By: Revanche

2008 Financial Plan, Part 1: Expenses

January 7, 2008

Monthly Expenses
(some are close estimates, as the cost may vary slightly)

Fixed
Rent: $1360
Trash/Water: $80
Cable: $26
Landline: $37
Cell phones, Padres: $75
Cell phone, mine: $50 currently, will go up. A lot. Est, $80
Gas, home: $30
Electric: $125
Internet: $18
Gas, auto: $300
Groceries: $200
Truck payment: $400
Auto insurance: $300

Total: $2631

Variable Categories (personal, unbudgeted)
Eating out
Clothing
Travel

For the last section of variable categories, I don’t have a budget other than “as little as possible” because the fixed expenses have crept up to more than I make. It’s usually no more than $200 per month for all of the above, though, which isn’t much because even a cheap flight is about $120.

My plan to bring down the expenses:

1. Truck payment

Goal: Sell that sucker!
Deadline: By the second week of February. [After the wedding!]
Action: I have a figure in mind that I want to sell it for. I’ll get a quote from CarMax to see if they can match that price first. If they can’t, then I’ll take photos, and post it on Craigslist and perhaps AutoTrader.
Associated benefit: the auto insurance should come down quite a bit as well.
Savings: $400 + insurance reduction

2. Cell Phones, Ma/Pa

Goal: Change plan
Deadline: By Feb 22nd, the end of their next billing period
Action: Reduce their family plan to the cheapest one available.
Savings: $10/month.

3. Cell Phone, mine

Goal: Maximize minutes, minimize costs
Deadline: Feb 1st
Action: When I activate the iPhone, I’ll ask for the plan with the MOST minutes (6000) for the first month, then reduce it to the cheapest plan available. Since AT&T/Cingular has rollover minutes, I plan to bank the remaining minutes for use through the rest of the year. I do need to verify that they don’t penalize for changing plans, nor do the minutes expire.
Cost (before tax):
$880/year for 10,950 minutes
vs.
$720/year for 5,400 minutes

The difference is an extra $160 for 5,550 minutes. This is a situation where I’ll have to spend to save more overall. There’s no way I can use only 450 minutes/month when no one other than my officemates are on AT&T, and I am not paying any 40 cents/minute overage!

4 Responses to “2008 Financial Plan, Part 1: Expenses”

  1. E.C. says:

    It sounds like you have a good plan for getting your ducks in a row in 2008. (Sorry, couldn’t resist 🙂

  2. SavingDiva says:

    Good luck reducing your monthly expenses!

  3. Serenity3-0 says:

    I wanted to point out that with AT & T when you switch plans, you aren’t allowed to keep all those roll over mins. They will simply credit you with the amount of rollover mins that you have with your new plan. For instance, if you switch to a 600 min plan, then that would be your rollover balance..

  4. ~serenity3-0~ So you’re saying that my master plan won’t work because I’ll just lose the built up minutes when I change my plan? *sigh* Man. Thanks for letting me know!

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