Reader harknessglee asked for information about my budget, being part-time and retirement savings. Here’s my budget, my strategy and how it’s working.
Last year, my income was approximately $50,000 and 11% or $5,500 went into my retirement accounts. I get reimburse for mileage driven for work, which ends up being another $6,000/year I can add to the cash flow. I used to get child support, which stopped when youngest son moved out, and should (in theory) resume, now that he has returned (I have not included that income in these totals.) I ended pulling $14,000 out of savings accounts to pay for tuition for the 2015-2016 school year. The other $10,000 I am paying is coming out of my net income.
I am scheduled to work part-time, three 8 hour shifts. However, the reality of how my employer structures the work load means that I usually work an average of 33-36 hours per week. This is due to how the work is assigned and that there is usually overflow to the work day. Also, sometimes work is offered at a “high bonus” rate if they are short staffed (which happens amazingly often.) I can pick up these extra-pay shifts as they fit in my schedule. Occasionally I will work more than 40 hours/week. This is way better than “full-time” which often is 50-70 hours/week with the overtime being mandatory.
The Monthly Budget
House (principal, interest, insurance and taxes) $952
Utilities (averaging for the year) $265
Car (maintenance, insurance, fuel) $300
College tuition $934
Health Care (deductibles & co-pays) $220
Kids (clothes, gifts, music instruments) $250
Fawn (clothes, wine, books, gym fee) $260
Home maintenance (repair of home, new furniture) $250
Grocery & household (printer ink, cats) $500
Some of these costs are fixed, like the house payment. Some are vary with the time of year, like the utilities and Christmas and birthday gifts. These are averages. Obviously, if I get hit with a big dentist bill, I have to reduce elsewhere in the budget and/or take money out of savings.
I know that other people would not favor paying for their kid’s college over their own retirement savings. And other people would put all their extra cash into travel accounts. That is the beauty of knowing your own values/preferences and having the self-discipline to stick with your priorities.
I feel kinship with people who live simply to fund travel, to reduce their carbon footprint, or to retire early. All are worthy goals.
I would love to hear what you are saving your money for.