Sept Budget

September is here!

When will I ever get my shit together financially again? Maybe this month? You and I will have to wait and see . . . .

Here is my planned budget for September

  Sept predicted Sept Actual
     
Rent 480
Utilities 140  
transportation 100  
phone 40  
groceries/personal care 300  
restaurant 50  
clothes 80  
gifts 0  
alcohol 50  
entertainment 50  
bank fees 0  
savings 0  
debt repayment 0  
retirement 0  
education 0  
Income 0  
Spent 1290  
Line    
Difference -1290  
  personal savings rate:  

 

I raised the transportation to be a bit more realistic, and I do think I need to get a good pair of professional shoes, but hopefully other than that it’s all good to go!

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August Monthly Goals

Financial Goals

1. Stay on budget

2. Keep on tracking my spending.

3. No shopping for all of August.

 

Personal Goals

1. Keep running 4-5 x a week.

2. Attend three school social events.

3. Bring food to school every day and don’t buy anything at the cafeteria!

 

For anyone who has returned to school after working, what are some good things to keep in mind? Or for you Dolly Partons what are your plans for August??

How to Make a Medical School Budget- Part 2

As I transition back to school I want to make sure that I’m not going into any more debt than I absolutely need, so I’m making a super school budget!
I wrote about the first steps here. I’m building on how I made my school budget based on my spending analyses.

From my spending analysis I was able to compare my spending in each category side-by-side:

Year End 2013 Year End 2013 Q1 2014 Q1 2014
Category Total Average/month Total Average/month
Debt repayment 4650.27 387.52 900 300
Savings 7530.13 627.51 3363.16 1121.05
Bills 2201.39 183.44 382.75 127.58
Housing 8285.98 690.49 2268.8 756.26
Transportation 3113.63 259.46 512 170.66
Entertainment 1524.09 127 257.76 85.92
Extra 6494.72 541.22 413.59 137.86
Life 2129.08 177.42 467.35 155.78
Spending 35929 2994.1 8565.41 2855.14
Income 35389 2949.11 9701.79 3233.93

This is a great first step, but let’s go deeper!

For each analysis I started stripping away the costs that I won’t have in school

Year End 2013 Year End 2013 Q1 2014 * Q1 2014
Category Total Average/month Total Average/month
Debt repayment 4650.27 387.52 900 300
Savings 7530.13 627.51 3363.16 1121.05
Bills 2201.39 183.44 382.75 127.58
Housing 8285.98 690.49 2268.8 756.26
Transportation 3113.63 259.46 512 170.66
Entert. 1524.09 127 257.76 85.92
Extra 6494.72 541.22 413.59 137.86
Life 2129.08 177.42 467.35 155.78
Spending 35929 2994.1 8565.41 (34261.64 for the year) 2855.14
Income 35389 2949.11 9701.79 3233.93
Minus Debt repayment 31279.02 2606.58 30661.64 2555.13
Minus savings 23748.89 1979.07 17209 1434.08
Half the transportation costs ** 22192.08 1849.34 16185 1348.75

*The total numbers for Q1 were for 3 months (by nature of it being a quarterly review), so I extrapolated these numbers to a yearly amount (I multiplied them by 4)
** I subtracted half of the transportation costs because I will have a bus pass in school, but I am not sure if I will still use car2go/car rentals. I’m hoping this is a high estimate

From these tables I have the most important numbers: 1849.34 and 1348.75, which represent my budget without debt repayment, savings and half the transportation costs.

I then averaged these numbers to reach a modest monthly budget: 1599.04

This number is a great estimate, but does include things like entertainment and ‘extra’, which contribute an average of $106.46 and $339.54 a month respectively. I feel like the entertainment budget is modest so I will keep that, but if you take away half of the extra budget (and again, I hope I’m high-balling it), you can knock off another 169.77 from the monthly living budget to bring it to:

1599.04-169.77=

$1429.27 a month.

Not too shabby I think. A number that is based in reality, my lived spending experience, and does have room for all of the things I am used to spending.

Most importantly, it feels doable. And a budget needs to be doable for it to have any purpose at all!

Considering even working full time I would put over $1000/month into dept repayment and savings I would only have about 1700/month to live in a swanky downtown condo and take a car2go whenever my heart desired.

I do plan on tracking my spending in school and post monthly spending analysis as I did before. It will be a bit different since it’s not exactly a spending analysis as it will be a ‘line of credit tracker’ as I will be putting most of my school and living expenses on credit, but I feel like being just as detailed with my credit will help keep me out of trouble.

I’ll post my sample school budget shortly- let me know if you think I’m missing anything! Except of course tuition, which is a story for another day.

How to Make a Medical School Budget-Part 1

So this med school thing is blowing my mind, particularly around the money stuff.
One of the first things I did was sit down and make a budget. Which sounds easy enough, but I added some extra-detailed personal finance steps for all of you to follow along!

How to make a kick-ass back to school budget

1. Before you even know what the future holds- track your expenses! I call these spending analyses.

For the past year and a half I have been tracking my spending by month- I post them up here and compare my intended spending with my actual costs. This is great for keeping you on track every month with your goals, but very helpful when you need to project a budget for the future.

