I am always tweaking my budget every few months as new things come up or major changes happen in my life. The latest change is that I no longer have any debts (woo hoo) so all my income can go towards daily living and future savings. I decided to make a major tweak to the budget to reflect this new status and finally ended up with a budget that is $200 less than my monthly salary.
I created the budget based solely on my regular monthly salary and did not take into account any money coming in from interest, dividends, gifts or advertising on the blog because I do not like to deal with irregular income. I increased some spending categories such as Food and Personal/Household because I found that I did not like the levels I had previously set for myself.
I kept some categories such as ‘Car’ the same, but even though I paid off my car in full I am continuing to send the ‘car payment’ to a sub account in ING to build up my savings for my next car.
I increased the amount that I am putting in church and just to keep myself on the straight and narrow I will write out four checks for the upcoming month at the end of every month. That way even if I miss a Sunday of church I will already have the check ready and will just put two checks in the collection the following week.
I reduced the budget for Irregular expenses from $450 to $195 because I no longer have to pay credit card balances or personal loans. I am already catering for irregular car expenses like registration, inspection and maintenance with the Car Fund so this Irregular Expense fund will just take care of things that I cannot possibly think of right now. Of course I have a $5000 Emergency Fund to take care of small emergencies but I am going to continue building that up as well.
If I can stick to the budget every month then my buffer in the checking account in ING can grow by $200 every month until I can get to the point where I have a full paycheck in the account to take care of the rare instance that something happens to my direct deposit. Of course I will be transferring some of this money every month over to savings so that I can grow my Never Go Back To Fresno Fund, my Car Fund and my Irregular Expenses fund so that I do not get burnt out or just have money sitting idle in the checking account.
I am happy with the new changes and I am looking forward to starting off the new year with my new budget.