Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Penny Saved; Penny Earned

If you know me, you know that I am a Type A personality: My life makes sense when my kitchen is clean and the laundry is put away; Late to pay a bill? NEVER; I get annoyed when my socks get placed in my underwear drawer; my grocery list is organized by Walmart's layout...and if I suddenly remember an item, I feel compelled to re-write my list.

I could continue, but I will stop before I embarrass myself. (Wait, I already did that). 

One thing that Type A personalities like myself love is a budget. Oh, ladies and gentleman, how I love my budget! First, I create a spreadsheet of projected earnings, spending, and saving for the upcoming month. And then at the end of that month, I sit for an hour or two and count every dollar we spent and squeal for joy at the results. (This is about the time where I make Josh listen to my analysis of where we went wrong or what we did right, and then continue with what needs to be changed.) Each time our budget is tweaked a bit, but the foundation stays the same: Save more, spend less.

Now, in regard to my NYR, I have set a goal of saving 20% of our yearly income. With our spending habits this should be 100% possible, with maybe some overachieving as well. Here is a breakdown of what our projected spending is each month (after taxes, insurance, and retirement):

Rent/Utilities: 37.5%
Personal/Health care: 3%
Home decor/set up: 2.5%
All things Walmart: 15% (yes, Walmart has it's own section...we should invest)
Entertainment/eating out: 3%
Alex's fun money: 5%
Josh's fun money: 5%
Misc. expenses: 3%
Total Spending: 73%
Total Savings: 27%

Now, we actually won't be saving a total of 27% because some of it goes towards Josh's school (We are lucky and don't have to take out any loans.) But, if it all works out, we should meet our NYR with flying colors! 

And remember, as my favorite Yiddish Proverb says, 'With money in your pocket, you are wise and you are handsome and you sing well too.'

Want to know more about smart spending and saving? My hands-down favorite budgeting blog is The Simple Dollar. I've learned so much about all things money, and it is explained in a way that even I can understand!

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