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help figuring out budget or something

Forum: Financial Planning and Budgeting


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July 21st, 2010, 08:15 AM
kmac's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 8,763
i am currently unemployed and am bringing home $1460 a month on unemployment. i have an app on my phone that helps to create a budget but i'm just not getting it. i need to figure out how much free spending money i have a month and i dont really know how to allot things, if that makes sense... like, how much should i allot for groceries a month? how much for baby items? what categories should i make?

basically, i have some bills...
car loan $335
phone $120
car insurance $90
credit card $150

and then i have $150,000 in student loan debt that i dont even pay towards because its so overwhelming and i cant pay their $564 a month.

so basically, if i can have someone help me figure out what categories to use for a budget, then how much to allot to each one, then maybe i can cut down on my eating out budget and my random spending budget because i might be able to figure out how much i REALLY can afford to spend in those categories....and might be able to save and might actually be able to toss some money towards my ridiculous school loans. i would love to be able to use the app on my phone to keep track of things because currently i fail at all things financial....

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July 23rd, 2010, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12
That would actually depend on what is your priority. If I were on your shoes I would give up the budget on the loans and prioritize the basic necessity.
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July 28th, 2010, 11:37 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 7,429
Pay what needs to be paid first. But without knowing what your bills are it's hard to say. Do you own or rent your home? Do you pay any kind of rent or mortgage? What do you typically spend on groceries (this includes diapers, formula, whatever NECESSITIES for your baby)?

Mine is water, electricity, mortgage, car insurance, groceries, gas (for the car), phone, sewer, HOA...these are my major priorities

then extra there's our life insurance, 401K's, gardener, housecleaner, entertainment, little league, cable, home security system, hubby's cell phone.

But everybody's bills will differ and the priority will differ as well. I work from home so I HAVE to have a home phone and internet whereas someone else may not care about that. We do not have any car payments or credit card payments where someone else would. I would make your credit card payments your last deal.

Pay what you HAVE to first...ie the stuff you cannot live without...groceries, electric, gas, water, rent/mortgage, car insurance...then go from there on what is not a need but a want (such as cable/satellite, cell phone, life insurance, etc).

Hope that helps you some. Feel free to PM me if you need/want to. I've been doing monthly budgets now for over a year so I've gotten pretty good at it.

Also, I'd call your school loan folks and see if you can defer those payments until you get a job. Most allow you to do so if you become unemployed. Or see if there's a way to lower your payments for awhile if they won't defer. Call your creditors and try to work something out prior to just not paying them at all.

Good luck!
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