My Budget 2010

Here is what my current budget for 2010 looks like:

I’ve color-coded the entire thing so that you can see which account each expense will come from. I use BofA to pay bills (no ATMs in my state) and ING for regular expenses (because there are no overdraft fees).

In total I have 5 different accounts that I regularly use.

Account #1 – Bofa: Bill paying account (color coded pink in my budget). I put in here the MAXIMUM I need to pay for each bills. So if water ranges from $25-40, I put in $40 every month. If the cell phone ranges from $50-65, I put in $65. I also cancelled my cable TV, found cheaper internet and lowered changes on my cell phone to save me some money here. After all my bills go through I transfer the remaining money onto my credit card.

Account #2 – ING Checking: Every-day expenses (color-coded purple in budget). Food. Gas. Ect. Not however for gifts, clothes and entertainment. This account only pays for the things that I NEED every month. Toilet paper. Grocery shopping. Gas to get to work. Oil changes. This year I am setting up automatic deposits into this account from my Account #3 of $161/week (I was just doing a weird system of three irregular times per month). So the money I’m not spending that week is earning me interest. Also, it helps keep me balanced to have a constant stream of money every week – I never feel poor this way!

Account #3 – ING Savings: Emergency fund. (color coded green in the budget) Since I have reached my $1,200 Emergency Fund goal, I’ve lowered my contribution in 2010 to $33/month. I couldn’t bring myself to stop saving at all. If I have an expense and it goes below $1,000 – I’ll bump up my contributions to $100/month until it is back above the $1,000 threshold.

Account #4 – ING Savings: Yearly savings (color coded green in the budget) I added up all the expenses that I have reoccurring every year: car registration, membership dues, haircuts (I only get this done twice a year, if that!), christmas, vacations, ect. Then totaled them and divided by 12. Last year, I paid $140/month to this account. This year I’ve upped my Christmas savings and my car savings to rebalance my saving vs spending. I save this in a separate ING savings account. Then I have an excel sheet that I use to keep track of when I spend for this account. Here is what it looks like, not very pretty, but it gets the job done. You can see that I already have money from the Car Fund going away from expenses that I incurred in December (to pay back my E-fund).

Please click to make a little bigger

Account #5 – Chase Checking: My fun fund. This pays for all the things that make life nice, but aren’t a necessity. Gifts, clothes, entertainment, ect. There is no regular allotment of money into this account from my steady income sources. I fund this account with my “extra” money. So from tutoring in real life, tutoring online, doing surveys, selling my possessions. On a bad month only $25-50 gets put into this account. On a good month upwards of $400 can find its way into here. Since these are optional expenses in my life since I have debt, they aren’t given dedicated money. I have to EARN my fun!

So there you have it! My budget for the first part of 2010!

This will change in June when I may or may not be teaching at the community college – and probably not teaching as much.

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