Author Topic: Help Me Budget  (Read 7224 times)

Bearblastbeats

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Help Me Budget
« on: June 27, 2012, 01:42:21 PM »
So, as you may have read in my first post here, I am moving closer to work to alleviate the use of a car and using my bike to and from work.

Income          $2,000   

Rent              $750

Groceries       $120

Phone            $80

Gas & Fuel      $60

Pet Food         $60

Alcohol           $20

Netflix            $10
              = ~$900


These are the main expenses that I have that reoccur every month. Is there any other way I could maximize this before taking on a part time job?

gecko10x

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 01:45:24 PM »
In relation to your income, Rent, Phone, Pet Food, and Alcohol are high, IMO. Grocery is super low!

Others will surely comment on your phone bill, but I'm curious what kind of animal(s) you are feeding?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 01:50:25 PM by gecko10x »

grantmeaname

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 01:45:38 PM »
Try IP Daley's superguide for cutting your cell bill.

tannybrown

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 01:49:08 PM »
Other than the phone, I think you're doing a really good job.  My goal is to get to $60 per month on gas...you're already there.

Reducing rent would have the biggest impact, but a lot depends on where you are in the nation.  Roomates are the easiest way to cut that down, IMO.

Other than that, you're probably in the rare position wherein an income gain has a more immediate impact than spending cuts.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 01:51:28 PM »
Rent is $750 (everything included) forgot to mention that. (I currently live with 5 people and this is why I am moving closer to work to be alone)

I have a 4 year old yellow Labrador who goes through one 30 something pound bag a month which is 60 dollars.

Phone is the cheapest I can get with sprint and that's with a 25% discount.

The alcohol is my new goal. I used to spend well over 150 a week sometimes at bars. I haven't had a single drink in over a week though so it has been nice to cut that back. I could possibly cut it out completely to save even more.

Grocery is low because I eat one ham and cheese sandwich at work, 90% of my list is fruit and veggies, maybe one steak a week.

TLV

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2012, 02:00:21 PM »
Phone is the cheapest I can get with sprint and that's with a 25% discount.

I'm guessing that you didn't take the time to read IP Daley's guide - I highly recommend it. The point is that you can often get your needs met on the exact same cell network for much less money by going through an MVNO (eg Virgin Mobile or PlatinumTel, which both use the sprint network).

gecko10x

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2012, 02:08:31 PM »
I have a 4 year old yellow Labrador who goes through one 30 something pound bag a month which is 60 dollars.

You can get a 50lb bag of Dad's (seems to be a decently nutritional brand; not the cheapest) dog food for $20 at Sam's Club. Unless your dog has special nutritional needs, $60 seems quite excessive. Hell, Eagle Pack, which seems to be considered some of the best dog food, can be had at Petco 30lbs for $44.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2012, 02:09:03 PM »
How would I go about changing my phone service.

I have the 450 minute / everything else unlimited data plan with an HTC EVO (most expensive paper weight)

I use less than 200 minutes a month in talk, but im about 3000+ text message a month and constant data (I'm on of those idiots that googles every little thing that I can and use Facebook like crazy EVEN WHEN IM SITTING IN FRONT OF A DAMN COMPUTER)

I once was thinking of simply downgrading to something basic with talk and text but my contract is not up until September and it would cost to much to get out of it or buy a stupid dumb phone.

My main reasoning for all of this is trying to pay off my retainer for my attorney by August, then save up money for fines by October. (nothing serious, just traffic violations blah blah blah wrongfully accused.) hahahaha

Another Reader

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2012, 02:42:37 PM »
Go to traffic school on every moving violation you can, tell the judge you have grown up and learned your lesson, and pay whatever freakin' fines you have to pay.  I don't see a car insurance expense in your budget, but you can bet it's going UP!

I feed quality pet food.  It's a lot cheaper than vet bills down the road.  Costco sells some decent food, read the labels and compare the ingredients to what you are buying now.


kdms

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2012, 07:09:08 AM »
Regarding the pet food....I second the comments regarding label reading.

Turns out the $50/month 8lb bag of vet-available only food for our three cats has more unpronounceable and chemically derived ingredients than the $15 20lb bag of food from Costco.  The $35 a month savings and higher food quality has resulted in more energy, healthier coats, and a nice little addition to the e-fund to pay for the occasional trip to the vet for the very rare illness.

makincaid

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2012, 07:30:31 AM »
I use tracfone prepaid (www.tracfone.com) for my cellular service. I bought a phone with triple minutes. A $100 card gives me 1200 minutes and is good for a year (I don't talk a lot, so the card lasts me all year).

