Month 28 Update – Sallie Mae: $29,377.51 Car: 16,762.21 Total: 46139.72

The last month I started doing what Dave Ramsey refers to as a Zero-Balance Based Budget. Every dollar gets a name. My bf does a lot of number crunching in Excel as part of his job. I do too but not nearly as much. A few months consecutively I’ve always had more month than money. I thought I had all the answers. There are some nasty habits I was getting into. shopping – I love shopping on Amazon and get some really good deals. However some of my purchases were non-essential and I would spend $400-500 or so over the course of a month on things that were nice. Since July 24th I haven’t made any purchases on Amazon. 

Credit Card – I fell into the trap of thinking because it’s earning points I should put every single item I want to purchase on the card. The problem is it’s ridiculously easy to underestimate purchases and make a silly justification about the points. My Chase Freedom card gives me cashback (right now it’s 5% back on gas plus the always-on 1% offer). My big bills I’ll put on the card but small things like food, movie tickets, it’s not really saving me much.

So here is what I came up with for a two weeks budget:

Zero-Based Budget Starting Balance 1600  
  Credit Card -924.67 675.33
  Roth IRA -40 635.33
  “Nothing” -150 485.33
  Check from bf for a/c 250 735.33
  Sallie Mae -453 282.33
  Groceries -100 182.33
  Car Payment -150 32.33
  Haircut -15 -165
  Emergency Fund -50 -65
  Gas -40 -90

So you may see the a/c is on there. We had company over the other weekend and they were complaining that it wasn’t getting cold enough inside. I was in denial for a bit, then decided to call in to report it. The technician came to the house while I was at work and replaced the capacitor in the unit. I came home and it was working fine. Did a double take on what he actually did to fix it. $275 and my bf game me $250 back. Could’ve been worse, had the compressor gone on the unit it would run over $3k.

Onto my budget, my $280 car payment is due the 14th of the month and I have $450 set aside in that account right now. Really loving the car right now, gets 30mpg in mixed driving and provides a nice sporty / cushy ride. Doing good on my grocery budget, can’t buy pistachios, walnuts, kale chips or anything like that at $7+ a pop but I manage pretty well without it. My credit card balance will be zero again after my next payment for the electricity / car fill-up. It was -$5 2 days ago and now $235 because of $158 utility bill, gasoline and some other small things.

Off to bed now, still working on the $1k emergency fund. I have it for 5 seconds then a bill comes up or I want to pay them down. Got a smaller raise than I hoped, but good feedback from my boss.