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January 2015 Budget Plan

December 29, 2014

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So, as you all know by now, I quit one of my side gigs effective 12/31/2014. This means that my income and budget for 2015 has changed. The side gig I quit was cleaning the building of my full-time employer. What you may not know is that for all of 2014 I was budgeting based solely on my FT job income (including the cleaning income). I did not budget or account for any income from my PT retail job, my “home business”, or my online income (after I started freelancing in July).

The amount I lost from my monthly income was pretty substantial ($425/month pre-tax), but I’m confident I can make up for it with some new online jobs I’ve landed in the last couple of months (more on some of those later). But as such, I now have to make a minimum amount from side hustles each month. The amount I’m “required” to make will vary month to month based on how much I plan to spend each month.

I also decided to make my budget a more complete picture for all to see, which means I will be more accurately tracking how I use my side hustle income and reporting a TOTAL INCOME AND EXPENSE REPORT at the end of each month. This means I will no longer have categories I’m exact on spending because my budget plan is mostly an  estimate.

I will know how much I’ll bring in from my FT job (except for this month because of some weird circumstances) and I know how much I need to make from other jobs to be able to afford everything on my budget plan. Anything more than that I hope to use for extra savings or debt payments, but I might also use some in other ways now and then too. I will do a better job of tracking and reporting this all to you though. In 2014, most of my “extra” income from my PT job, home business, and freelancing just kind of disappeared. I know where most of it went (eating out and entertainment) but I didn’t report it to you all.

Anyhow, here is my January 2015 budget plan:

CategoryMonthly Total
House Repairs$15.00
City Bill$110.00
Gas Bill$58.06
Car Repairs$15.00
Auto Insurance$96.26
Clothes and Hair$80.00
BFF Trip$150.00
FT Income$2,129.49
Side Income Required$600.00

A few explanations:

My FT job income is a guess this month. My January 1st paycheck is extremely low because of an error in the accounting department. They accidentally took away my cleaning income a pay period early and so this will be added on to my January 15th paycheck. Between giving up my cleaning income, getting a small raise of my regular pay, and changing my retirement contribution percentage, I’m not exactly sure how much my January 15th check will end up being. I tried to estimate conservatively, but we’ll see.

My “required” side hustle income is $600 for January. This would be after taxes! I will make about $200 from my weekend job (I’m taking a weekend off otherwise it’d be more) and the rest will come from online work. I do have about $150 to carry over from December (that’s already in my account), so I am 99% sure I can (and will) make more than this. I hope to use anything above the $600 for debt or savings. But even if I use it foolishly, you’ll know about it at the end of the month!

I put $150 in my budget for a trip to see my BFF. I’m hoping to stay on budget with this amount. Now that she’s more settled in her new house, hopefully we won’t eat out every single meal. 🙂 This will save both of us some money. This includes the gas to get there and back. I don’t plan to do any shopping other than getting some new socks at Target.

I budgeted $80 in the clothes and hair category. I’ve been still getting my hair done very 6-ish weeks (because it’s short and I have to keep it presentable for work, plus I just love getting my hair done). I’m hoping to use this to cover my hair appointment this month and the socks I need at Target too. I’m not sure exactly how much my hair appointment will cost because I’m trying out a new stylist since my other one quit recently.

I also have a $60 dentist bill to pay from a small chip I had to get fixed in December. Ugh!

My “cable” section went up this month because I got Hulu. I am hoping to cancel my regular TV subscription by the end of January, which will save me about $65/month. After this I’ll just have Netflix (about $16 since I get DVDs and online streaming) and Hulu. Yes, I want both because they do have a few different shows. Netflix has most of my faves, but Hulu has a couple that Netflix doesn’t have. Once my regular TV subscription is canceled, this amount will go down to about $24/month.

My plan is to try these budget amounts for January and then make adjustments as needed. Because this will be a more accurate account of my spending, I think I’ll be able to control my eating and entertainment spending better since I’m going to be more transparent about it with you.

Wednesday you’ll get an even better idea of how this budget will work for me because I’m going to review 2014 and tell you my goals for 2015!

Are you changing your budget plan for 2015?

Also, here’s a pic of what I gave my BFF for Christmas!


(It’s a homemade apple themed apron to go with her apple themed kitchen.)

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17 responses to “January 2015 Budget Plan

  1. We gave up cable this month, and it saved us $70! It was hard to do, but I’m used to it now. (It also helps that we mysteriously still get some channels.)

    1. I’m hoping to cancel mine this month unless there’s a huge fee to “break my contract”. I think my “contract” lasts until about June-ish. Wish me luck! 🙂 I don’t think I’ll miss it much since I use Netflix/Hulu most of the time anyhow.

  2. Good luck with coming up with the extra funds although I’m sure you’ll have no trouble due to your online side hustles. I’d be interested to see how far you’ve come in your savings and debt goals since you’ve started these ventures!

    1. My debt paydown bars on the side show my progress since 12/31/2013. Also, the top one is all of my consumer and student loan debt and the progress I’ve made as a whole. As far as savings, I haven’t made much progress thanks to having to use my EF a couple of different times in 2014 (new car tires, and something else I can’t remember off the top of my head). 🙁

  3. That apron is awesome! Wow, it’s cool to see how similar my budget is to yours! I was like, those are (basically) my expenses, too, plus or minus some things (less in house expenses, more in food and phone). I don’t think I’ll be changing up my budget a whole lot, but I plan on sitting down and getting cozy with Mint this weekend and figuring it all out. 🙂

    1. I am cutting my TV as soon as my contract is up (or maybe sooner, if the fee isn’t too high). I will still pay for Netflix and Hulu, but that will bring my bill down about $65 by cutting my dish subsription. I’m a little nervous to call about lowering my phone bill. I’m mid-contract right now and I know they’ve changed plans since then. To get the amount of data and minutes I’m currently using, the new plans cost more…

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