Monday, November 2, 2015

October Expenditures

October - Installment #2 of the DisIndebted Monthly Expenditures!

Regular Debt Payments$2,520Fixed Payments$1,910
Snowball Debt Payments$1,250- Rent$789
- 0% Balance Transfer 1$50- Electric$112
- Private Student Loan$1,200- Other Utilities$180
Non-Budget Buys$113- Renter Insurance$22
- Magazine Subscription$20- Auto Lease 1$265
- Library Fees$6- Auto Lease 2$235
- Book$4- Savings Acct.$200
- eBay / Shipping Fees$33- Gym Memberships$21
- Dentist (Cancer Screen)$50- Netflix$9
Discretionary$598- Rent Insurance$22
- Grocery$355- Pandora$5
- Dining Out$64- Tithing$50
- Entertainment$107
- Other$72
TOTAL Debt Payments$3,770

As you can see, we spent a 59% of our income on debt. This is not the whopping 67% we spent in September, true. But these things will change month to month. Still, we reduced the principal of our debt from $345,755 to $343,314 - a total of $2,441 of debt vanquished!

We are serious about disindebtification.

Anyway, here is some info on each expense for your personal amusement:
  • Regular Debt Payments - Duh. We have debt. We have minimum payments to make on it each month. This is credit card and student loan debt (I don't count our auto leases or rent here). This is the ugly stuff we want to get rid of. 
  • Snowball Debt Payments - We pay a minimum of $1,000 a month extra toward the principal of our big ugly pile of debt. Currently that is slated to go toward one of two 0% transfer credit cards. Both are at 0% and the promotional rate expires in July 2016 - thus it is important to pay both off ASAP. However, we determined that we could apply some money to a very high (13%) personal education loan and still pay off the 0% transfers before they skyrocket to 20% or whatever unholy rate they go to next July. We decided after our $1,200 October payment to this personal education loan, to take advantage of a $0 fee, 4.99% APR balance transfer. We transferred the remaining $5,969 balance from a 13% rate to 4.99%. Based on my pay-off projections, this will save us $120 in interest over the next few months. We plan to pay a minimum of $3,000 toward this in November - reducing the balance by half! We are pretty darned excited about this.
  • Non-Budgeted Buys - This is exactly what it sounds like. It is stuff we did not budget for, but spent on anyway.
    • Magazine Subscription - My good friend (and Best Man) has a wee tyke who is selling stuff to fund her Girl Scouts troop. $20 is the least we could do and we get a sweet 1-year subscription to Backpacker Magazine.
    • Library Fees - I dropped the ball and owed $12 in library fines. Thanks to my garage sale-ing I managed to only pay $6
    • Book - We started a Bible study at church. While the book was optional, we decided it was worth it so we found it used on $4.
    • eBay / Shipping Fees - Selling things on eBay isn't free. I spent $33 on eBay and UPS fees.
    • Dentist (Cancer Screen) - My dental plan covers semi-annual check-ups. However, my dentist also offers a cancer screening that is not covered by my plan. I get this once a year because preventative care is worth it.
  • Discretionary - These discretionary items are really the one area where we do not have a fixed payment due each month. We tried on several occasions to budget for these on a monthly basis, but found this difficult because of the varying number of weeks in a month. In August, I implemented a "Weekly Budget" for these discretionary items. Our weekly budget  in September was $207 (for a total of $828 monthly) that we ramped down to $183 by mid-month. We stuck with this $183 number the first three weeks of October. However, by the final week, we had made a decision to purchase life insurance on both Mrs. DisIndebted and myself because nothing will ruin a financial plan (or anything) like a death... party over. We decided we didn't want to spend any more each month, so we found room for these life insurance policies by reducing our weekly discretionary budget. Thus, our new weekly discretionary budget is $146: $80 for groceries, $12 for other, $24 for entertainment, and $30 for dining out. The fact is, we are OK going over in one of these verticals, so long as we don't go over for the week. Similarly, if we are way under one week - we know we are OK to go a little over the next week if needed. Thus,  - we also had a surplus of nearly $97 at the end of the month. Sweet! Here are our discretionary spending details for October - which includes the costs of another camping trip in week 2 (which was MUCH colder than the one in September - but so worth it) and a handful of discount dates (because romance).

Week BeginningWeek TotalUnderspend (Overspend)GroceryOtherEntertainmentDining Out
5 October 201596.6886.32$84.66$12.02$0.00$0.00
12 October 2015213.14-30.14$68.34$46.12$76.64$22.04
19 October 2015194.79-11.79$128.68$0.00$30.39$35.72
26 October 201593.5452.46$73.06$5.98$0.00$14.50
OCTOBER TOTAL$598.15$96.85$354.74$64.12$107.03$72.26

  • Fixed Payments - These are the non-debt items that we can't do without. That said, we hope to minimize some of these in the coming year.
    • Rent - We like having a roof, a floor, walls, and other things that most people take for granted.
    • Electric - Without which this blog would be impossible. 
    • Other Utilities - Our landlord (swindler) bundled a bunch of utilities up (water, sewer, trash, and basic cable / internet) for a shockingly low price of $180 (much sarcasm). When we moved in, we were assured this would be $112. It is not.
    • Renter Insurance - A must for anyone.
    • Auto Lease 1 - We determined it would be best to avoid surprises, so we got a lease with maintenance coverage included. Now we no longer worry about the next $2,000 service bill from the shop. That said, I believe we are WAY overpaying and am considering swapping this for a used car (purchased outright) as soon as the lease is up. If I don't have this payment each month, I can cope next time the check engine light comes on.
    • Auto Lease 2 - See Auto Lease 1.
    • Savings Acct. - We have debt. We did not have savings. We felt it is important to remedy this in the event of an emergency. We now have $960 in savings.
    • Gym Memberships - We used these 4 to 5 times a week for over six months, but have grown lazy since the wedding and thus have considered giving these up. However, the cold weather is nearly upon us and we won't have the patience for long hikes. At this price, we are OK leaving these in the equation for now. In fact, I plan to go to the gym tonight. Wish me luck!
    • Netflix - Because we need to watch Orange is the New Black.
    • Pandora - Because we like the option to crank up some M.C. Chris.
    • Tithing - We gave nothing in September. This actually just appeared on the budget. We are semi-regular church goers and feel an obligation to give a small amount back. Thus, for October, we gave $50.
Well - there you have it! 

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