This may not be as good for you though, since you use so much data.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2012, 09:02:00 AM »
- I've completed an offensive driving coarse all ready. After selling my appliances when I move I should be all set with the attorney fees.

-I feed my Lab Blue Buffalo dog food. I've read a ton of articles and researched a lot about various dog food brands and I settle with them. He enjoys it. I don't mind paying it.

-the cell phone bill I can bite the bullet on. It's great when I am on tour and I need gps, internet or anything I can use it for.

I have been able to live for under 26k a year since I was 18. I make the most money I have ever made in my life currently, and hope to be making more if this contract I working on gives me a permanent position.

Other than 10k in student loans I am debt free.

gecko10x

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2012, 09:45:13 AM »
So, you've shot down every suggestion made so far as I can tell.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2012, 09:52:37 AM »
hmm.. I guess I didn't realize it.

I guess I've done what I can to downsize as much as I could for my lifestyle. I understand I could do more.


Thanks for the input everyone. :)

mm1970

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2012, 09:56:15 AM »
hmm.. I guess I didn't realize it.

I guess I've done what I can to downsize as much as I could for my lifestyle. I understand I could do more.


Thanks for the input everyone. :)
You've done what you are WILLING to do so far.  Not what you CAN do.  It's good to admit that.  Some people do better with gradual changes.  As time goes on you may be able to downsize further.

It took us 5-6 years to finally cut out cable TV.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2012, 10:01:07 AM »
haha yea. I've been trying to convince my friends and family about the cable. I never could see paying well over $100 a month to watch the discovery channel and animal planet.

With netflix and other internet resources I have been able to get into shows like Game of Thrones,Lost and Breaking Bad (I always marathon shows) just for the price of internet (which is free for me) and a netflix subscription.


Moomoo

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2012, 09:47:41 PM »
I don't have any suggestions.  I'm a total noob here.  I do want to express my awe, though, at your grocery bill.  120/month?!  How do you do it?  Our family of four (two of whom, admittedly, are adolescent boys...) has gotten down to 1100/month - or so, but that's requires couponing, Sam clubbing, garden harvesting , and never going out to eat nor buying organic.  Maybe 1100/month for our family is the same as 120 for you, but, I really don't think so, and, we ought to get some advantage due to scale. 
Any tips would be very appreciated

mm1970

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2012, 09:27:29 AM »
You might want to start here on the grocery budget Moomoo

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/29/killing-your-1000-grocery-bill/

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2012, 08:13:31 AM »
Well, I literally just go on the perimeters of the store. I don't buy anything in boxes of bags (other than bread). I generally just eat fruits and vegetables and maybe get a large steak which I will cook one night and have it for a couple of nights.

I also accustomed myself to a near starvation diet. I'm constantly busy enough where I don't think about eating. And living alone with a dog I sometimes don't find it necessary to make a meal for myself. Huge boxes of Nature Valley Granola bars (whoops, ok this is the only boxed item I buy.) and big bags of grapes seem to be my meals more so than not.

I guess my typical meal routine is:

-Bagel or toast right when I arrive at work.

-Snack on an apple or a banana

-Have a sandwich at lunch in my office. (my work has a full size refrigerator where I keep all my food since I'm here more hours awake than I am at home.)

Snack on some granola bars, apples, bananas, toast or whatever I have around.

When I go home I make a huge salad with baby spinach, cucumbers, red peppers, red onions, cherry tomatoes and some balsamic vinaigrette and grill up a steak if I choose to. (this will probably turn into my lunch or dinner the next day, resulting in me having more sandwich stuff the follow days.)

I manage to keep my weekly bill under $40.

arebelspy

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Re: Help Me Budget
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2012, 08:59:08 AM »
I don't have any suggestions.  I'm a total noob here.  I do want to express my awe, though, at your grocery bill.  120/month?!  How do you do it?  Our family of four (two of whom, admittedly, are adolescent boys...) has gotten down to 1100/month - or so, but that's requires couponing, Sam clubbing, garden harvesting , and never going out to eat nor buying organic.  Maybe 1100/month for our family is the same as 120 for you, but, I really don't think so, and, we ought to get some advantage due to scale. 
Any tips would be very appreciated

From the budgets I've seen, most Mustachian types are at about $150 per person per month (and typically doesn't involve having to do any of the things you listed, save not eating out much .. some do maybe 1 or 2 of them by choice, but rarely have I seen anyone do all of them unless they're literally spending like $50 per person per month).

Adolescent boys do require some creativity.  Cheap staples to fill up.  Smaller entree, more side dishes can help.
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