So, in the interests of being completely open and honest …
I want to keep myself as accountable as possible with my resolutions, especially the resolution of living on 50% of my income. I’ve actually been thinking of doing this for a while, after seeing it mentioned on more than a few of the personal finance blogs around the traps [not really sure about where that saying comes from, but I like it currently, I seem to be using it a lot!] – I’ve always wanted to be careful with my money, because it has always been a goal of mine to own a house. My biggest problem is that as soon as I save a decent amount of money, I tend to spend it [but that is another story, it’d make this post entirely too long].
So I have a history of periods of being quite frugal and saving a fair bit of money – interspersed with periods of spending money like it was going out of fashion [and that is my mother speaking]. This year will be different, and I have it mapped out completely! There’s nothing like being impatient to get your butt into gear with organising challenges like this – haha.
Anyway, I’ve enjoyed reading about the controversy over whether it is polite or socially acceptable to share information about money and finances — but I very definitely fall into the “I’ll tell you anything you ask, if you have a problem with that, you shouldn’t have asked” school of thought. I would love to know what everyone else has going on as well, but I understand that sometimes other people don’t like to share these things as much as I do. This blog will be my way of keeping track of my spending, and it will be anonymous, so I’m going to let loose and let it all hang out [as it were].
The breakdown …
I get paid $1791.98 a fortnight.
I will immediately [and I will talk more about my views on the automating finances later on I’m sure] transfer $900 to my long-term savings account. “But Agatha,” I hear you say, “fifty percent of 1791.98 is only 895.99!” – and yes, you are perfectly correct and I agree with you, but I’ve decided arbitrarily to round it up to 900, so there.
Alright, so that will leave me with $891.98 to spend on everything I need.
With the bills that I have – I’ve worked out that I need to put aside $280 per fortnight to be able to cover them when they come in. This is a mix of medical bills, electricity, internet, phone, gym, car registration, car services, and vet bills. All paid over a variety of time frames [and no doubt I’ll expound upon these later, as they will need to be reviewed soon enough – changing circumstances and all].
Right – that leaves me with $611.98.
Of course, rent is an important thing to pay for – and that’s $520 a fortnight. Now, because I have a housemate [and I can imagine that there will be many a post about him in the future] I only pay half of this, which is $260 a fortnight.
That means I have $351.98.
Minus the $100 I send to my grandparents every fortnight [this is, and will forever be [well, foreseeable future] non-negotiable] —
— means I have a total of $251.98 per fortnight to spend on petrol, food, and entertainment.
I carpool to work with some of the people I work with [well, duh] so I save some money on petrol that way, and currently it costs me between $60 – $80 a fortnight. Although, this is a complete estimate and could be wildly different, I usually just fill the tank whenever the light comes on and it starts beeping at me, hah.
Food is another thing that is quite wildly variable, but since I have been living with my current housemate, we have been shopping once a week – and the most it has cost is $120 – since I only pay for half of this, it means that I will pay approximately $60 a week.
So – if I average this out to say that I will spend $200 a fortnight on food and petrol – that means I’ll have $51.98 to spend on “entertainment” – which could be more food, buying presents, dinner out, hiring movies, or doing whatever else I feel like.
In conclusion …
I’m excited! I’ll post my progress every fortnight when I get paid [so I can look back on the fortnight that was] – and I’m also thinking that I might post a little something each day to class them as either “spend” or “no spend” – which I have read about in blogs before now and think would be really interesting to monitor.
Wish me luck [again]!