So…I have been hemming and hawing about it for some time, but despite tepid concerns of over-posting, over sharing, and mild embarrassment, I am going to post my budget again. You’ll remember I posted my budget once back in March and then promptly never did it again. However, a thought I had after my most recent post, “Income Update/Am I saving enough?” is that my debt repayment progress, savings goals, etc. don’t really make sense if you (the reader) don’t have some idea of the context in which I am making those decisions. Okay. Enough preamble. To the numbers…
For the most part, my budget is pretty self explanatory. Today, when I paid my bills, for the first time I noticed that I had one less payee or account to log into this month as a result of paying off Private Student Loan 1. It was a good feeling.
The (*) – My federal student loans were
in a deferment on an income-based-repayment plan that generally requires renewal each December. My income relative to my student loan balanced meant that my required payment was $0.00. On March 13, 2020, the interest rate abatement and temporary deferment on all federal student loans superseded this, which was continued by the CARES Act and another subsequent Executive Order. While I had initially expected my income to increase this year, and possibly render me no longer eligible for my current payment under the income-based-repayment plan, because University B froze all bonuses, merit increases, and cost of living adjustments through September of 2021, I may still be eligible.
The (**) – This amount reflects the increase from additional responsibilities at University B.
Paycheck from University B – This is a net amount after taxes and other deductions like health insurance, dental, and 401K. I currently contribute 2% of my income to receive an 8% match from University B. This is pretty awesome, BUT you have to stick around for three years to keep the match. Given my current salary, and that my second anniversary will occur prior to the end of the salary freeze (which means no increase prior to my third anniversary) I can’t say with absolute certainty that I will make it to three years. However, like many things, that is a post for another day.
Food, dining, gas, and miscellaneous – I know this amount is going to seem woefully low to some folks. It’s not a ton and I won’t be able to keep it that low forever, but while the pandemic continues to severely limit social engagements, I work from home, and I remain single, I might as well dig deep.
Debt Repayment – All of this means that my allocation for EXTRA money towards student loan debt repayment is now $1,429.85. (This is in addition to the $657.31 I already make in minimum payments.) Well, for now, that is the amount I am contributing to my three month emergency fund. Whether or not I push the increase of $129.85 to savings/investment come January remains to be seen. As of today, the poll results from my question as to what I should do with the additional amount is currently 60% in favor of saving/investing and 40% in favor of putting it towards student loan debt repayment. I have to admit that I was a bit surprised. Although, I probably shouldn’t have been. This is the internet and there are bound to be significant differences of perspective on this issue. On that note, if you haven’t already voted, but feel strongly one way or another as to what I should do, you can vote on the poll here or leave me a comment.