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Subject:  Re: nebroots February budget Date:  1/24/2007  4:09 PM
Author:  determinedmom Number:  246044 of 312137

nebroots -- Seeing your budget is like raw meat to the starving lions. ☺
I think people here tend to live for this kind of thing.

Anyway, good to see you back and posting this. I do realize that this is a budget for the next month and not a budget necessarily going forward over time but I do want to raise a few overall budget issues.

But first a few comments.

1. I agree with those who suggest you need to be setting aside for taxes which should include the employers share of SS and medicare taxes as well as income taxes. I would also asked if you have modeled what your taxes will be for 2006 since you had some self-employment income for that year. Any taxes will be due less than 3 months from now. If you haven't withheld enough for that you need to be saving to pay that in April.

2. You show $525 for Discover and $227 for WF card. You previiously said that Discover had the higher rate and had a minimum due of $250 and the Visa card (I guess this is the WF card) had a lower rate and $80 payment. I would suggest that if you are below the credit limit you not pay anything above the minimum until you know that your budget will balance. I think it is important to get out of the charging habit and the first step is to get to a budget where you can pay minimums and go through the month without adding to debt. If you start out paying more than minimums when your budget is unlikely to balance you will just end up putting the deficit on a credit card. When you do have a good budget, I would pay the minimum to the WF card and pay all your snowball to Discover -- Of course you should immediately bring the WF card current.

3. $60 for cell phones - have you looked to see if you can find a cheaper plan with enough minutes?

4. I do think internet is important for your work. As far as phone you might consider whether you need a landline at all if you have enough minutes on your cell phone.

5. $20 for gym and $80 for karate - Can you get rid of the gym and the karate?

6. $1500 for gas/groceries and spending - Suggest breaking this down into different caregories.

As much as I think you should get to a point where you can pay extra to credit cards, I am concerned that your budget doesn't have anything in it for certain types of expenses that may or may not come up in February but will likely happen over time. Examples:

Auto maintenance

Auto Repair

Children related expenses other than school lunches and sitter (and karate?). For example, clothes and school activities just for a couple.

Does the $60 for doctor bills cover all your medical/dental for the entire year divided by 12??

Household expenses - What about maintenance and repairs for your house and for the rental? What about yard care? Household supplies?

Insurance - you mentioned the auto insurance, but what about insurance for the houses? Is that paid for in the mortgage payments? Do you have umbrella insurance. Since you have a rental house I would want to make sure that I had insurance to cover any claims which might arise from a tenant.

Another thoughts - on your babysitting - have you checked to see if you qualify as a household employer? I don't recall the threshold to qualify but it is relatively low. If you do qualify you need to be unemployment insurance and SS and medicare taxes for your sitter. You may also want be required to get workers compensation insurance.

Pets - Do you have any??

Real estate taxes - Do you escrow for these?????

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