Author Topic: Case Study : 26 Living on my own : Can I tweak my budget more?  (Read 3829 times)

frog

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Thank you guys so much for all the info on these forums. A little background on me. Lived with my gracious pops until 22. I had a hard upbringing until he took over custody for me. He was never very hard on me at all. It gave me a very "fuck it" attitude" Did not have a full time job until 21.

 I spent all my money from every paycheck like nothing. Until the time came where we had to sell the house and it was time for me to be out on my own. I did not save until that last MONTH before I had to be out. since then it has been a struggle financially. Late bills with my roommate, eating out to much and going to bars.

Any attempts at saving, usually squashed at the first mention of a concert or something fun to do with friends. 2 Roommates and a new apartment later. The trouble continues.

Since moving out I had to take a hard look at myself and my flaws. Been working on myself ever since. Lost 120+ pounds and still going Learned to cook and freeze tasty meals. Got myself a caring girlfriend who will try new (frugal) things with me and even pay for me when i really can not spend the money.

This year i found YNAB. Since February, I have Been sticking to the budgets overspending slightly (definitely a million times better than i use to be) I love the system and for the first time feel in control of my money. I finally had an emergency fund set up which helped with my cat at the vet. Just this month I paid my rent, had an emergency car repair $300 and loaned my mother $100 without breaking a sweat. This just solidified how much i trust the YNAB program.

I live in a very expensive area with rent taking 45-50% of my income monthly. I know this is a travesty my only option at the time as i was able to move in without paying a deposit and fully furnished. I actually found MMM because i was doing some research to see if having a longer commute would be worth the cheaper rent. (MMM slapped the shite out of me on that one)

A few saving goals i have now (makes it so much easier for me to know what I am saving up for) Emergency fund, Debt, Vacation, Replacement car for when mine craps out, Computer Replacement, New Apartment Lease/down/deposit


Life Situation: Single. Living in New Jersey. 26 Years Old.

Gross Salary/Wages: 42,000  (estimating now will check my W2)

Pre-tax deductions: Only deductions other than tax $31 Union Dues per month

Other Ordinary Income: In October I work in a haunted house. Usually bring in an extra $1200 this month (previously have just used this money to party or maybe cover a bill or 2)


Adjusted Gross Income: 32,000 (estimated)


Taxes: Not exactly sure what you guys want here. My paycheck is every 2 weeks. This is from the week we had holiday pay(slightly lower) 72 Hours, 38.5 Overtime, 8 hours holiday pay.

Gross: 1694.33

Fed Tax: -239.31.00
SS Tax: -105.05
Medicare Tax: -24.56
NJ Tax: -40.09
NJ SDI Tax: -11.96
Union Dues: -31.00

Net Pay: 1242.36

Current expenses: this is from last months YNAB.

IMMEDIATE OBLIGATIONS

Rent - $988.00
Gym - $32.05
electric - $40-50 goes up a bit in the summer, but i usually tough it out without AC to much
Groceries - $280 this includes cleaning supplies, cat food and liter, occasionally I'll put a 7-11 slurpee or Iced coffee here to.
this month was definitely a bit over budget I try to keep it to $60 a week.
Gas - $100
Car Insurance - $80.55  They just raised it to 87.88 :(
YNAB - $5 beyond worth it for me for the app, the ease that it slipped into my life and changed my finances.
Internet - Lucky to not have to pay at the moment
Cell Phone - $35
Spotify - $10.69 I need my gym music
Netflix - $8.99     could probably get rid of this.....

