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Home > Boring (Detailed) Update: Minimum Wage Challenge

Boring (Detailed) Update: Minimum Wage Challenge

April 22nd, 2006 at 12:35 pm

As Iím saying Iím making it on minimum wage, I feel obligated to post the detailed budget periodically. Iíve been very honest about all expenses and havenít left off any expenses unless I specifically said so. (For example, I travel for work about once a month; I am not counting what I spent traveling for meals, nor am I counting what I will get from work for meals as income. I usually come out ahead.) A couple times when my boyfriend has wanted to go out, Iíve declined him treating me. Iíve said either, no, nothing for me, go by yourself, or, I've paid my share and put it in my budget. It is challenging sometimes to have the disposable income and have to forego a purchase; but then, otherwise it wouldnít be a challenge, right?

Reminder on income: $6.75 CA minimum wage x 40 hours x 4.33 weeks per month less FICA and SDI = $1073. Iím counting income from recycling and selling books on half.com; I usually sell about one book every three months-itís not a real moneymaker, but itís something. I got $8.77 in April, less $1.50 in postage, for $7.27. Thatís real money on my budget.

March income $1073 plus $6.73 recycling = $1079.73.
April income $1073 plus $7.27 textbook sold = $1080.27.

Why could I only spend $986.97 in April? Itís because I overspent some categories in March-for a total of $93.30. Income of $1080.27 less $93.30 is $986.97. Why is my balance in April $170.79? Itís because Iím also carrying over unspent money from March.

Iím using the YNAB budget to track. I may not be using it exactly as designed. For example, Say I budget $62 for April for prescriptions and co-pays. Then I have a funky month where I spend $167.32. If I was absolutely true to the budget, I would not adjust the budgeted amount, and to compensate for my ďoverspendingĒ I would have $105.32 taken away from my May budget. Well, if I have under spent categories in April, I am adjusting those budgeted figures, and increasing the budget for prescriptions. Iím not ďtakingĒ money from categories I have to save, like the money Iíll need for my car insurance in July. Where I will move money from a budget line is where I can under spend, such as grocery or gifts or entertainment.

Now, with the YNAB, I have to enter all purchases twice; into my regular Quicken that Iíve used since Ď98, and into my YNAB spreadsheet. In the spirit of full disclosure, I neglected a double entry last month; I spent $10 in charity but only entered it in Quicken. Iím showing that I spent that $10 in April, as I didnít want to re-do the finals.

Full disclosure two: there is a radio show in town where one can buy ďgift certificatesĒ at less than face value for local businesses. For example, for this nice soul food place in town, $17 got me $30 worth. The general merchandise certificates are printed on blue paper, so I call them Blue Money. I do have left over Blue Money for restaurants that I bought in 2005 or Jan/Feb 2006, and I have used some. I havenít bought more (if I do it will come out of the budget), but my thought was that I already had them so I could use them. I certainly didnít stock up prior to the challenge. If people think it's unfair to use them, let me know.

Iím starting a combination emergency/big purchase fund. I know itís starting small, but if I manage to under spend in enough categories, I want to be able to have both emergency money, and a fund I can use to cover big purchases, such as a replacement dryer, or a new freezer.

5 Responses to “Boring (Detailed) Update: Minimum Wage Challenge”

  1. Ima Saver Says:

    I love reading about your minimum wage challenge.

  2. boomeyers Says:

    I love all the boring details. I think what you are doing is fascinating! Keep up the good work and thanks for the "disclosures" to explain things!

  3. markio26 Says:

    love your posts. very different from some of the other ones.. i like the way you define things and show your problem solving details.... you really do explain things well.

  4. Nina's Mom Says:

    Just as I suspected. We live in the same area. My husband was listening and got some Blue Money for Roy's Deli. I went there yesterday for the first time and bought some fresh mozarella, a bottle of their house salad dressing, a pound of frozen gnocchi, some gourmet dog bisquits for my new doggy (impulse at the checkout) and a pound of sliced roast beef. I spent $22.90 and used $20.00 in blue money that DH paid $12.00 for!! Plus the roast beef is delicious, sliced fresh and only $6.25 a pound, which is far cheaper than anywhere, I think even Costco, plus it was better tasting than Costco's deli roast beef. I have $60.00 more in blue money to spend there!

  5. lrjohnson Says:

    Nina's mom: leave me a message if you want some Blue Money I won't use for McClelland water or Arcata Auto! I tried to find you-are you the same as nanasmom? I hate for my blue money to go to waste?

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