Monday, November 26, 2007

In Which Blue Adds Up The Numbers, And Considers

Now that I have my temp job secured, I am able to sit down and write out exactly, to the penny, the amount of income I will be earning between today and graduation (in May).

This is, of course, assuming I have no sick days.

Total earnings for this five-month period? $5171.31, exactly.

Then I sat down and wrote out all of my fixed expenses. This includes rent (at $262.50/month), utilities (approx. $60/month, though possibly higher -- I haven't yet seen the first winter bills), food (around $100/month), car insurance payments ($74.00/month), gas (about 1.5 tanks or $35/month, assuming I do no extra travel), credit card payments (minimum is $15/month), and university student fees (a whopping $1500).

Total fixed expenses? $4779.00, approximated.

This leaves me with just about $392.31 to be spread over a five-month period and to include all necessary clothing, travel, textbooks, entertainment, restaurant food, doctor visits/prescriptions, car problems, gifts, what-have-you. (Or I could use it to pay more than the minimum monthly payment on my credit card.)

Or, if we divide it by five, $78.46.

Now, if I pay $30 on my credit card every month instead of $15 (thus making me feel like I'm actually doing something about the debt -- it's only $368.11 at this point, but it's still driving me crazy), then I will have $63.46 of "discretionary money" every month. (I'll also, at the end of the month, have about $250 left on the credit card assuming I make no additional purchases.)

I'll also probably get between $600-800 in tax refunds, although I'm not going to factor that into my budgeting until I see the numbers in hand.

So. Can I live on $63.46/month? On the one hand, it seems easy. Read books at Borders and watch movies in 10-minute chunks on YouTube. (It's a good thing I love cooking and hate fast food.)

On the other hand, one major expense (like my hard drive failure last year) and I'm $crewed.

And I haven't yet factored in the expense of the job hunt. Suze Orman tells the "young, fabulous and broke" to go ahead and put the entire job hunt on the credit card, and consider it a "loan for one's future." I may find myself taking her advice.

(I also haven't factored in paying back my family for the loan they gave me to help pay for the India trip; we've all assumed those payments will take place after I get the "real job.")


I wonder how close I can come to "living on" that number.

I dare myself to do it. ^__^


Daniel said...

oh my lord.

I spend more than that on dinner sometimes.

Granted, I live in NYC and everything here is more expensive, but daaaaaaaaaamn, gurl, you needs joreself aNOTHER job! Can't you tutor or mystery shop or something?

Maybe my sense of money is completely off b/c I'm living in Manhattan, but... for every hour I tutor, I make $50 (minus taxes). You should work on doing something like that. Music lessons? Singing lessons? I dunno--the rich people in your city should want the best arts education possible for their children, and you should let them know that you can provide it!

Blue said...

The only time I've ever spent more than $60 on a meal was when I took out my ENTIRE CAST to a Chinese buffet. ^__^

If you know how to break into the world of mystery shopping, do let me know.

I'm not sure there are a lot of "rich people" where I live. On the other hand, a bell curve is a bell curve, and I should find out who's on the top.

I love your last sentence. Maybe I can put it on my business card.

"You should want the best arts education possible for your children, and I can provide it!"

Daniel said...

giggle. WELL, I dunno how to break into mystery shopping, but ... type it into google, type in your zip code, and see if they're looking for mystery shoppers! ALSO, uh, I mean, sure, there's not millionaires or billionaires there, but if you charge $10-$15 an hour, that's still a LOT of moneyin a week! [yes, I charge $50 an hour, but I also have filthy rich clients]

You're worth it! put up fliers! Or something! :)

Oh, and two nights ago, Hillel and I went out for dinner and had one drink each. Dinner cost $60+. It happens here much more often than either of us would like. Alas.

HarlemSun said...

Hey bluey, sorry this is late (found my way from SM), but where on earth in these fair states is rent $26x?? I've lived in the heartland, in Dixie and now in Harlem, never paid less than $4xy.

I feel your pain and wish you the best for a speedy May graduation. I am stuck until '09 May and counting my shekels and toes :) -SG