*dusts off journal*
I've been very uninterested in really monitoring my finances lately. Clearly, this has to stop, so I'm hoping maintaining this journal will help with that.
Fiance and I are in the process of saving for our wedding (April 2012) and combining our finances. I don't think they will be 100% combined in the foreseeable future, but we want them more combined than they are.
Take home monthly income:
Car loan 1: 5925.02 @ 2.9% 403.88/mo. Paid off May 2012.
Car loan 2: 4678.30 @ ??? 351/mo. Paid off April 2012.
Student loan 1: 7018.64 @ 7.25%
Student loan 2: 46261.40 @ 4% 1&2 combined are 343/mo.
Student loan 3: 2901.50 @ 8% 70.13/mo.
Student loan 4: 8270.45 @ 4.5% 85/mo
Total outstanding debt: 102,055.31. OUCH. I've never actually added those up before.
Aside from the debts listed above,
Rent: 1425 I live in a VERY HCoL area, so this is actually good.
heating/electric: evens out to 200/mo. 300 in the winter, 100 in the summer.
Netflix: 9 - I would get rid of this in a heartbeat, but the fiance said no, he had already given up his expensive internet MMO game.
Car ins.: 222
Misc (clothes, household goods, entertainment): 450. Mostly this is so high because we each had to rebuild our wardrobes. We went from California companies where jeans and t-shirts are good, to east coast with "business casual." Since we work in labs, I think this is insane, but there you go. Plus, we needed full sets of winter gear. Very little goes to actual "entertainment." See: lab for why it continues to stay high.
EF: 1000/1000 - 100%. This is purely my liquid fund. I figure I can't see needing immediate access to more than that.
ING wedding fund: 1000/15000. No, we are not planning on spending all 15000. We are supposed to be saving 1100/mo, but that hasn't happened yet.
We both have 401k accounts that we contribute 6% to in order to get the full 6% company match. Additionally, my company has an additional 3% company stock savings plan where they put an amount equal to 3% of my salary into company stock. I haven't the vaguest idea how to monitor these accounts. I need to get on that.
Also, I have a separate employee stock purchase of $60/mo. Again, I have no idea how to monitor this account. I do know is my company stock price is doing well.
Plans for improvement:
Getting that food budget down! I love cooking, so a lot of that budget goes to me buying specialty ingredients. I'm committed to not doing that anymore.
Tracking spending. I try and do this weekly, but fiance is not interested. We keep bleeding money, and I can't figure out where. I have resorted to bribing him. If he watches his spending and comes in under budget for the month of Feb, then we can go on a ski weekend in March. Not sure what bribe I can use in March for April though.
Cutting out impulse buys. This is mostly for fiance. I will kill whoever introduced him to Groupon. "But it's a good deal!" is my least favorite phrase, ever.
Finding things to do with friends that don't cost money. Our friends are in a much better financial situation than we are. They already own a home, have had their wedding, etc. It makes it hard for us to tell them that no, we can't go out to dinner again, we spent our budget.
Fiance is up for a promotion in October. He plans to bring up the fact that we learned he is making WELL below what he should be. Like, $13000 less than the minimum for his job title.
I need to put in at least two more years in my current position, then I'm going to find something closer to home. We really want to drop down to a one car family. It's not possible right now, but if I work closer to home, we can carpool. We're considering me getting a job with his company, but I'd rather not.