worth

I wanted to use this blog to be as open as possible with our finances and to create a lasting record.  With that in mind, I’ll start off by posting our current net worth. We calculate our net worth as listed below.  We don’t include the value of our possessions, we round down to the nearest hundred for assets, and we round up to the nearest hundred for liabilities. Assets 1. Cash – $21,000 2. Stocks – $11,700 3. Retirement – $31,400 4. Home – $130,000 5. Cars – $17,000 Liabilities 1. Home – $74,400 2. Car – $12,000 Total Net Worth = $124,700 I base the value of our home on two things: comparables selling in our neighborhood and the estimated appraisal by Chase Home Value Estimator.  I will always estimate low. I base the value of our cars on Kelley Blue Book’s Private Party Value of our vehicles in “Good” condition truncated down to the nearest $1000.  For example, if my car is valued at $4600, I’d calculate that as $4000. How is your net worth coming?  Anything you’re trying to change?

Welcome to Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

I’m a personal finance blog addict. It’s really a problem. I’ve decided to make it worse. 🙂 Welcome to Budgeting in the Fun Stuff! This is a personal finance blog about balance. Everyone knows they should live below their means. Everyone knows they should save for their future. I’ve seen this as the basis for most of the personal finance blogs I read and love. Both points are totally true. This blog will cover a third point…what can you do with the rest? I will open up our finances for your perusal…real numbers and everything. It should be fun. My husband and I use our money to pay for our current needs, to save for our future needs, and to have some fun as we prioritize our discretionary spending. Thanks for taking a look!