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March Spending Analysis

April 1st, 2007 at 04:11 pm

One of my goals for 2007 is to live off my monthly graduate student stipend while paying $150 / month into an IRA. All other money I receive (odds jobs and gifts) is funneled into my high yield savings account.

My March expenses looked like this:

Clothing $36.69
Dining $46.62
Entertainment $84.85
Gifts Given $42.97
Groceries $6.89
Household $3.50
Joint Expenses $1000.00 (includes rent, utilities, food, gas, etc)
Medical $6.00
Parking $4.00
Personal Care $66.00
IRA Contribution $150
--------------------------------
TOTAL EXPENSES: $1447.52

Total March Stipend $1377.50

Uh oh! I overspent my stipend by $70.02.

Luckily, Iím not worried. I underspent the stipend by $90.14 in January and $139.31 in February to leave myself a $229.45 surplus. In addition, I made $290 this month in odd jobs.

So, while Iím not worried, Iím not ecstatic, either.

There are a few reasons why this month was unusual. First, Mr. Bean and I took a weekend trip and incurred extra expenses in gas and hotel. For this reason, we each contributed $1000 to our joint account rather than the typical $800. I also got my haircut this month and bought a new jar of my preferred (but pricey) moisturizer. Both of these expenses are what drove my ďPersonal CareĒ category up to $66.

I also spent ~$70 on a new paid of running shoes (I place this in entertainment category). I am an avid runner, but can typically get my shoes to last ~4 months since I have custom made orthodics which help preserve the life of the shoe. However, when my knees start to ache, I know itís time for new shoes. My knees started hurting around March 28. The thought crossed my mind to wait a few days so I could stay place the expense in April, but then I realized how silly that was. My Challenge to live off my stipend while contributing $150 / month to an IRA is just that Ė a Challenge- and the months that I stay under my limit provides a cushion for monthís like the previous.

Regardless, this month proves the point of why itís important for those of us on a relatively lower end of the income spectrum to watch how we spend our money. A few extra indulgences and youíll find yourself in the red!

3 Responses to “March Spending Analysis”

  1. homebody Says:

    I also use Clinique only the regular old Dramatically Different Moisturizing stuff and I have bought it on Ebay. But last time I just bought the biggest bottle I could because I had a coupon at the department store.

    I decided once to try going back to Oil of Olay only the more expensive stuff. It felt and smelled like sun tan lotion. Yuck!

  2. robex Says:

    I used the Oil of Olay regenerist for 4 years until someone on another site recommended just using extra virgin olive oil as a moisturizer. I've been using it for about 2 months...haven't noticed any difference other than the price! I spent $8.29 for a HUGE bottle and haven't even made a dent in it. A little goes a loooong way.

    I'm now hooked on olive oil.

  3. homebody Says:

    Olive oil gives me zits, way too greasy for this oily skinned gal! I use Carmex for my lips that is cheap! Used to use vaseline, but didn't use it up fast enough and it would start to smell like old tires.

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