I took a new position this year that has a partial summer layoff. This means that for May, June and July I will be bringing home around $700. To put this in perspective, my pay is going to be about the same amount as someone who is currently working for minimum wage in my community.
The last time I worked for minimum wage I was living at home with very limited financial responsibility. My goal at that time was to save as much money as I could while contributing to the household by taking over one bill payment and taking care of the majority of my personal expenses.
This time around, I am responsible for:
- Insurance for the house and car
- Internet and cell phone bills
- Pet care
- Home maintenance
- My Clothing, personal care items, entertainment and life insurance policy
- Savings for gift giving, home renovations, car care, medical costs, vacation fund, rainy day fund
This seems like a lot until you take into account that ML pays:
- The mortgage
- Gas for the car
- Gas for furnace
- Rental for water heater
- His life insurance policy, personal care items, clothing and entertainment
The split we use is based on our incomes. Basically ML keeps us housed and I do the rest. It’s worked for our entire marriage and I don’t intend to shift it now.
As you may know I love seeing how our spending stacks up against conventional wisdom so when I got an email from a bank indicating the breakdown of funds to ensure that you were living within your means I plugged in my numbers (ML’s aren’t included).
|Annual Budget||March Budget|
|Housing (land tax, house insurance, mortgage top up)||35%||15%||15%|
|Household (internet, cell phones, Netflix)||5%||10%||13%|
|Food (groceries, entertaining, eating out)||15%||14%||12%|
|Transportation (gas, car repair fund)||15%||10%||10%|
|Personal (pet, fashion/personal care, misc. fund)||10%||7%||5%|
|Savings (short-term emergency fund, home reno, vacation, medical, summer layoff savings)||10%||36%||36%|
|Debt (As we don’t have debt I moved this to be Long-term savings)||10%||4%||4%|
“Pretty good!” I thought before remembering the upcoming layoff. While these numbers work well with my current salary my projected income isn’t going to hold up. The savings will be decreased a bit as 20% of the current amount is actually money I’m putting aside to help with the layoff. The other 16% goes towards vacation, emergency fund, medical savings and gift savings. None are things I feel totally comfortable cutting as they’ll just end up on credit if we don’t have the funds available.
I’ll spend today playing with numbers and realizing how fortunate I am that both ML and I are working at jobs that pay above minimum wage and are able to enjoy the lifestyle we’ve grown accustomed to.
It’s also a great reminder that I really do need to be careful with my money. My $300 shoe extravaganza yesterday while fun and useful suddenly takes on a different tone in the light of my upcoming change in circumstances. $300 could be the difference between putting an unexpected fee on credit versus using our savings to fix it.
I’ve got 3 more full paycheques to go so I’ll be very conservative from now on.