Friday, September 14, 2007

How is everyone doing it?

I've been thinking about this since the Bitch Ph.D. post about finances.

I think she was very brave to put her financial info out there. So, I thought I'd do the same (to the extent that I can, so much of our stuff goes on credit cards and I don't have the statements in front of me or easy access to them).

Following her format:

Monthly income: $3900/month

Monthly Expenses:
Mortgage: $555
Insurance and taxes: $250
Car insurance: $80
Gas (water heater only now): $20
Electric: $125
Cells: $75
Cable/Internet: $130
Water/Sewer/Garbage: $40
Gas (car): $120
Groceries: $500
Student Loan: $175
Car payment: $200
Debt repayment: $200
Personal Loan repayment (grandparents): $500
Timeshare maintenance fee: $25

What's leftover, per month, to pay for school related stuff, summer camps, books, eating out, clothes, and stupid shit we don't really need: $905.

These are averages, of course. Most months we manage to put about $1,000 in savings even after discretionary spending. Of course, there is precious little of that. It gets swept into the $500/month grocery budget most of the time. We've almost paid back all that we borrowed from the grandparents, so that expense will go away in a few months (yay!). The debt repayment is money on a 0% credit card that we could pay off, but choose not to because we're earning 5% in the bank.

Anyone else willing to put their information out there?


Grace said...

That is very interesting and brave. Notably, your ratio of housing expenses to net income is 990/3900 = 25%, a manageable amount. Bitch PhD's is 2858/5400 = 53%. Her family, despite a higher income, is housing poor.

In LA, the rental market is very tight. It is not clear that she could move into cheaper housing in a good school district if she tried.

I am surprised by the absence of childcare expenses.

I am not going to post my $ flow because, to outsiders, we look rich. But people don't know that I am partially disabled and we are saving for the day when I can no longer work. Also, like I mentioned in my blog $1,000,000 gets you a a tiny, run-down house or a condo in our area.

We do Coretta Scott King's method. For every $3 we earn, we save $1, give $1 and spend $1. The giving includes taxes and charitable contributions. The savings include principal reduction on our mortgage and $ in our employer retirement plan.

Gaia said...

I will never leave the "flyover states". Housing is just so much more affordable here.

We have a nice house. We have a big house (1800sqft) and we have a low, very manageable payment.

Our only difficulty was getting our realtor to take us seriously when we told him what we wanted to spend. He was sure we could spend much more. Sure, we could have, but we didn't want to.

We don't have childcare because I work only while they're in school (they're 7 & 9). So except during the summmer (when they're either on the farm with MIL or at the boys' and girls' club) they're with me or school. I think Bitch Ph.D. stays home with her son.

Tanya Brown said...

Bcaw! Bcaw! (That's me making a chicken sound.)

I think it's gutsy of folks to post their financials. It's the type of thing that's interesting, and if it had more transparency perhaps pay inequities wouldn't be so prevalent and so forth. Or perhaps I'm just naive.

Anyhow, I have little to complain about, but I have great sympathy for those who do.

Tanya Brown said...

BTW - I admire you for not buying more house than you really needed. One of the problems many people have, IMHO, is not having lifestyles that are sustainable. If one is living close to the edge financially, any problem which comes along has the potential to be disastrous.

Gaia said...

Tanya - after years of living on one income, we realized that we wanted to be sure we always could live on one income. Right now, my income goes to savings and accelerated debt repayment.

My car is 9.5 years old. It can't last forever. Mr. Gaia's car will be paid off July 2008. The plan, we hope, is to have enough in savings that we have the choice of either financing or outright buying a car, depending upon interest rates.

Of course, really the plan is to buy me a scooter so I don't have to have a car.