October 2020 Budget Forecast

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 On March 13, 2020, the interest rate abatement and temporary deferment on all federal student loans superseded this, which was continued by the CARES Act and another subsequent Executive Order.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.

Thoughts?

4 thoughts on “October 2020 Budget Forecast

  1. honestly this looks like you’re doing an amazing job. Yes the discretionary amount is a little low, but with covid (much less commuting, eating out) it seems like you’re doing ok and not feeling too stretched, and you’re also keeping your housing costs low and doing a great job redirecting to savings and debt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks C. The discretionary spending is pretty low but I am hoping to keep this budget through December 2021. By then I hopefully will have paid off my private loans and have a higher income, and can ease up just a little.

      One thing I didn’t mention is some other projects I have in the works that will result in additional income over the next few months. It’s contracted work so the payment is guaranteed as long as I complete the work. At the moment, my tentative plan for that money (~$800.00) is sinking funds (car, Christmas, etc.) with any leftover going to debt repayment. I haven’t mentioned it in a post because I don’t like to count money until it is in my hands. Too much disappointment otherwise.

      Like

  2. Wow, seeing this information makes it clear what an awesome job you are doing paying down your debt/saving for your emergency fund. That is a huge chunk of money you have freed up every month for your goals. Great work!

    It would be fun/satisfying to be able to see the amount you’ve saved towards your emergency fund every month, if you are inclined to include that info.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ellen! I am trying to keep focused on the goal (being debt free before 40) while also “living” in the moment. Tonight’s splurge was a “gourmet” blend of mushrooms at Kroger, reduced to $1.50. I actually stood there debating whether or not I could afford to add them to my fried rice and how many servings I would have to eek out of the bin to make it worth it. I then felt ridiculous and bought the mushrooms.

      That is a good idea. I wanted to have one of those trackers (I think it’s a widget) other folks have on their homepage for both my debt and savings but hadn’t figured out how to do it yet. So, a fun challenge for the evening 🙂

      Like

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