I got thinking about this post again tonight, and it was due for a much needed update after thinking about some of my finances. Lots has changed in the last 7 months!
I moved into a condo of my own in September, I rent. I pay 950$ rent for my place.
Received another promotion at work in September as well which accounts to the difference in take home pay since the last post even with contributing more to my 401(k).
My expenses have gone up quite a bit since the house I lived in last year, but my car was on it's last legs, so I bought a new one. I purchased a new 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit with all of the options that I desired (16" alloys, cold weather package, iPod adapter, floor mats) for $16,050. I received $1500 for my 1993 Honda Civic which I thought was quite fair. A few year old rabbits have held their value well and I got a great deal for my car (about 900$ under invoice). For anybody thinking of purchasing a car in this economy, I would recommend reading on http://www.carbuyingtips.com
. So much useful information on that site on how to negotiate dealerships to get the price you want. I put down $10,000 on the car and financed the remainder at a 36-month loan at 3.9%. Current payoff quote is just under $6,000.
I have my emergency fund sitting right at $10,000 which I am quite comfortable with and fully intend in paying off the remainder of my loan as soon as possible, especially because it is a higher rate than what my ING Account is currently earning. I should get about $600 back after filing my taxes which will go directly to the car loan.
Here are my current monthly Budget (January, 2009):
Utilities: Water/Electric included in rent, 30$ for internet (I choose not to pay for cable TV).
Cellphone: Corporate plan, deducted from paycheck, not included income.
Food: $400. Still dining out more than I would like, and I often pick up checks for dates.
Gas: $100. Prices have gone down a lot since last update, but new car doesn't get as good of milage, and I find myself driving more...
Insurance: $148.33. (Car and Renter's insurance)
Car payment: $183.18. Might as well keep the automatic payments on.
Misc (Clothing, shoes, entertainment, personal and house care): $400 max (plan on cutting back until car is paid off).
This totals: $2211.51 on the high end including the regular car payment intervals.
My current take home pay is $3796.20/month which allows me about $1500 leftover to pay for the car. I hope have it taken care of in less than 6 months at this rate, opting long in case something comes up. Given how I have about $1,000 extra in checking right now and the tax return coming back, this should be no problem. I would love to have it paid off in 3 to 4 months. I hate thinking I have even a little bit of debt, even thought I could pay it off with savings! I don't know how people live with debt.
Currently contributing 5% to my 401(k), get 3% match from my employer. Planning on raising this after paying off the car.
I plan to fully fund my Roth IRA once again this year, after paying off the car. Contributed 200 so far this year before re-thinking paying off the car first.
Recently requested to have my credit limit on my main credit card increased from $2,000 to $6,000. I don't plan on any large purchases anytime soon that would require this much, but I charge most of my everyday purchases and don't want 500 to 800 dollars monthly going over a certain percentage of my available credit, hurting my score. My credit should be in good shape in a few years when I go to buy a house.
No large purchases planned anytime soon.
Roth IRA: $5,858.29. Less than 7 months ago and I had contributed thousands more. Ouch! Stock Market was awesome in the second half of '08.