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I need a Budget




For the first time in years, I'm in debt. I owe 3,215 to a Credit Card (I know, I know, 1,600 of that is federal tax for 2014. Admittedly, the rest of it was me buying stuff, not as an excuse but in the last year I've had to purchase a lot of necessities that I previously owned, kitchen stuff, and yes, I spent money where I didn't need to. I My credit card charges 10% - it's a USAA card.


I will say that I STOPPED using the credit card 2 months ago.


I owe 1,747.53 in medical bills. I have arranged to pay 145.53 a month for a year. This has no interest rate. I made my first payment today.


I've spent more in medical bills this year than ever in my life. It sucks. I want to kill this debt as quickly as possible. HELP ME!


Here's my Current Budget.


Income - 3,400


Rent - 700.00


Medical Bill - 146.00


Storage - 80.00 (hopefully not)


Cell Phone -80.00


Groceries - 300 (approx. 140.00 to 160.00 every other week)


Credit Card - 3,300 - no minimum payment, I usually pay a few hundred dollars.


Dog - 85.00 (second set of shots first week of July)


Jazzercise - 40.00 that starts again in July (I got them to not charge me for when I was out on medical leave because I could not go.)


Hair Color - 75.00 every 6-8 weeks.


Car Insurance is paid through August. It will be 500 I believe.


I got the storage unit in December when I moved my things from the house. I have cleaned it out with the exception of a treadmill, a desk and a couch.


My plan is to remove those three items before the 20th so I don't have to pay for another month. My neighborhood is having a garage sale at which time I will sell the desk and possibly the treadmill. I am planning to keep the couch. I can put it in the basement room until I get a new place.


I have a violin that I am ready to part with. I would ask for 1500 or 2K though. I have no idea how I would go about selling that. But I don't play it - and I have my grandfather's that I can play if I want to play again.


Clothes - 0 for next month - I work from home and I also need to drop 10 pounds - I don't need any clothes this month.


I have already paid all of my bills for this month (June). Due to the fact that I did not get 100% pay while I was on medical leave I now have only about 1500 in my checking account. But my pay returns to normal for my next check.


Legal Bills -

So far nothing - I'm getting very frustrated - I called yesterday and left a message - I have heard nothing back. I have to keep 500.00 on his books at all times - he currently has 1300.



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The things that stick out are cell phone, groceries, and hair color.  What are your options for reducing those?

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If you have Verizon non contract, you can transfer it to totalwireless,which is still Verizon, keep your number, unlimited text, calls, and 2.5 gigs for $35 a month. If you have a contract it won't be so easy. Cell phone dealswith great service are not hard to find anymore. This service is also sold at Walmart.


Info from Clark Howard!



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I transferred my verizon phone (was on work contract so not my contract) to Page Plus and have been very happy with them - a bit more expensive than total wireless as I pay $35 / month for something like 1,200 minutes unlimited calls and some amount of data. 

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I get my hair dyed at a salon, it cost me $62, but I stretched it out to every 10 weeks and do a box root touch up in between, so it's not so expensive on a yearly basis. When I use to do it all the time, by myself, my hair was a disaster, so I understand the need for a professional doing your hair.


Groceries seems a bit high, but it is also dependent on what you are eating and if non food items are included. I budget $400 a month for DH and I, this includes paper goods, cleaning supplies, vitamins, dog food, etc. I always think we can do better in this department but it has never been proven with actual spending habits!!

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As far as groceries go, my roommate and I take turns every other Sunday. Groceries also include all personal care products such as shampoo, soap laundry detergent etc.


My cell phone is under contract until October with ATT. I have unlimited everything - but I do agree that it is kind of high. I don't need a huge data plan because I'm always on Wifi- but I do like having a data plan so I can use the internet wherever I am.


I need to create a plan where I save X amount each paycheck. How much should that be? I REALLY need to beef up my savings and work on deleting this debt.

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I'm going to start writing down all of my expenses so I can see what is happening to my money.


I'll put that down here. I'm going to have a no-spend day today. Tomorrow night I'm planning to go out to a bar with a girlfriend and we are going to get a pizza and bring it back to my place. I won't be gone long (I can't leave Levi more than a couple of hours yet) so between the pizza and drinks I'm thinking 25.00?


I also need to budget for a new pair of sandals. I wear the Teva type. The pair I have are worn down to the sole. They are pretty much all I wear in the summer (except for running shoes) so I don't feel badly spending money on them.

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Writing everything down for a while is a great start. That is how I started with Larry Burkett's plan.



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You could make a pizza at home and buy your drinks at the store, saving at least $10. With debt, I'd be hesitant to even enter a bar. (The cost of drinks at bars are just so, so high!)


How much are you setting aside for blow/entertainment/eating out? I ask because I don't see that line item, but you're planning on a $25 outing. That needs a line item in your budget.


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With an AT&T phone you can use straight talk for talk.text and data for $45 a month when your contract is up. I use it with my iphone and have good service.

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there is not a "proper" percentage for anything.  Dave and others have recommended %s, but each person's situation is different.  What is appropriate for you is what fits into your budget and allows you to make "enough" progress towards your financial goals.


Since you are still working on your budget, you won't know exactly what that is.  I do agree that you can probably do it for less than $25 - especially if you limit the "drinks" part :)

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