The list of income coming in is short and easy to compile but the list of bills is long and expensive and there are always a few unexpected surprises along the way. This is what I will have to pay in 2014.
My net pay will be $1,350 every 2 weeks.
I get paid every second week and I have to set a cash amount for gas, groceries and walking around money for the 2 weeks. This is the category that had the most mindless spending and ridiculous waste in 2013 and there will be a dollar amount set for the 2 week period and I will have to stick to that.
I would like to keep this to $150 per pay cheque. One person should be able to eat, buy clothes, put gas in their car and get their hair cut occasionally on $75 per week right?
The basic bills may have monthly deadlines but I break them in to biweekly payments and pay a portion of them every time I get paid.
In 2013 electricity, water, gas, communications, car insurance and property taxes took $360 of each pay cheque. Electricity, water and property taxes are all going up in early 2014 so I will increase the amount I pay to these bills to $370 per pay cheque.
I also have a car payment now. It is $250 per month but I will be paying $125 from every pay cheque to the car loan instead of just a once a month payment.
That means that $370 per pay for bills and $125 per pay for the car payment is spent before the pay cheque even hits the bank account.
This bill category includes house insurance, car registration, dog license, vet check up, oil changes, seasonal tire swapping, dental visits, glasses and home maintenance.. I know some of the costs ( house insurance $1,000, dog license $25) but vet and dental visits and unexpected home and car repairs can knock this part of the budget out of whack pretty quickly.
I know that I will need a foundation repair, fence stain, furnace cleaning but there is always something else lurking and waiting to take my money.
In 2013 I underfunded this category because I was focused on debt. Putting off routine dental visits and home maintenance just end up costing more in the long run.
In 2013 the plan was to move $203 to a savings account from each of my 26 pay cheques but I gave up on that in the summer to ramp up my debt repayment. I have to commit to that budget category again but I will keep it to $100 from each pay until the HELOC is gone. After that I will increase the payments to $200 per pay.
Take home pay $1,350 biweekly
Gas, groceries, fun $150 biweekly
Bills and utilities $ 370 biweekly
Car payment $ 125 biweekly
Yearly expenses $ 100 biweekly
That leaves me with $605 per pay cheque for HELOC debt and savings.
As of January 1 2014 I will owe $11,450 on my HELOC. With 605 big dollars to throw at debt and savings biweekly it is going to take a while to get this paid down.
I will have $1,000 for debt from my tax return and $1,900 that one of my sons owes me so I am really only worried about paying down $8550 of the HELOC debt. With only $605 to put towards debt that could take almost 15 pay cheques or 30 weeks to pay off.
After paying all the bills and the debt there doesn’t seem to be anything left.
There has to be a way to squeeze more from the budget because I want to start saving and investing and for the future and not keep paying for the past.
I will declare this the first official budget of 2014 but it is not a budget set in stone. When I started this blog about a year ago I called it Solving The Money Puzzle with the words putting the pieces together for a secure financial future below the title.
I have lots of pieces of my financial puzzle but I can’t seem to make those pieces fit together right now.