Archive for October 25th, 2010
With a new month coming, and less money coming in, I spent part of the day slashing my budget a bit – with a Jackson Brown CD and some hot chocolate, it’s not really that onerous a task, especially when working out ways to save a bit more here and there. While I already have savings worth 10 percent of my income automatically set aside each month, I’d like to increase that amount a bit each month, both to cut back my spending a bit more and to increase my savings and giving by the same amount.
The cuts aren’t big, but they do add up. I’ve dropped play (which really goes beyond play and is more of a miscellaneous category) from $60 to $50 per month, transportation from $40 to $25 (because of my bus pass it almost never gets used, and I just tend to use it fund other categories if I go over, which I’d like to stop), and clothes from $15 to $10 (now that I have a suit and I think I’m good for interview clothes.) Given how rarely I’ve used the full amounts, I’ve also dropped health and education each from $60 to $50. The total? An extra $50 per month, and more if I don’t spend the full amounts, which I usually don’t (which translates to almost 20 percent of my income saved.) Of course, if I really need it the money’s still there, but having smaller amounts means having less that I feel like I can spend, and more that I can save or give away.
One thing also worth noting is that these amounts don’t include my university tuition. This is a lot of money, and while I should probably factor it into the overall equation, I know how much it is and keep it aside as a lump sum payment out of savings. I can’t decide if this is a practical coping mechanism so as not to panic at the cost of university education every month, or if it’s more of a head-in-the-sand kind of thing, but for now it works for me, and I imagine it will continue to do so so long as living within my means incorporates this amount (which it currently does).