Budgeting fun!

Today I finally went to the gym! After Jon and I argued till 2am (apparently planning a wedding is not easy and you will fight), I didn’t manage to drag myself out of bed till 10am. The luxuries of being off work! Kassie and I were texting first thing this morning about our Friday night plans and she invited me to the gym at noon! Perfect! I knew it would be a short workout since it’s on her lunch break, but better than nothing! I made some breakfast (I’ll do a WIAW tomorrow when I’m not lazy) and ate and then headed out to get her. We ran for 10 minutes on the treadmill and then did a few legs. That was really it. Then she had to get back to work (we typically have more time but had to go to the bank first).

I ran some errands and got same pictures framed and bought a new shower curtain (score! I LOVE IT!) for mine and Jon’s bathroom. Then I came home, did a shoulder and bicep workout with my 10# free weights cause I have to get my gym body back for the wedding, and then ate, showered, and went to class.

I sat in traffic for an hour and 45 minutes tonight to get to class! It took less than 20 to get home! But I really like this professor so I almost feel like it’s worthwhile. And my lab partner that I liked so much last semester is in my class too! I think I’m just going to make a plan to either hit up the gym or study in the area and leave way ahead of rush hour. I can’t waste that much time two days a week!

Anyway, I was asked to talk a little about my budgeting. So this is how I do it. I add up all my bills for the month (mortgage, condo association fee, power, gas, cable, phone, car and health insurance, and the gym). Those are all basically set fees. The gas and power vary slightly, but not much. So I set that as the high end. I factor in what I spend on gas and food (which is insane- about $350 on gas per month and $550ish for food for two at the grocery store). I add in a general amount for necessities other than food (aka: my Wal-Mart fund, even though I don’t use Wal-Mart anymore cause they’re ghetto near downtown). Then I add in my fun fund. I used to do $35 a week. I didn’t set one last night but I did set $125/mo as a house fund. We’re allotting $7,000 for our honeymoon, so we need to start saving for that.

My budgeting is a bit different because I’m not salaried, however. I need to have approximately $2,300 for my cost of living. I add in $125 for home stuff (I want new rugs!!), saaay $150 a month for “fun” (eating out, clothes, whatever), and then I will probably save about $500 monthly for our honeymoon. So I look at my total out every month and then I calculate on my fancy work calculator how many hours I need to work to make that. I easily clear the amount I need to make with my base of 120 hours of work a month. However, I also like to save for when my car messes up or I need a new AC unit at the condo or I tear the ligaments in my thumb and don’t work for 3 months. So I obviously want to work extra. Then I calculate how much extra I want to make and set my goal number of hours at work according to that.

Anyway, once I set my top limits, I keep a book with me in the car cause I don’t track things on my phone other than running and the daily lives of my cats. Then I tally up everything I spend and categorize it into the sections I said (necessities, fun, food, gas) and whatever I don’t use from that goes into savings (or right now, paying off my floors).

So like I said, my budgeting is different because I’m not salaried. I don’t work a set number of hours in a week even. If I feel like making the big bucks, I schedule myself 60 hours in one week and make time and a half for 20 hours. And I do that occasionally. How people budget on a set income isn’t my speciality, however, I really do find keeping a notebook with you to write everything down helps! I used to add it up every Sunday (I haven’t started yet) so that I’d know how much I have left in each area. Occasionally if I was way under on my gas allowance, I’d put it towards fun. But I try not to make a habit of it. Also, I typically go 2-3 weeks with spending my usual way at the start of a budget to track exactly what I spend my money on to help set the top limits. I already have a general idea because I’ve budgeted before. I also am sort of a bad budgeter because I refuse to cut corners on things like food. We won’t eat out, but I’m not about to buy cheap meats. I just try to cut out the excess spending (like shopping trips with Laura or getting my hair done whenever I want).

Anyway, we’ll see how this goes. Jon and I are starting our tracking on Sunday. We don’t share with each other what we spend now and I have no idea how much he makes (I know his hourly rate and he knows mine, but I don’t keep up with that). I don’t even know what’s in his bank account. Since we’re merging bank accounts eventually, we need to see how the other person spends before committing to that. Otherwise we’re staying separate. This will be interesting though because I haven’t actually budgeted in about a year and I do make a very comfortable amount of money, so the urge isn’t there as much. But with our upcoming wedding, honeymoon, and Jon’s school and hopefully my future school, we need to be aware of this.

This was probably boring. And probably not helpful. But I’ll let you guys know how our joint budgeting is going once we start on Sunday.