2010 Monthly Budget - Draft

I've been humming and hawing for the last month or so about what my 2010 budget will look like.  Before I could post it, we had to figure out a few things.

  • What my salary would be in 2010
Tomorrow I'm giving a full update of my monthly salary, but for the purposes of my 2010 budget, my monthly income is $2,690.45 (this assumes bi-weekly contributions of $10 into my share fund, not $50 as I have been doing).
  • What our house fund contribution would look like
  • How much I could commit to my student loans
  • What savings funds I wanted
  • Specific goals I wanted to achieve
The largest goal we have coming up is the possible opportunity to buy my great aunts home next year.  Due to that, our largest goals are getting my student loans paid off, getting Jordan's truck loan paid off, and accumulating money in the house fund.

A few notes
  • Everything that has a * next to it represents an amount that will be divided in two and contributed to bi-weekly.  
  • The total left over is my everything else/other/entertainment money.  After a great conversation with Jordan and discussing the psychological benefits of it - I've decided not to put this in a physical 'jar' but leave it in my account.  I will have a notebook that i can track my spending in next year.
  • I will keep the Food/Transportation jars and Jordan will continue to contribute to the Food jar.
  • My horse board actually varies between $90-$165/month
  • The joint account represents rent, utilities, phone, internet, and TV.  Jordan contributes the same amount bi-weekly
  • I will continue to post and stick to, bi-weekly budgets, this is just 'big picture'
  • I will look at getting rid of bank fees, but I have them now - so I budget for them now
Okay - here it is:

According to Gail Vaz-Oxlade's budgeting system, here is how i measure up:

It looks like I'm doing okay - what do you think?  Do you have any questions, would you recommend any changes?


  1. I'd find a way to save that banking fee and drop it into the debt repayment.

    Also with $1,000 in your emergency fund I'd take a page out of Dave Ramsey's advice and live on the wild side and put that $100 towards debt and get stuff paid off.

    Also how often do you gte out to the horse and enjoy it's company? If it's not very often I'd look at selling the horse off and saving that 165/month and putting that towards debt as well. I'd also put the money from the sale of the horse towards debt. However if you do spend lots of time with the horse, then I'd keep this budget line.



  2. What are the psychological benefits to leaving your entertainment/other $$ in your account?

    When Star's board goes down, I would put the extra on clothing and gifts, because of all the birthdays...

    Did you put your tenants insurance and other annual expenses anywere?

  3. @ Jason - thanks for the feedback!

    @ Mom - I was just really stressed out when I was doing the budget and I had $0.27 left over - taking those out of the jars, and leaving it in the bank made me breath easier - not really sure why. It was actually Jordan's suggestion :)

    Thought I'm not sure if I would actually carry a notebook around w/ me - so I may take the money out anyways.. but I thought I'd give it a try for now.

    - I didn't think about what to do when star's board goes down, that's a good idea!

    Erm.. no... I forgot about annual expenses. crap.

  4. So from what I understand, you will be spending $300/month on everything else and entertainment? Personally, I think that is a lot. But I don't know what you do for entertainment, or what "everything else" means.

    What is your EF goal? I agree with Jason, I would get to $1,000 and then focus on the debt repayment.

  5. @ Frugal... lets see... everything else/other includes:

    - pet stuff (I have two fish tanks & my horse - so food for the fish and treats for the horse)
    - extra gas money when I travel back home (3 hours, one way about 1x a month)
    - personal care (make-up, deodorant, etc)
    - entertainment (usually renting movies or going to the theater, rarely this includes going out to eat)
    - Hobbies (I read a lot, scrapbooking, researching my family tree, video games)
    - random things like the car wash ect.
    - Any other random personal expenses..

    By taking the money out of my account and putting in to my jar system - yes, I was spending the full amount.

    Jordan's suggestion is that by keeping it in my account, I'm less likely to do that and would be able to roll and extra, or 'left over' money on to debt or other goals.

    My EF goal was $1,000 and I'm pretty much there :D That's why I'm planning on $500 towards debt, starting on my first pay day in January.

  6. @ Jason @ Mom @ Frugal

    perhaps the $100 that I'm putting into my emergency fund should be used for annual expenses such as my CAA membership ($80), tenants insurance ($120)...ect.

  7. That would work - and on months when there was no expense you could still add to the EF. While $1000 will cover most minor emergencies, and your job is as secure as any job ever is, those crazy city drivers would make me want to be able to handle a car emergency (ie if your car was totalled).

  8. Annual expenses suck I ussually forget about them till they are due and then I slap my head and cry.

    You still haven't mentioned as to how much time you spend with your horse.



  9. @ Jason - I was debating the horse questions... because i could write a lot about it. I actually recently wrote a post on this...it's located here:


    The short answers is I'm not riding enough, and I'm not ready to sell her. It feels like I'm giving up on myself, and my best friend (you can read the post if you want the details)

  10. @ Mom - that's a good point, because I don't have a car fund....

  11. You make it look so easy! Wow having a regular income would be nice.

    Other things to point out is that you will hopefully be receiving income tax back in April, that could go toward debt repayment. Also there is twice a year where you will receive that "extra paycheque" and those could also go toward debt-repayment or your car fund/tenants insurance etc.

    Looks like you are doing well compared to Gail's budget percentages as well (I like how you included the house fund as part of housing).

  12. Haha... I was going to comment on saving for annual expenses, but it looks like between your mom, Jason and Frugal Dream you guys got it covered! =)

    As for Starlight. You need to ride her again Jessie. I know you know this. You should COMMIT yourself to (literally) getting back in the saddle. You love her, that is obvious, but you should also ENJOY her (as much as I'm sure she enjoys you). If you're willing to give it a year of boarding her before you make a decision, you need to put the effort into riding her. You don't want the year to come and go and you say "But... I can't get rid of her... I didn't ride her enough!"

    It may help to find other riders through her boarding stable that you can ride with - or maybe get Jordan involved in the process as well. Perhaps spend some time teaching him how to ride?

    Best of luck, I know it is a VERY emotionally tough situation for you.

  13. btw... I love your mom and am thinking of stealing her for my own ;)

  14. I agree completely with SS4BC!!! Keep your horse and spend a little more time with her before thinking about selling her. I think it's really cool that you have a horse! Hope you are able to ride her a bit more in the new year.

  15. It looks pretty good but I'd create one more category for those irregular annual expenses. I have one myself and I just call it the miscellaneous fund. I used to bust my budget every month with those pesky expenses that I should have anticipated, but didn't. Take some of that leftover money and put it aside. I have my own "Star" but fortunately mine is inanimate and only costs me the space in the driveway. It's a racing dinghy, I don't have the desire to race anymore but still can't bring myself to sell it. I understand.

  16. Way to be on top of the budgeting game! You're gonna kill it in 2010

  17. @ All - thank you for all of the great feedback. I'm going to take it all in, and I will wind up posting my final 2010 budget in the beginning of January!

    @ SS4BC - I'd be willing to share, she is pretty great :)


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