Friday, May 28, 2010

The Budget

At first I was going to get into specifics (ie, I spend $75 to get my hair cut every 3 months), but then I realized that it might be easier to deal with percentages.

I'm basing this budget on my take home pay after taxes and retirement savings (which we can chat about at a later date, it is one of my budget flaws) are taken out. The percentages might not add up to exactly 100%, because I rounded up.

DC is a pretty high cost of living area, and well, I live pretty well for the small amount of money I make. I had a bad patch when I first graduated college, where I was living beyond my means, which I am sure I'll discuss at some later date. I love that I can live within my budget but still live like I want to.

Housing: 30%
This include mortgage, taxes, home insurance, condo fees. Condo fees include almost all my utilities except cable, phone and internet.
Entertainment/Eating out: 16%
This includes pretty much any time I grab and sandwich at lunch, go out for a drink with friends, go to a concert or go camping for the weekend. Part of this money (27% of it, actually) goes into a joint account my boyfriend (hereafter referred to as BF) and I share. Much of our "entertainment" is done together.
Groceries: 10%
Part of this (44%) also goes into the joint account with the BF. We spend a lot of time together and live *really* close to each other, so we share a lot of groceries. This also includes household cleaning supplies.
Travel savings: 10%
This might be a lot for some people, but traveling is a priority for me. Please feel free to begin lecturing now. :)
Transportation: 9%
This includes my public transport commuting costs each day, as well as car insurance, gas and a little bit of money each month that goes into my savings to pay for potential repairs. The car is paid off.
Debt: 5%
This is a 0% loan from my Father, for money I spent (that I didn't have) before I understood what a budget was.
Beauty, fitness and personal care: 4%
This include my gym membership, haircuts, makeup, etc.
Clothes/dry cleaning: 4%
This also includes shoes. :)
Utilities not included in my condo fee: 4%
This includes a portion of my cell phone bill (work pays for some) and my cable/internet.
Health care: 3%
This covers what my employer doesn't.
Misc Savings: 3%
This is not much, I know, but I already have a pretty robust emergency fund in case I need it. And, when I don't spend all of my budget each month, half of the overage goes into my savings account.

In the next few months, this may be changing a little bit, but not too much. I'm getting a teeny tiny raise and probably switching car/home insurance companies to save a few bucks.

When I have a new budget, I'll re-post.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

An Introduction

I should admit to you, that this isn't my first blog. I've had others, and people even read them, but none of them were about money.

To be honest, though, I am not sure this blog is going to be 100% about money. That might get boring. Not that the rest of my life is soap opera material, or anything.

I started this blog because I am starting a new chapter in my life -- a new chapter as a homeowner. Well, partial homeowner. My salary and lifestyle are such that while I qualified for a decent-sized mortgage, I can't actually afford the whole payment without being house poor. Enter Mom and Dad, who are now co-owners of my new property. Think that co-owning property with your parents when you are in your early 30's is lame? Trying living alone in DC while working for a poor non-profit and then get back to me regarding my lameness. If you still think I am lame after that, that's OK, because I'm really happy with the arrangement. I get a great condo, and my parents get a great investment.

I like to contemplate and analyze money, my spending habits, DC real estate and such things, so I thought a blog would be a perfect place to do all that.

Stay tuned, relevant stats coming up.

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