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Easy come, easy go....

June 19th, 2007 at 02:45 pm

So here are our expenses and income....

Income: $2954 net 2x/month
Percentage: anywhere between $200 and $2000 most months (paid at the end of the month, and I never know if we're getting anything or how much, so I don't usually count on it).

About our income: I have been bugging my DH to get his withholding adjusted since we received our (very large) tax refund in February. There's not a dedicated accounting person in his tiny firm, so one of the paralegals who writes the check was supposed to be working on it. Well, it was the busy season for the firm's accountant, so it didn't happen, and then in late April that paralegal went out on maternity leave. Needless to say, it still hasn't happened. All I wanted them to do was look at the number of allowances he was claiming on his w-4 and then adjust it up a little. Apparently no one can find his w-4 and the accountant wasn't too helpful. So I found the 2007 withholding calculator at irs.gov, used it, then filled out another w-4 (also from irs.gov) and emailed it to him with instructions to get it to the accountant to see what his net would be using it. We shall see. Probably what will happen when I ask him about it is, I'll get some attitude and be treated like I'm a big nag. Whatever!!

Monthly expenses:

Mortgage: $1070 (we don't pay into escrow, so this is just principal & interest).

HELOC: Our balance is 29K and our monthly payment varies - it's usually in the neighborhood of $200. I usually pay the minimum, but I"ve had to dip into it in order to cover expenses.

Home Equity loan: this was originally part of our HELOC; we rolled part of the balance over into a fixed rate loan (the HELOC is variable rate). The interest rate on the fixed loan is five point something; at the time, I though that was outrageously high because the variable rate HELOC was at four point something. OH, if I'd only known...I don't know what the balance is, but our monthly payments are $169.69. I know we have several years left to go.

Car payment: $410 (we have just under two years left on this, a 2004 Honda CRV)

AMEX: Balance is $12,115. The bulk of this was balance transfers from higher interest cards. This is the only credit card my DH carries. When he needs stuff for work, like plane tickets and whatnot, he uses this. He only gets reimbursed at the end of the month for expenses, so though I TRY to pay all the work related charges off, sometimes I wind up using some of the reimbursement money for something else. I have a card on this account also, but rarely use it.

BP: This card is almost always paid in full, except for last month, when I didn't have the funds to do it. Usually the charges are between $20 - $120 a month.

Wachovia: This is my credit card. The balance is $9100. Some of this is from a balance transfer, but some not. It's linked to our bank account, so what I try to do is if I use it online, I immediately log on to my account online and transfer the money from our checking account to the Visa account. Obviously I don't do it enough. The minimum payment is quite low, last month it was $63, but generally I pay at least $200 a month plus any additional post-purchase transfers from my checking account.

Parisian: This is my card. I've had it for about twelve years and what they offered at the time I got it was an "interest free option" where if you paid a certain percentage of the balance each month, there was no interest on your balance. I have never paid interest on that account. I have not always carried a balance on that card, but I'm carrying one now, about $350. Parisian has been sold to Belk, and they are eliminating the interest-free option, as well as closing the store closest to me, so once it's paid off I won't be using it again.

Discover: This card is strictly for a low interest rate balance transfer I did a few months ago. I've never made a purchase with the card. Right now the balance is $4700. The interest rate is something like 2.99 for the life of my balance transfer, so I've only been paying the minimum.

That's our consumer debt.

Other monthly expenses:
Health insurance: $422 automatically deducted monthly. This is a high-deductible plan. We've already switched once from BC/BS to this less costly plan.
Life insurance for both me & DH: $335, also automatically deducted
Dish satellite: $23.99
Working Assets wireless & long distance (mine): $35 (I never use all my minutes and we rarely call long distance)
Cingular wireless (DH): $39.99 (his contract is up in August, then we are kicking Cingular to the curb and switching him to Working Assets)
Georgia Power: budget billing of $160 monthly
Natural gas: about $40 in the summer, $100 in the winter
Internet: $50/month
Water: between $60-$80 every other month
Car insurance for two cars: $545 twice a year, divided into monthly payments of $140 for four months, twice a year. I switched to Geico (you could save fifteen percent or more on your car insurance by switching to Geico!! ;-)) about a year ago from a more expensive company.
Bellsouth local phone line with caller ID: $36
Arrow pest control: $40/month (we live in the deep South...palmetto bugs...'nuff said!!)
Netflix: $19/month. This is automatically billed to the AMEX.

Those are our monthly expenses. Here are others that pop up during the year:

Homeowner's insurance: $700 every April
City taxes: we pay this ourselves, every June & December. It's usually between $2200 - $2500 each time - the June one is higher because it includes the sanitation fee.
County taxes: about $600, divided & paid in July and November
Homeowner's association fees: $400, divided & paid in April and November. This includes use of a pool & tennis courts.
Termite bond: $320 yearly (this is due at the end of this month)
HVAC service contract: $275 (this was due for renewal at the end of April but I haven't paid it yet)
Newspaper subscription: not sure...maybe $115 every four or five months?
Yoga classes - this varies. I buy a bunch of classes at one time to lower the cost per class. Now that my kids are home, it will take me longer to use my classes, but during the school year, I usually go 3 or 4 times a week. I just bought a five class card at one studio for $65; at another studio, I bought a 12 class card last month for $149.

I think that's it. My next entry will be about our other spending (groceries, extracurricular activities, etc.) and entertainment/shopping.

1 Responses to “Easy come, easy go....”

  1. reflectionite Says:

    welcome to the site and it's nice to read about another person trying to reduce their debt. there are heaps of helpful people on this site and i hope you do well. best wishes!

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