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Trying to predict my budget

November 7th, 2008 at 09:47 am

So we've always had a somewhat fluctuating budget, but I feel like I've had a pretty good idea of where we're going to be a few months out. With this looming layoff/unemployment thing, it's been really hard. Also I didn't know when student loans would start coming due for AS. Also my choice of health coverage is still up in the air, the total cost unclear.

Still, I'm trying to predict what the budget's going to look like as best I can. I know you can get up to 50% of your current pay in unemployment, and AS usually brings home about $1800-$2000 per month after tax. So I'm lowballing and saying she'll get $200 per week on unemployment; I think that's a safe estimation. I hope it's more because I have a feeling my pay's going down one way or another when I figure out my healthcare plan. And I haven't found out when her transit benefits will end and we'll have to buy bus passes for her. But we have places we can cut back; reduce the grocery budget, take away the $20-per-person-per-month raise in spending money I just gave us, cut back our travel savings...So I know we'll be OK.

One bright spot is that I checked her outstanding student loan, and it's not going to come due till February '09! That's wonderful because it gives us plenty of time to work out how to pay for it. Who knows, AS might even have a job by then.

Anyway, at present, assuming $200 per week unemployment, assuming $400 per month for AS's health care, not factoring in bus passes or my health care, I've got the budget to a good place where all I've cut out is extra debt repay. My four blanket budget categories are looking like this percentagewise: Mortgage/Utilities/Telecom
$2,140.15 (34% of net)
Debt Repayment/Savings
$1,176.41 (19% of net)
Spending/Entertainment/Travel
$1,549.66 (24% of net)
Household/Groceries/Healthcare
$1,481.00 (23% of net)

If it changes as I suspect it will, Spending and Household will go down, but the overall takehome will go down as well, so I don't know how the percentages will work out. I don't want to assume anymore until I figure out what AS's unemployment pay and my healthcare premiums will be.

2 Responses to “Trying to predict my budget”

  1. merch Says:

    I agree with you. Go conservative the first month or two and let things fall were they will fall. Over budget expense and under budget income.

    By February, you should be able to project the budget again with confidence.

    I would even say to stop the extra debt payments for December and just stockpile that. Once you get to a comfortable place just put all that saved money towards the debt repayments.

    Just keep on top of it. Good luck!!!

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    Hmm...I'll have to think about it, but I suspect you're right as usual. Smile I should keep some of the extra debt repay as an emergency fund until things are more clear.

    Thanks for the tip!

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