I am so glad you are excited to read more about My Balancing Money Series! This could turn out to be something pretty cool!
In short, the plan is this . . . Pay all of my monthly expenses and commuting costs and give myself a small weekly allowance. The allowance is step #2 so I will have more on that later. After ALL of this is taken care of, any money that is left over at the end of the month will go into a separate account called the Balancing Val Account. I will try my best not to take any money out of this account but I am certain that the random nature of life will cause me to do so. I will give a monthly update balance on the account as well as what came out of it for what reason (haircut, oil change, gifts ect.). At the end of school, I will see how much I have saved to hopefully make a big dent in my student loan!
STEP #1: WHAT DO YOU OWE?
In order to find out what you may be able to save, you MUST know exactly how much is going out each month. This is SO important whether you have a saving situation or not!! These are my fixed expenses for every month no matter what. Keep in mind that Chris and I split everything 50/50. I am not counting the things that come up at random, because well . . . they are too random to know what and how much. I will have a separate plan of action for those things.
Val’s Monthly Fixed Expenses
- Rent – $425
- Cell Phone – $74
- Auto Insurance – $121
- Groceries – $100
- Apartment Bills/Utilities – $100
- ING Savings Account – $50
- AT&T 3G Service – $15
- Sallie Mae – $25
- Commuting Costs (includes gas) ~$355
TOTAL: ~$1265 per month
Now I know that $1265 is the magic number. That is the MINIMUM amount of money I need to make each month to have all my bills paid without ANY other expense. Im sure I can do some tweaking here, but I know that this is comfortable, at least for now. Just knowing this number will help me understand how many hours I need to work and will help me calculate how much money I can use for myself which is what I plan to tell you about in my next post.
Do you know exactly what you owe each month? Or do you just wing it?
On our first with the help of my Twitter friends, I decided to make Salsa Chicken for dinner. This is one of those super easy dinners that just taste good and have endless possibilities.
Besides a Crockpot, you will need these . . .
Of course, these ingredients are interchangeable. No corn, different beans, add peppers and onions . . . Ect.
Put your chicken breast at the bottom of your crockpot (i had 4 small thin chicken breasts on hand that were thawed) and pour salsa over them. Your going to want enough to cover the chicken. They don’t have to drown in salsa, so a jar should do it.
Then, turn it on low for 4-6 hours. It is finished when the chicken shreds easily with a fork. I went in and shredded up the chicken using two forks then mixing everything together. It may seem watery at first but it gets better after the shredder
What is your easiest dinner recipe?