So we can’t talk about being Broke Newlyweds without going over our budget. And at a glance, here it is.
Our biggest expense is Rent and Utilities, totaling 38% of our budget. Typically, rent is supposed to equal 30% of your budget. Our lease is up in October and we’re currently looking to move somewhere less expensive and more affordable—-for us, anyway. Affordable in Orange County is practically an oxymoron. We’re hoping to slash our rent by at least $200 and also move to a place that includes water, gas, and trash in the rent, thereby saving approximately $250 each month.
The rest of our expenses are pretty fixed, with food and gas being our only variables, but we pretty much stick to our budget on those.We could stand to cut a little from our savings, but we usually end up borrowing a bit from that account each month anyway.
I didn’t include extra money from Eric’s waiter job. We try to use his tips and checks from that job for spending money and to pay off our credit card debt.
Our financial plan for the next few months is to pay off our credit cards. Total, we currently have $3800 on two cards, one with a 0% interest until December. We hope to have it paid off by Christmas, but that may be a lofty goal around the holidays. We try and put at least $500 toward it each month, but usually unexpected expenses such as school costs, insurance, and car registration pop up and we end up falling behind.
After our credit card debt is paid off, we want to up our car payment so we can pay that off before the final payment is due on August 2012. After that, hopefully we can put in all the extra money into a savings plan and save up for a down payment for our very first home. Since homes in Orange County are super expensive (the minimum for a small two-bedroom townhome in a nice area is at least $400,000), we need to save a big chunk of money.
As for the savings account, we don’t have anything hefty, but its always at least a couple thousand dollars. We believe it’s important to have a lump sum of cash available for any last minute emergencies. So while we may touch it from time to time simply to make ends meet, we always keep at least $2000 on hand.
- Slash Rent/Utilities by $250
- Cut cable $100/month
- Pay off $3800 credit card debt by Dec. 25
- After credit card debt paid off, pay off car payment
- Begin to save for down payment