Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Expenses May '07

As detailed yesterday, the nice increase in my net worth this month didn't have much to do with my income vs. expense ratio:

Total Inflows, including salary, interest, etc. were $7,772.80

As for the ugly outflows:

Housing $1,810
This is still somewhat higher than it should be because of the property tax escrow thing that needs to be adjusted. But sometimes it still blows my mind that I spend this much on my apartment, vs. the $850 my old studio cost me. Especially when you add the following, which wasn't an issue in my old place:

Gas & Electric
That is more than my average monthly cost, as the gas bill only comes every other month.

Payroll Taxes $1,904.88

Business expense $301.49
This at least should be reimbursed soon.

Clothing $331.69
When I discover that the Gap has lovely, soft low-rise khakis that fit me perfectly, I have to buy about 5 pairs. Plus some t-shirts I don't need.

Dining $527.93
Another month where I'm under budget! Yay!

Education $41.00
Don't I sound smarter than I did last month?

Entertainment $5.41
Just Netflix.

Gifts Given $533.64
This was mostly a long-overdue $500 savings bond given to my nephew as the start of a college fund.

Household $1,296.76
This includes miscellaneous things like laundry, but is mostly the new mattress I bought and a few other home items.

Medical $97.42

Misc $229.17

Subscriptions $55.45
This includes internet access and the newspaper.

Travel $308.00
Just commuting and a family visit.

Telephone $89.78
Another area where I have managed to be under budget lately.

Total Outflows $7,736.60

Net Inflows/Outflows $36.20

I'd really like to be saving more than $36 a month! Which I actually did, if you back out the business expenses. And I keep telling myself I had some atypical things this month, mainly the $500 gift and the mattress, and the clothes. But still, that bottom line number was kind of scary!
I need to do some analysis soon on year-to-date monthly averages vs. my budget and make sure things are still in line!


Anonymous said...

I hope you're contributing to a 401(k) as well! If so I'm not sure where it's reflected in your figures (Payroll Taxes?)

Madame X said...

That is actually a very good question. I am contributing 18% of my gross pay to my 401k, as detailed in the previous net worth post... but it's not shown here because it's not considered an "expense" in Quicken. So though I "saved" that money this month, it basically meant that I had to dip into my existing savings to pay for this month's expenses, with the result being that I only end up with a net of $36.

It can be a little confusing how Quicken handles things like this-- for instance, principal payments against my mortgage show up as an expense, even though I still sort of "have" that money in the form of home equity.

Anonymous said...

that is some budget. I see some savings in there that could be done.

Anonymous said...

MadameX, if you track details and add your home as an asset with an attached debt in Quicken, it will show an expense for your principal portion but then show an equal decrease in the outstanding balance.

Madame X said...

anon 12:06-- yes, that is how I have my home set up in Quicken. It all works out when I run my net worth numbers!

Mir said...

May I ask why you chose a savings bond over a 529 account for your nephew? There was a great article on CNN Money in the Personal Finance section.

Madame X said...

I chose the bond because it was what I had done for my niece a few years ago and wanted to be fair, but I have started to explore the 529 accounts a bit for future gifts. I'm not sure how much money I'll be able to give them, and what is the best way to do it, but I do worry that their parents won't plan ahead enough for their education!

Mir said...

Just for future reference, a 529 with the nephew (or niece) as the beneficiary with you as the primary account holder will NOT count against them for financial aid purposes.

They'll also get a better interest rate, can withdraw the funds tax-free for a variety of education purposes (like a technical school if they choose not to attend a traditional college), and use the money at any school of their choice for tuition, books...pretty much any education-related expense.

A bond would count as an asset in financial aid calculations, so continuing to buy little bonds may really affect their ability to apply for financial aid...a definite concern if their parents aren't able to save for their educations. We're facing the same thing with my little sister (16 yrs younger).

Here's the article I mentioned earlier. It was in MSNBC's Business section; my apologies for the misdirect.