Author Topic: Decidedly NOT middle class... But surprisingly lucky...  (Read 3371 times)


  • Stubble
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Decidedly NOT middle class... But surprisingly lucky...
« on: July 28, 2013, 04:32:20 PM »

I'm basically looking for ideas on how to adjust our budget to increase our safety zone...

Nitty gritty:

My income, take home: 814.37 every two weeks
My SO's income: about 150.00 every week.
Our joint income: 680.00 around the 5th of each month. (We split babysitting duties for twins for one of my coworkers. The care is state paid, thus a big part of our income.)

Our monthly expenses:
Rent: 550
Electric: 35
Natural Gas: 30
Auto/renters insurance: 125 two vehicles, two drivers and the apartment with a 50,000 policy for belongings.
Internet, 45
Netflix, on one of the credit cards.
Savings (starting first of August , 100 a week out of her money, and 20 e2w out of mine)
Groceries: 250 +/-

Our monthly bills:
My student loans: 170 a month on 23000
My SO's student loan: 40 a month on about 2500
Bad debt: (last payment) 175
Credit cards (2): 250/month total for both (we don't carry a balance, mostly used for gas and groceries, both cash back reward cards one in each of our names)

Car payment: 260 (yes it was a bad idea) owe about 9000.

We have no savings currently
We have no home phone. We do have cellphones, but won't have to pay for them ourselves for another year. I already have the cheapest handset available (cost me 15 dollars brand new after twin 1 flushed my previous phone).' And we will likely have my phone on a 10.00 plan. The SO's will likely be 10 bucks/month also. 

We do have cable, paid for by the parent of the twins.

About the cars, one is owned out right. The other is financed. I commute 13 miles each way. My SO is looking for another job, that will allow her to quit the one that she has, but either accommodates the twins, or will pay enough to break even or better... But the economy is recovering slowly here... And wasn't great to begin with.

Because we live in such a tight area, two cars are a necessity for us at this time. We plan to sell both for to purchase an Alaska appropriate vehicle before we move back up north. An appropriate vehicle would be like a jeep liberty or a Honda CRV and the like. 4wd is a requirement, manual tranny also required.

Our goals:

Get debt free
Move back to Alaska
Achieve financial independence by the time I am 45.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 04:35:28 PM by SEAKSR »


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Decidedly NOT middle class... But surprisingly lucky...
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2013, 11:04:24 AM »
On the surface, your budget looks very controlled, but it doesn't add up, unless I'm missing something.  A little tip... if you want people to look at your numbers, make it easier for us :)  Don't post in pennies, total things into categories like income & expenses, use monthly amounts for consistency.  Before we go any further, please verify that this is correct:

Monthly Expenses:
Rent    550
elec   35
gas   30
insur   125
internet   45
netflix   10
SL1   170
SL2   40
car   260
Groceries   250

Total Monthly Expenses $1515 (I ignored your last cc payment, and couldn't figure out what you spend on Gas vs Groceris).

Monthly Income $2910
This would leave $1395 leftover, but it looks like you want to put $440/month into savings?

So, either I'm missing something big and my math is totally off, or you haven't listed everything, or you have a lot more monies available to save.

Once you provide a clear understanding of your situation (without so much detail), it might be easier to start pin-pointing some areas.  Also, you'll need to state what the interest rates are on the two Student Loans and the Car.


  • Stubble
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Re: Decidedly NOT middle class... But surprisingly lucky...
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2013, 09:47:08 AM »
The car loan is at 14.9%
My student loan, (#1) is at approx 7.5%
The other is at 7%

As for gas and groceries, I just signed up for and have been inputting my receipts... We actually spend about 200/ month on gas, and 250 on groceries. Because my SO prefers cash, I was heavily under estimating her spending.

My biggest concern with the remaining balance is this is a new budget for us, and my SO is not accustomed to not being able to do whatever she wants to do when she wants to do so.

Side note, a big part of the problem is that she despises living in central oregon, and prefers to go up to Portland Oregon, or to the oregon coast at least 2x per month. I don't understand it... I been trying to tell her if we stay home even for three months we could feasibly move to the coast.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Decidedly NOT middle class... But surprisingly lucky...
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2013, 09:16:39 AM »
That car loan is pretty crazy. I'd be working at all costs to get rid of it. How much is the car worth? Can you sell it and not still owe money left on it then buy a cheap car or scooter or something to replace it? 14.9% is a very high rate for a car loan.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Decidedly NOT middle class... But surprisingly lucky...
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2013, 02:10:19 PM »
Why are you expecting your SO, whose income is substantially less than yours, to put more into monthly savings than you?  $400/month out of her roughly $940/month income (43%) versus $40/month out of your roughly $1970/month income (2%) hardly seems fair.  If I were her I'd be balking a bit at that plan, too.  Did you mis-state the breakdown?

And who has the car loan?  Presumably you, because I can't see any auto dealership that wants to stay in business approving a car loan for over 25% of someone's already meager take home income.  (Though I guess raking in 14.9% interest a year is pretty attractive, and the risk is offset by the repo possibilities if you stop paying).

Also interesting that her SL balance is only 1/10th the size of yours.

Tip:  Get your own finances in order before you start complaining about your SO too much.  You'll make faster ground financially and your relationship will be healthier, too.