Exposed: January 2014 budget

January 2014 budget

Happy New Year, ya'll!

There's something immensely comforting about curling up on the couch with a steaming cup of green tea, basking in the warm glow of Excel building the first monthly budget of the year. Ahhhhhh…

With most of my monthly expenses being fixed, I've consistently struggled with one category – food & drink. Between excessive travel, erratic work hours, and a general lack of planning, I spent the second half of 2013 eating most of my meals out of the house or via processed food from the grocery store. Clearly, it's time to get back into my kitchen! $300 per month on food & drink is only $75 per week, leaving little room for meals out, unnecessary alcohol, coffee, and desserts. I'm ready to trim the fat both literally and figuratively.

Here we go!

Fixed

Cell phone – $86.66
Roth IRA – $458.00
Medications – $43.00
Home warranty – $52.00
Credit card – $212.28 (from last minute flight purchase for Southwest Companion Pass)
Internet – $80.82
Savings – $1,000
Mortgage – $1,442.78
Alarm system – $19.95 (paid quarterly)
Car registration fund – $10.00 (paid annually)
Dentist fund – $37.50 (budgeted at $450 per year)
Haircut fund – $16.67 (budgeted at $200 per year)
Christmas fund – $33.33 (budgeted at $400 per year)
Car insurance fund – $55.25 (paid annually)

Variable

Electric bill – $70.87
Water bill – $14.80 (estimate from last month)
Gas bill – $80.83 (estimate from last month)
Gas (car) – $76.00
Food & drink – $300
Gifts – $50.00 (house parties, baby shower, etc.)

Total – $4,140.74
Expenses – $2,682.74
Savings – $1,458.00

The majority of my expenses have been shaved down to the bare bones, but there are still a few areas that have room for improvement:

Small changes

Medications – switching to a generic ($27 savings)
Mortgage – still waiting for less expensive home owners insurance to be applied to escrow ($10.25 savings)

Larger changes

Gas (car) – commit to biking to work daily (~$50 savings)
Dentist – new job with dental insurance ($37.50 savings)

Additionally, I'd like to sell a few things to add further wiggle room and make up for the unexpected flight expense leftover from December.

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Discussions — 3 Responses

  • impersonalfinanceroboto January 2, 2014 on 12:04 pm

    Pretty solid budget here. I’m interested in seeing how your year goes. Best of luck in 2014!

    Reply
    • Cashville Skyline impersonalfinanceroboto January 2, 2014 on 12:15 pm

      It’s definitely a bit more uncomfortable than last year’s budget, but hopefully this blog will keep me on track. Best of luck to you too!

      Reply
  • Holding myself accountable: a January review | Cashville Skyline February 3, 2014 on 7:01 am

    […] did January fly by, or what? It hardly feels like a month ago that this blog was born and I was sharing my first budget. What a month it’s […]

    Reply