Money, Day 5: Phase 1 Complete!

October 23, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I guess that’s sort of a silly title, since I’ve never actually set down Phases for this thing.  Until Mel asked, I hadn’t even set down a plan!

So here’s the the plan, complete with phases, as far as my current intentions go:

Phase 1Set down a budget and a plan for paying bills on time each month.

Which means I need to:

  1. Sort out, again, what bills we have going out and when they’re due.
  2. Track our income, now that the paycheck values have changed.
  3. Figure out what bills we currently have that can be paid online, etc.
  4. Decide which bills can be paid on the first paycheck and which need to be paid out of the second.
  5. Establish a plan for handling ‘incidental’ monthly expenses like birthdays, non-monthly bills, extracurricular expenses, etc.
  6. Establish a plan for saving something, somehow.

See how that falls as #6?  Meh.

Phase 2: Carry out the plan for November, 2009.  See how it works.

Phase 3: Evaluate, make revisions, etc.

The goal here is to get to the point where A) we actually have savings and B) we never have to borrow anything from my parents EVER AGAIN. >_<  I love my parents, and I am infinitely grateful for the help they’ve given me over the past few months, but I really, really, REALLY, really hate borrowing from people.  Or even accepting gifts, as the case may be.  My parents have been very generous about the help they’ve provided, but seriously… I hate that we needed that help.  It should never have been that way.

Anyway… so I have now completed Phase 1.  Here’s what I’ve got:

  • Monthly, we pay out for the Mortgage, Water, Electricity, Natural Gas, School Tuition, Offering at Church, Life insurance, Phone/Internet/TV, Cell Phones, and Weight Watchers Online.  We also have a gas card for which we pay the balance off each month, and my cashed-out Whole Life policy that I pay back into.    I have now split these into two lists, according to which paycheck they come out of:
    • First Paycheck:
      1. School Tuition
      2. Whole Life payback
      3. Phone/Internet/TV
      4. Cell Phones
      5. Electric
      6. Natural Gas
      7. Life Insurance
      8. 1/2 of Offering to Church
      9. QuikTrip
    • Second Paycheck:
      1. Mortgage (following month)
      2. 1/2 of Offering to Church
      3. Water
  • With the money we have left after those are paid, we can afford $300/paycheck toward food and household incidentals.
  • I’ve also budgeted to grant Andy $40/paycheck for his own use, for lunches or whatever.   Any tutoring money he makes is also his to do with as he pleases.

My goal right now is to just pay off each bill cluster ON PAYDAY.  We do not have an interest-bearing checking account anyway, so there’s no point in waiting.   Doing it that way will make me far less likely to miss something.

At the end of all of this, we should have about $428 left over.   That’s the money that pays for non-monthly bills and birthday expenses and whatnot.  Most months we only have about $250-$300 worth of that to worry about, and often less, but December (Christmas) obviously represents a huge chunk of expense, and May, when we pay for school registration, car insurance and a bunch of other stuff that just happens to fall in 0ne month, we end up needing over $1,000.

In the past, as I mentioned, I would keep a running total in Checking to accommodate this, but I’ve wised up now.  At the end of each pay period, I’m going to put whatever we haven’t used into Savings.  That way it’s just out of the way, and ideally earning some interest.  And when we need it, we can just transfer it back.

The only problem I now face is the need for that Emergency Fund.  For the third time, let me reiterate that I do think that that’s important, and I think what I’ll do is open a separate account, preferably interest-bearing, and put my tutoring money into it.  Right now that’s only about $100/mo, but that combined with the $100/mo Andy’s school is putting into his HPA should be enough to help out if one of the kids gets hurt or someone gets really sick.  Hopefully that won’t happen, but I feel better having that money set aside just in case.

So that’s probably due to be some facet of a phase here.  Maybe I’ll make it Phase 4, or something.  Or just a goal.


Entry filed under: Money, Successes. Tags: , , , .

Money, Day 4: THIEF!! Money, Day 6: Billpay and Lag Time

Recent Posts

October 2009
« May   Jun »

Check it out!

  • 9,482 people are watching me!

%d bloggers like this: