I don’t know if this will be helpful for either any readers, or for me and the spouse, but I thought it would be interesting to start doing a monthly breakdown of what we spent and what we earned (after taxes and benefits).  If nothing else, it will help me be more organized when talking with the spouse.

Just as an update, I am almost better from the emergency surgery.  I can get up and walk around, and went back to work after a two week hiatus.  So things are improving.  Hopefully, I will be able to keep up with the three posts a week schedule from this point out.

Here goes on May’s budget numbers:

Total income – after taxes, both spouse and I: $6,142.21

Expenses:

Monthly Bills: $1,494.24

Rent: $1,160 (two bedrooms of a three-bedroom apartment)

Phone: $70 (two lines, Cricket)

Internet: $51.70 (Cox – they’re awful, but I haven’t found a better deal for our area.  Full price is $77 and change, roommate pays the other third)

Electricity: $18.60

Water: $71.38 (we split water among four apartments.  Our water bill used to be like $20 per month, and then other people moved into two of the four apartments, and now it’s $100 per month.  I believe they leave their faucets on all day.)

Washer: $26.65 (we’re getting rid of the washer when we move.  We did the math, and even at $6 per load, we don’t do enough laundry to pay for the washer.  Our roommate actually does more laundry than we do)

Car Insurance: $122.56 (i got a speeding ticket over a year ago.  This should be going down soon)

Monthly Expenses: $2,565.65

Groceries: $377.13

Alcohol: $58.15

Fuel: $144.56 (I drive a 2006 Scion XA.  Only reason we can get gas so low with respectively, a 45 minute commute, and an hour commute.)

Restaurants: $365.69 (It’s a constant battle to get this down.  Biggest problem is birthdays and special events with friends and family.)

Medical: $237.87 (both doctor’s bills and medicines.  Doctors don’t bill you in the month you use services, it takes two or three months.  So I had several doctor’s bills from the beginning of the year hit all at once, plus medicine to figure out a long-term stomach issue)

Household Goods: $141.63 (this was a little unusual – spouse bought a food storage basket, water bottle, and video games)

Business Expenses: $59.77 (I had a work trip and didn’t claim back an Uber and checked bag, although I should have)

Personal Care: $96.98 (two adult hair cuts at fancy salon, gym membership at $10 per month, and a random like $2 charge that I can’t even remember)

Car Repairs: $123 (this is actually spouse’s DMV registration.  Mine was about that much at the beginning of the year.)

Birthdays: $182.66 (actually includes birthday gifts and flowers for like four different mothers for Mother’s Day)

Vacation: $754.33 (plane tickets for family member’s graduation in MidWest)

Debts: $3,500

TOTAL EXPENSES: $7,559.89

END OF MONTH: $1,417.68

And that, my readers, is why we had to dip into savings to pay off the credit card bill this month.  We ended up throwing about $1,600 towards the credit card bill to put it back down to $0.  I really don’t want to carry any of that debt if we don’t have to.  The plane tickets, of course, counted for about half of the expense, car repairs and personal care did another $200 worth.  We could have done without the household goods purchases, bringing the total overage accounted for to about $1,100.  And eating out did the rest, basically.

So this month, spouse and I have already talked.  We do need to get oil changes on both the cars, but I’m still not physically capable of it yet.  Also, my parents are coming to town for a few days, and can’t visit the apartment because of the cats (allergies), so we’ll be eating out.  And we’re going to this graduation the next week.  With people who have more money and fancy taste.  We split meals, but there’s only so much you can do there.

As a side note, of our take home pay, almost 57% goes to debt repayment.  We are essentially living as if our household income was about $40,000 per year ($31,000 after taxes) in one of the most high cost of living states in the US.  According to the poverty guidelines publised by Health and Human Serices that puts us at just under twice the poverty line.  Which would qualify us for food stamps in our city.  Fun.

It’s doable, but its going to take more finessing, I think.