Photo via Unsplash.com
Happy New Year, everyone!
Here’s my updated budget for January 2019, with a bit of insight on how I’m getting out of debt just 3 months into the year.
You may notice that my income has increased from my December budget. I haven’t earned a higher salary, but I’ve decided to cut my retirement contributions from 12% to 5% until I’ve repaid my debt. This was a difficult choice for me, but entirely worth it, considering I’ll be debt free by March partly because of this change.
With the “increase” in income and a few other sacrifices I’ve made, I’m able to put $1,382 towards debt this month. Kind of crazy!
My savings consist of putting a little bit towards my emergency fund, car fund, travel, gifts, and summer payment (as I’m a teacher and only work 10 months of the year). You’ll notice that I renamed travel “Iceland” because I’ll be going to Iceland this summer! Having a more specific name is definitely motivating.
You may also notice that my summer payment money is definitely not enough to sustain me over two months; I’m going to contribute more to it once I pay off debt. I’m also planning on putting most or all of my tax refund towards this line in my budget.
My rent is fixed and my utilities are based on the previous month’s actual costs, with a bit of a buffer built in, just in case.
I keep gas at $100 each month, and that’s almost always enough. Tolls this month will be $0 instead of $135 since I decided to stop using the toll road on my way to work! This is another factor contributing to how I’ll be debt free in fewer months.
I added a bit extra to my grocery and going out budget this month, as I feel kind of nervous about potentially going over budget on these expenses this month. I probably won’t spend the full amounts, but I like to have the peace of mind. I also may be spending a lot less on going out, as I’m considering doing a Dry January. I’m still on the fence. Let me know what you think about this idea!
Finally, I have about $60 of spending money in case I need or want anything I didn’t budget for. I usually don’t spend most of this money, but again, having the peace of mind is really important to me in case anything comes up.
Here’s the full break down of my expenses. 48% of my income is going towards debt, which is WILD. It’s a huge sacrifice but entirely worth it; and in just 3 short months I’ll be able to put all this money towards my emergency fund, investing, savings, and maybe even spending a little more 🙂
Let me know if you notice anything about my budget that could use revision! I’m trying to squeeze out every dollar I can towards debt. Happy holidays everyone!