On Open Thread: Share Your 2015 Budget

Yay budgets! I have an annual salary of $52K plus potential OT, last year I just hit $57K, but I'm definitely not on track to hit that this year. This monthly budget is based off of a 2 paycheck month- also I make half my budget in percentages, and half in fixed dollars- and it gets complicated. I've automated as much as possible- direct deposit etc.. And actually, this isn't so much a budget as a series of "sinking funds". I try to keep a decent cushion in all these funds to that if I go over my estimated expenses. Basically- SAVINGS FIRST! Spend second. I'm basing this off my last paycheck and doubling for a two paycheck month, (though last paycheck was on the lower side): Avg Gross Monthly Income: $4142 Directly out of my checks: 401(k) @ 16%: $663 Healthcare: $180 Taxes: $930 Net Monthly Income: $2400 I have 3 direct deposit accounts from my paycheck: Emergency/House Down Payment fund: $912 (goal is $1000!) Checking: $1416 Car fund(more insurance & repairs): $72 Expenses: Rent: $1000 (I moved in w/my boyfriend who owns his place, so this is a flat fee for rent, utilities, Cable, internet, etc) Cell: $25 Gas-Food-Fun, slush fund: $500 Everything goes on my credit card and I pay one bill a month. Gift fund: $40 I do an automatic monthly transfer of collected interest from my BIG SAVINGS fund into my gift fund, so when the holidays roll around I have a few hundred dollars accumulated in there without thinking of it. I've had my BIG SAVINGS account for almost 10 years and only had to dip into it once during a 6 month unemployment period. I've always tried to keep my annual expenses around 22k, though I haven't looked at my exact annual expenses in a few years. It's weird, It really is a series of savings fund earmarked for different spending. My credit card bill hovers around $600-$1200 a month... This is actually a backwards budget I guess!

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 2:25 pm 0

On If You Buy Your Wife a Mansion

I feel like this is somehow linked to engagement rings: A super expensive, personal gift that you are just supposed to be extremely grateful for, but I would be PISSED if gifted something that extravagant with major future emotional/financial repercussions (house/car/ring or otherwise), without it being a JOINT decision. But also, I should read the whole thing for context before getting all up in arms?.... i guess?

Posted on November 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm 1

On Friday Estimate

Hmm, let's see. My boyfriend is out of town this weekend, so I took the opportunity to AirBnB our place out *we own it, don't rent it* and I'll be getting some quality girl time in with a friend over the weekend. Gas to get home from work: $35 Bottle of wine as a thank you to friend: $15 (I'll also be bringing a homemade fruit salad to empty out my fridge) I'll be either be curled up with a sore throat and netflix all weekend: $0 Or rally and go out with some friends and hit up a yoga class: $30 for food and alcohol. $15 for yoga. Sunday I plan to clean out the fridge and pantry and make some bulk meals and deal with groceries during the week. Total: $50 - $95

Posted on November 14, 2014 at 11:41 am 0

On Monday Check-in

Mike Dang!If that photo is from where you spent the weekend, then you were literally steps from my house!But you would have been weirded out if a stranger recognized you on the street, right? Even if I said "thanks for editing my most favorite site on the internet!!"? It would have been like a few weeks ago when I spotted Grace Bonney of Design Sponge at a diner upstate and then again at a flea market and I just stared and stared, debating whether or not to say hi, like a weird creepy weirdo. Anyhoo- hope you had a wonderful time in our town, and I apologize that the best restaurant in town was temporarily closed down for a relocation. You should come visit again when they open back up! aaaaand, if you happened to visit the restaurant with the view of that waterfall, I'm very curious about your experience there. Super informal market-research, if you are willing to share! As for my weekend estimate, I was a huge bum this weekend and spent all of Friday-Saturday inside. Made grilled cheese and served leftover lentil stew to friends and helped them get ready for a Halloween party, all with stuff I had on hand- $0 Made slow-cooker chicken noodle soup, a huge batch of chili, and thumbprint "breakfast cookies" with stuff that was about to go bad in my fridge, $0 Had a Friday Night Lights marathon on Netflix, watched my boyfriend tear up at every episode. $0 Dropped off jackets for a coat drive hosted by our local pantry/cheese shop, but bought a delicious cheese sandwich for $6 Took a hike near the Croton Dam (BEAUTIFUL dam!) $0 (gas paid by boyfriend) Invited my brother and sister-in-law over for pizza ($20) to break up their cabin fever while they were sitting around waiting for my SIL to go into labor- I may be an aunt today! Total $26 of $40 weekend estimate ooh! also finished knitting teeny-tiny baby mittens and a hat, with gifted yarn, but I see adding a "yarn" account to my regular budget in the future, at least for the holiday season...

Posted on November 3, 2014 at 11:06 am 0

On Things I Am Looking For in The Mid-Sized City of My Dreams

@Spinach Party Hudson River coastline and bunches of mountains!

Posted on October 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm 0

On Things I Am Looking For in The Mid-Sized City of My Dreams

If you want to stay local-ish- maybe New Paltz? http://www.trulia.com/property/3168487841-4-Van-Kleeck-Ave-New-Paltz-NY-12561 or Beacon: http://www.trulia.com/property/1052554965-783-Wolcott-Ave-Beacon-NY-12508#photo-1

Posted on October 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm 0

On Here is Your Open Thread

@Tripleoxer I got sucked into this a while ago, and became weirdly resentful. It was only 2-5 bucks a week... but also 2-5 bucks a week and I NEVER have cash on me. I'd end up owing coworkers who would cover me as a favor... ugh. I used to drive by a billboard with the current jackpot amount on it and would just daydream about quitting my job once we all won. Spoiler alert: WE NEVER WON. Which made me extra resentful of my job. No good all around. Eventually, I just started saying no thanks, very politely. "I make my own luck!". My current luck-making is hoarding cash and updating my resume. fingers crossed....

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm 1

On Yes, I Do In Fact Owe My Entire Career to Browsing Reddit

@HelloTheFuture @Christy Thank you both for trying not to spoil! A friend JUST told me about these books a few days ago and this is a perfect reminder to add them to my library request list. I am already geeking out over them without knowing anything. eeeeeee

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm 0

On Waste Not, Want Not

@sheistolerable I've been following her story for the past year or two, and from what I gather, it can be very hit or miss at the deli counter. Sometimes one worker will fill a jar whereas another shift would refuse. She seems to really go out of her way, talk to a manager, explain her motives and more often than not she is allowed to do it. I feel like it involves becoming a "regular" at your neighborhood store (independent or chain) and explaining your case several times over each time you meet a new person. It's seems exhausting to me, but I"m also extremely impressed and motivated by her energy!

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 10:55 am 0

On My Slight Real Estate Problem: The Housing Market And Me

@eagerber American Beauty! (i think?)

Posted on April 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm 0