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My name is Justin, and I live in West Virginia. My great state is among the poorest overall in the nation, and I don’t work at a high paying job by any means. I am having trouble with budgeting, frankly I have no clue how to really do it.
I am currently enrolled in a community college which is funded through the Federal Pell Grant, which covers 95% of my costs, and other non-federal financial aid covers the remaining balance. I live with my mother, who is physically disabled, and my step-father who buys and sells equipment, vehicles, guns, etc. etc.. I work at a regional oil & gas safety company based out of Texas, and my current salary is $13.00 an hour, with an expected raise of $.50 to $1.00 total. I only work on the weekends and pickup shifts when I can, bringing in a minimum of 36 hours per week with 72 total hours per paycheck. After taxes, my minimum pay (without extra days) is about $710, with a base monthly salary of $1,420.
Here are my expenses per month :
Car insurance – $190
Cable & Internet – $240
Phone bill – $117
Gas – $60 (I don’t drive much)
Food – $250
Personal items, clothes, etc. etc. – $150
Savings for emergency – $300
Petty cash – About $100 usually
Is this a good budget? I don’t pay rent to live with my mom and step-dad, I just pay the cable and internet. I plan on working at my current job until I finish my associates, then getting a job in-state until a better opportunity is made.
Any suggestions would be awesome, I am new to the workforce and paying bills. I am not too familiar with budgetizing!
Considering that your expenses seem to be lower than your income and you have some breathing room to save for an emergency, I'd say it's a fine budget. But it seems like there could be some room cut some expenses.
Cable & internet seems pretty outrageous. Do you or your parents watch a lot of TV? If you're only paying this as a pseudo-rent to your parents, then you might not have wiggle room on this, but you should consider either cutting cable, ditching any extra channel packages, or trying to get a better rate by shopping around or threatening to cancel with your provider.
How often do you eat at home vs. eat out? Do you have to buy your own groceries? $250 seems like a lot for someone that lives at home.
Hi buddy. Props on the hard work. Is it possible to get rid of your car? You're paying an insane amount in insurance to gas ratio. Consider Ubering/biking when you can. Also look into Mint Wireless if you haven't seen it in this sub before. I decided to try it and it is fantastic. The rest seem fairly reasonable as long as you drop Cable as well.
Good luck my friend!
Definitely shop for different car insurance. But more importantly…cut the cable bill. Just ditch TV altogether. If TV is a must for you, get YouTube TV ($39.95 per month) if you’re Internet bandwidth is strong enough. Or shop for an alternative provider. You’re getting hosed with that bill. Easy way to save money each month.