Planning My Summer Budget
Summer officially began last Thursday, which means it’s time for me to create my summer budget. You might remember that I did this last year — and was reasonably successful at sticking to it! This year I’m going to look at how much I might earn and spend between July 1 and September 30, so we can call this a “summer and nine days of fall” budget if you want.
Using a combination of this year’s income/payment history and my upcoming work, I can (conservatively) estimate that I’ll receive $13,500 in freelance checks between July and September. Of that $13,500:
- $2,175 goes to taxes
- $675 goes to my HSA
- $675 goes to my IRA
- $810 goes to savings
- $810 goes to my individual brokerage account
That leaves $8,355 for all of my expenses over the next two months, which we can start subtracting:
- $1,950 for rent
- $120 for internet
- $72 for phone
- $210 for water
- $180 for electric
- $70 for renters insurance
- $345 for Huel
- $600 for groceries/toiletries/household
- $33 for Netflix
- $180 for Patreon
- $180 for haircuts
With my overhead/fixed expenses removed, I have $4,415 left over — which seems like a lot, but there are a few things I have to take care of before I can start spending that money.
First, I need to pay my June credit card statements: $460.75 on my business credit card, and $1,318.57 on my personal credit card. That leaves me with $2,635.68.
Second, I need to refill my $3,000 checking account buffer. Right now my checking account balance is $2,058.29, and I’m expecting a few more checks to come in this week, but I’ll want to set about $500 aside to top the buffer off. That takes my “summer spending money” down to $2,135.68.
I’m meeting friends at the Travelers’ Rest music festival in Missoula in August, and I already have my festival pass and hotel paid for, but I’ll need to buy flights and deal with various Lyfts and meals. (If you are a Patreon supporter and read the most recent newsletter, you might have noticed that the TSA is putting new restrictions on powders and I might not be able to travel with a sack of Huel anymore.) So… $400 for that, which gets me to $1,735.68 or a little under $600 in unallocated discretionary cash per month.
That cash needs to cover both personal expenses (like more plants) and business expenses (like running a BargainBooksy promo on The Biographies of Ordinary People) but it is totally doable. I’ll have to keep a close watch on my expenses, but I won’t have to do an Uber Frugal Month. I could also cheat a little and remind myself that anything I put on my credit card in September won’t actually get paid off until October, but I’d rather see if I can stick to this budget.
Does anyone else want to figure out how much not-currently-allocated spending money they might have this summer?
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