Urban Adaptation

Sustainable urban living, rural dreams, and daily change for a homemade life.

September budget, part two

with 2 comments

And now, for the challenge.

I’ve set myself caps for most of my expenses – amounts that I will not surpass unless there’s an emergency.  These caps are pretty generous, to make sure there’s room for needed expenses without things feeling too tight, but also room so that I feel like I’m saving extra (a bit of built in flexibility is a tricky way of letting myself feel like I’ve accomplished something when I’m likely to not spend all of the money allocated to a category).  It’s really this latter feature that I’m most interested in, and I’m challenging myself to spend as little – and save as much – of the set amount as possible.

Rent    610
Insurance    30
Phone/Internet    100
Electricity    40
Food    100
Play    60
Transportation    40
Education    60
Health    60
Gifts    15
Clothes    10
Savings     125

Total: 1250  (just shy of what I should be making monthly just from teaching)

The idea is that I won’t go above these amounts.  However, in order to ensure I can have access to money if I need more of it at one time than another, I am allowing myself to transfer remainders from month to month within the same grouping.  For instance, buying Christmas gifts will take up not only December’s allowance, but also the amounts from a number of months beforehand.  I’m also allowing myself to borrow from other categories in the same month, although I’m limiting myself to covering only food, health, or education in this way, since I’m anticipating a few bigger expenses.  If I need to buy an expensive textbook, for instance, I can take unused play money to help cover it.  I’m expecting that these will be the exceptions, though, and not the rule.

The rest will go into savings every month.  I have a built in $125 (1/10 of what I should be making) going into savings each month, plus the amount that’s automatically deducted into my pension, but I want to continue to build this up as much as I can.  By ensuring that I’m spending below my means, through a budget and by challenging myself, I think I can manage this year – even without a scholarship – to continue adding to my savings as much as possible even beyond the basic amounts that I’ve set for myself.

I know this probably sounds rather dry – budgeting frequently does, in my experience – but I’m excited about the challenge.  I’d like to stop spending as much as possible, and focus on other things.  I’d like to see my savings grow even as I keep on with grad school.  I’d like to know that my finances are relatively stable, and that I can continue to live in a way that doesn’t put me into debt.

And…here I go.


Written by Jenn

September 1, 2010 at 1:05 am

2 Responses

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  1. Good for you… I am pulling for your success.

    Lynda M O

    September 1, 2010 at 2:08 am

  2. […] leave a comment » The other day, I posted my new budget. […]

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