Monday, March 01, 2010

February 2010 Recap…

The word for the month is "Overspent". I did not do well with my spending.

Thanks to my State and Federal tax return, I was able to post an improvement in my net worth from ($157,379) to ($153,834). I cannot wait to get below the ($150,000) mark.

Here is my Budget vs. Actual expenses for February (rounded):

  1. I ran out of garage parking passes so I had to pay $188 for 10 passes this month. I usually have to do this every quarter for occasions where I have to work late or stay after work for an event. On those days which is usually 4 times per month, I drive in to work instead of take public transportation.
  2. I spent entirely too much on Food & Dining. My new goal is $50/week and I am going to try to bring my lunch 2-3 times a week. Wish me luck!!!
  3. Grocery/Household includes the new garbage disposal for $120.
  4. Other miscellaneous expenses primarily include the following:

    $150 - Tax preparation fee
    $50 – Charitable donation to the Special Olympics (tax deductible)
    $47 – Medical bill from December physical therapy
    $42 – Fundraising projects including a basket for the homeless shelter
    $24 – Auto repair/maintenance

My credit report for February is clean. My scores have always been in the 700’s and considered A credit. This new VantageScore credit scoring is blowing my mind. I went from A credit to C credit. Below is the reasoning behind my scores:

  1. Your average credit amount on open real estate accounts is too low. – Chitown is not getting any additional mortgage debt so they can forget about this one.
  2. The available credit on your open revolving credit accounts is too low. – They can forget about this one too because I am not going to incur any additional debt. All of my revolving credit card debt is on one card.
  3. The amount paid on your open real estate accounts is too low. – Once again, forget about it. =)
  4. The sum of your bank credit card account balances is too high. – They got me here. The credit limit on my Chase card is $24,800 and my current balance is $22,200. I am 90% to max and I need to get this under 30%. I am working on it!!!


Aaren said...

Thank goodness for refunds! Do you think you would've spent as much if you hadn't had the refunds though? It seems to me that part of the spending may have been because you had that money in, so you weren't going into debt to be able to afford it, which is awesome.

On another note, what do you plan to do when the last of your loans comes due this year? What areas are you planning to cut back on, as none of them seem extravagant, or is this what you've got your savings set aside for? And how long are you planning to take to pay off the credit cards, since the rate will adjust in 9 months?

Congrats on a great month! I can't wait till my net worth is at -$180,000, let alone -$150k!

Chitown said...

Hi Aaren,

Yes, thank goodness for refunds.

In addition to my refund, I had ~ $900 in my checking account before the refunds to start the month off. So, I probably did feel more comfortable with the overspending that I would normally feel. You got me there.

Going forward, I will be using my employee checking account to pay all of my bills and any irregular expenses like the parking passes.

I will do all of my personal spending out of my Bank of America Checking account. Each month, I will deposit $400 into that account for everything from groceries, food & dining, entertainment, dry cleaning, etc. This amount will probably have to be adjusted down once I start paying the rest of my student loans. That is, unless I receive an increase in April. I should hear more about that later this month.

I anticipate that the $800/month that I currently pay on my student loans will increase by $300/month to $1,100. I will have to make some adjustments in June when all of my loans enter repayment.

As for the credit cards, I am not certain what I will do. I have a credit card with Bank of America that also has a ridiculous credit limit around $25k. I am hoping to receive a decent balance transfer offer through them and tranfer the balance. Then I will continue to pay off the balance.

In 9 months, I should receive another annual bonus as well so my savings could be around $18k - $19k. The balance on my card will be down to about $18k so if I have to pay it off or pay it down, I should be able to do so. I don't want to deplete my savings so I am hoping to do another balance transfer.

Danielle said...

You are doing great! You'll be at $150k before you know it!

Chitown said...

Thanks Danielle!

Now I definitely need to tighten my spending belt.

SavingDiva said...

Since you were about $350 over your $200 dining out budget (not including groceries), you might want to structure your budget to allow for a little more spending in that area...then you can slowly work your way down to $200/month. I find that I feel too restricted if I try to cut down too much too quickly.

Good luck!