Other expenses
Vacation - $121.00    I was not planning on vacation this year, but my girl bought 2 festival tickets (900 bucks) so i have been slowly buying things we will need and Will definitely use again for other camping trips. bought a Tent, a Cot with a pad, tarp, mostly done here just putting some money away until June to have gas money/spending cash food money of the festival (expecting $500-600)

Auto Maintenance - $283.00  this actually came out of my emergency fund. Will start putting money here every paycheck
Misc - $100
gifts -$100 (a loan to my mother) This was stupid but it is hard to say no to your mother even though I do not live in the same state as her.
Bars - $21
Dining out - $51
Herbal Remedy - $150 (this will be cut down and needs to be)

I have $3000 In debt. It is all ready in collections. I paid off one. I figure my best course of action is to save the $3000 then pay it all off at once. I'm trying to make sure my emergency fund is $1000 before i start heavily saving into this category. Had it up to $600 before my car troubles and I did dip slightly into here to pay for some vacation things and the Loan to my mother.

I am actively trying to get myself a better job. (took the firefighters test) Trying to learn some programming.


Specific Question(s): Is my best course of action career advancement? I do get paid pretty shitty 12.30 an hour and i work 55 Hours a week. That overtime saves me though. I do have health benefits.


EDITS:

I do live by myself, 2 previous room mates really pissed me off with late payment (part of the reason I'm in debt. half of the collections is a pseg bill) Both were very messy mothers boy so I really was cleaning up after them a lot. At least now I only have to worry about myself.  I did invite my younger brother to come live with me. (More opportunities in the city for him) Rent free until he gets on his feet. He already wants to contribute, I told him once we get him a job up here sure. So eventually we will probably get a better place we can afford. I do expect him to start chipping in on rent which will go directly to savings for me. He should be here in august.



I work at a trucking and warehouse company. I manage the inventory of equipment. Checking for damages sending them to our mechanic or a repair shop if needed. Also every container that comes in needs to be logged into our system. basically glorified data entry with a bit of yard dog to protect our equipment.

 This company is notoriously low on paying people and raises. Though it is steady. I have come to my boss, the president and had meeting with both in the same room. Telling them this job is much to easy for me and I can do more. I told them to give me more access to our system and I can do more work while working the gate. They basically give me the run around, saying it is very busy at the time (it isn't now) they don't want to move around anyone while everything is working well.

There is an opening which is kind of tough to navigate. Good friend and a beloved coworker here has just passed recently. He was a dispatcher. So i could realistically shoot for this job. He just died last week I'm not sure how to go about this. Also the job would be a LOT more stressful, but i think i could manage.
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« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 11:45:55 AM by frog »

Gimesalot

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Re: Case Study : 26 Living on my own : Can I tweak my budget more?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2016, 11:20:33 AM »
I think your expenses look okay.  Personally, I would get rid of the herbal remedy, gym, and spotify.  I feel like with just a small amount of effort, you could replace the gym and spotify with lower or no-cost options.

As far as career advancement goes, can you move up at your current job?  Usually Union gigs are very good jobs in terms of pay and benefits. 

Maybe it would help if you told us what you do now, and what skills you have so we can suggest other jobs.

slappy

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Re: Case Study : 26 Living on my own : Can I tweak my budget more?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2016, 11:33:31 AM »
Do you live by yourself? Are you able to get a roommate?

frog

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Re: Case Study : 26 Living on my own : Can I tweak my budget more?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2016, 11:52:36 AM »
Do you live by yourself? Are you able to get a roommate?

I do, explained the situation in my edit.

Chrissy

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Re: Case Study : 26 Living on my own : Can I tweak my budget more?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2016, 12:06:05 PM »
You're doing great cutting and keeping expenses low!  KEEP PRACTICING.  I'm not saying anything about the gym or Spotify, since you've already lost 120lbs... keep doing what works for your health.  And, bravo to you for being committed to paying off your debt.

Yes, career advancement!  The sooner the better.  If you can't get the dispatcher job, start looking for jobs at other companies.

Kaikou

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Re: Case Study : 26 Living on my own : Can I tweak my budget more?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2016, 12:11:50 PM »
Just want to congratulate you on your success thus far.

mamagoose

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Re: Case Study : 26 Living on my own : Can I tweak my budget more?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2016, 12:22:45 PM »
Keep the gym - it keeps you healthy, happy, and a great place to meet new friends. However, ditch the Spotify! Check if your county library offers free mp3 downloads (I get 5 free songs each week with my library card, and I use it to teach dance fitness classes). We hardly ever pay for media any more, thanks to the public library.