Because I have a record of all of my expenses I can very easily go back in time and calculate just how much I spend on everything. This is so important for me because I’m going to be adjusting to a drastically cut income (read: no income), but this is also important if you have a dramatic increase in income so you know where that raise is going, or if your life situation changes: parental leave, being self-employed, etc.

2. Put together as many spending analyzes as possible to get the most accurate view of your spending habits.

I used my year end review (link here) and my Q1 of 2014 (link), because these were already averages of my spending for these time periods. If you don’t do year end reviews or quarter reviews- first start!- and second, use all your information you have, maybe its 2 weeks or 3 months, to take an average of what you spend per category

3. Use your spending analysis to determine your average expenses by category.

I already have my monthly, quarterly and yearly analysis broken into categories. I have spoken about this before, but I got these categories from Gail Vaz Oxlade.

Debt repayment: credit card repayment from the start of 2013 and after May 2013 all student loan payments
Savings: my emergency fund, tuition goals and retirement savings
Bills: my personal cell, internet, heat and electricity at my old place, and tenant insurance at my new place (heat was included in my rent as of August 2013)
Housing: mostly rent, but also any house improvements/decorations/furniture
Transportation: ground transportation- car rentals, car2go, public transit
Entertainment: eating out, alcohol, events, etc.
Extra: everything else- clothing, gifts, travel, mostly non-essential things that apparently I love to throw money at
Life: personal care, groceries, medication

These are my numbers:

Year End 2013 Year End 2013 Q1 2014 Q1 2014
Category Total Average/month Total Average/month
Debt repayment 4650.27 387.52 900 300
Savings 7530.13 627.51 3363.16 1121.05
Bills 2201.39 183.44 382.75 127.58
Housing 8285.98 690.49 2268.8 756.26
Transportation 3113.63 259.46 512 170.66
Entertainment 1524.09 127 257.76 85.92
Extra 6494.72 541.22 413.59 137.86
Life 2129.08 177.42 467.35 155.78
Spending 35929 2994.1 8565.41 2855.14
Income 35389 2949.11 9701.79 3233.93

This alone was a really good exercise for me. I’m very happy to see that I’ve really reigned in my discretionary spending and really did throw a lot of money towards savings!

This gave me great information as to what I spend and where. I used this as a foundation for my next step, which I will talk about later this week!

May Goals Update

I thought this month would be bananas, and I was absolutely correct.  My goals were going great up until pneumonia came out of nowhere and I finally got into med school (although I still can’t believe it).

So how did I do against my goals?

May Goals

1. Run 21 days in a row.

This was going so well! I managed to do 14 days in a row, including one day that I later learned I had pneumonia . . . . .But yes, my lungs basically quit on me and I’ve had to take the last 2 weeks off. I’m so happy to be getting back into it, but I’m trying to go very slow and just go as far as my lungs will take me, which is about 20-25 mins right now. I’m hoping next week I can attempt more structured (but still slow) runs like a 5 k.

2. Decide about next financial goals, specifically what to do with this ‘extra’ $700 a month I have.

This I actually did! I wrote about it here and I had actually made two plans for the future. Getting into medical school was such an amazing surprise, but absolutely will impact my finances. I’m starting school in July, so I only have about 1 more month left of work, so next month that full $700 (or more if I can manage) will go towards my tuition goal.

3. Just finally lean into the crazy and be nervous and bananas about school just because I’m me.

Low hanging fruit right? Running at first was totally awesome because it kept me so grounded, but then I was just totally obsessed during the week I knew I would hear back. Fun fact, I found out I got in while I was at work and I had a silent jumping and screaming party in the staircase!

4. Move forward with educational plans whatever they may be!

Heck yes! Medical school is so exciting and overwhelming, but is also giving me such a personal finance hard-on it’s unreal. The financial plans I made I think are just out of this world. I’m eager to post my already drafted school bare bones budget and projected total debt load after these three years. Keep your eyes peeled and help me pretend that taking on six figures of debt is a great idea!

I give myself a solid 3.5/4, maybe even a 4/4 because I ran as much as I could despite getting so sick!

Life Update

I’ve been quiet this past week because life just starting happening!

First, my increasingly painful and annoying cough turned out to be pneumonia which had me pretty much sidelined.

And then,

I found out I got into medical school!

My head is still spinning (and my lungs are only starting to catch up). This has been my dream since high school and words can’t even come to close to how I’m feeling. I literally keep expecting them to email me back and be like, oh whoops we made a mistake go away now bye!

I’m going to be the first person in my entire family, as far back as at least my great-grandparents to become a doctor and this humbling truth is not lost on me.

And of course, this has huge (like $$$ $$$!) money implications. Line of Credit, Student Loan, Back to School budget- there’s so much to come!

OH ya, and school starts in July.

I’m going to do my best to keep this updated and I may slide more into the ‘medical school personal finance’ theme but I’ll just keep my mind open.

WOOO!