Saturday, April 26, 2008

When spending plan hits new reality

Okay, now I am starting to feel pinched financially. First, I overestimated my take-home pay from my raise. Second, at&t increased the cost of my DSL (and my landline). Third, I projected my savings over the next four years as well as estimated home expenses I will likely be paying (e.g., exterior painting, replacement windows and attic insulation). All-in-all, I am feeling like I cannot reach my goals with my current income and expenses.

While the increased costs of a landline and DSL will not kill me, that in combination with my overestimated take-home pay made me cut $15 from my budget. Not a lot really, but with the cost of gas going up, increased cost of phone/DSL service and starting to feel deprived with the categories I had to modify (plus the pressure of my financial challenge this month), it all overwhelmed me.

There are areas I can cut more from my budget but now it is starting to make me wince. I thought I would have a bit more warning that finances need to be revised than this, but I have been wrong before. There really are not a lot of categories for me from which to take money to bulk up other categories. Entertainment and clothing typically have money leftover each month. I cringe because I have cut from them before and while these monies are not in high demand now, I fear that could change. For example, I have been gradually losing weight and at some point, it may just be ridiculous for me to wear the clothing I currently own.

I have been revisiting the roommate possibility as well as brainstorming what other things I can do to generate more income. Each of my ideas may need to be test run first. My attempts at getting a part-time retail job have generated nothing other than indifference. Some ideas may require more resources than I have or finding the right market.

For now, I will finish up my financial challenge, attend the class on wills and trusts for which I registered, and see where my my financial markers leave me May 1. There may be more spending plan alterations and be more stringent cost-benefit analysis of purchases to place me well for now and the future.

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