I would try a little harder looking for a roomie.

frog

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Re: Case Study : 26 Living on my own : Can I tweak my budget more?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2016, 12:34:45 PM »
Just want to congratulate you on your success thus far.

You're doing great cutting and keeping expenses low!  KEEP PRACTICING.  I'm not saying anything about the gym or Spotify, since you've already lost 120lbs... keep doing what works for your health.  And, bravo to you for being committed to paying off your debt.

Yes, career advancement!  The sooner the better.  If you can't get the dispatcher job, start looking for jobs at other companies.


Thanks a lot guy it really does mean so much to me. Even from internet strangers. I know my debt is low but it really does seem like an insurmountable mountain sometimes. So much great info on the website and this forum.... MMM is my new homepage

Inaya

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Re: Case Study : 26 Living on my own : Can I tweak my budget more?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2016, 12:53:09 PM »
Have you looked into the trades (electrician, plumbing, welder, etc)? It'll take some school, and you might be able to do the schooling while working full time.

Have you considered dropping Spotify+Netflix and getting Amazon Prime? It's a big up-front yearly fee, but works out to much less per month for music+shows/movies--and hey free 2-day shipping. You'll also get access to the Prime app store, and all their apps are free somehow--I haven't done much with it, so I can't tell you more than that. Prime also lets you download your music and shows--so you can download them on Wi-Fi, then watch/listen to them away from a hotspot without eating mobile data--a HUGE boon for me when I was trying to cut cell phone costs. Others have suggested the library and that's definitely an option as well, especially if you have access to a big one. My library has books, e-books, DVDs, e-magazines, audio books, etc.

You didn't mention (or I missed it) how many rooms your place has , but you might be able to recoup some housing costs by VRBOing or AirBnBing a spare room or even a sofabed. Granted this takes a trusting personality who is comfortable having a stranger in their personal space, but it may be an option for you. Be sure to check any regulations in your building against this kind of thing, as well as in your city. They're prohibited in my building, for instance (but many people do it anyway).

You're doing great so far! Just remember to keep your spending low EVEN IF your salary goes up. Do that and you'll be set!
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 12:56:05 PM by Inaya »

frog

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Re: Case Study : 26 Living on my own : Can I tweak my budget more?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2016, 01:23:29 PM »
Have you looked into the trades (electrician, plumbing, welder, etc)? It'll take some school, and you might be able to do the schooling while working full time.

Have you considered dropping Spotify+Netflix and getting Amazon Prime? It's a big up-front yearly fee, but works out to much less per month for music+shows/movies--and hey free 2-day shipping. You'll also get access to the Prime app store, and all their apps are free somehow--I haven't done much with it, so I can't tell you more than that. Prime also lets you download your music and shows--so you can download them on Wi-Fi, then watch/listen to them away from a hotspot without eating mobile data--a HUGE boon for me when I was trying to cut cell phone costs. Others have suggested the library and that's definitely an option as well, especially if you have access to a big one. My library has books, e-books, DVDs, e-magazines, audio books, etc.

You didn't mention (or I missed it) how many rooms your place has , but you might be able to recoup some housing costs by VRBOing or AirBnBing a spare room or even a sofabed. Granted this takes a trusting personality who is comfortable having a stranger in their personal space, but it may be an option for you. Be sure to check any regulations in your building against this kind of thing, as well as in your city. They're prohibited in my building, for instance (but many people do it anyway).

You're doing great so far! Just remember to keep your spending low EVEN IF your salary goes up. Do that and you'll be set!

Thanks, I have looked into trades. Not really sure which is right for me. I'm not very good with my hands. I'm a big mofo 6'6 270 Pounds. so plumbing is kind of hard for me. crawlspaces and the like. I don't really like it either. Welding seems like a really good option