The Kicker Is That The Child in the Photo Had a Budget before I Did.

Better Late Than Never: Time to Set a Budget -- 2020-10

By LoonyLiberal | Dollars and Nonsense | 13 Sep 2020

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I've never had a budget per se. When it comes to handling my money, I've pretty much improvised. And whereas improvisation is great for Whose Line Is It Anyway, it's terrible when I only get a certain amount of money once per month... and then run bone dry less than a week later.

Jokes aside, I've been essentially homeless since October 2018, and I think it would be super to have a residence that isn't a hotel room, a homeless shelter, or any place with freaking roommates from Hell.

The worst part is that I do get sufficient money to get an apartment. And whereas I can blame factors such as my poor credit and the eviction on my record, I can't ignore the fact that I do stupid things with my money.

Or rather... I did stupid things with my money.

I whipped up a budget for October. I won't put dollar amounts for obvious reasons, but I will put percentages. If you want to know the dollar amounts, get me a high-paying job or a date with Alyssa Milano.

  • 34% - Rent. I'm going with conventional wisdom here: rent should be no more than 1/3 of one's monthly income. Admittedly, I might have problems with the deposit and other fees involved, but I'm hoping that my work with Three Gen Media will help fill that gap.
  • 21% - Making payments on payday loans. I'm not proud to admit that I've used payday loans to make ends meet. (I'm also not proud to admit that it wasn't as effective as I had hoped.) If I can stick to my October budget, then this percentage will drop in November.
  • 11% - Groceries. Normally, this would be higher, but Las Vegas has plenty of discount grocery stores. For anything that I can't get at a discount grocery store, I'd choose between Target or Walmart. (Once I get back on my feet, though, I'm making a beeline for Sprouts Farmer's Market. Whole Foods is no longer an option because Jeff Bezos is a dick.)
  • 11% - Crypto investments. This may sound crazy to some, but if I were to allocate 11% of my income to a low-yield savings account or a place of worship, few would say a peep in protest. Besides, my #SatoshisSaturday posts are sufficient proof that I have a strategy more nuanced than "I buy this because the name makes me giggle."
  • 8% - Clothes. My wardrobe's in a sorry state. It's true that I won't need winter weather soon. However, my t-shirts and pants are showing signs of wear and tear, and I keep losing both socks and handkerchiefs. And hangers would be nice if I can land a permanent residence.
  • 8% - Bus passes. Crazy Uber drivers alone are enough reason to justify this expense. Jokes aside, though, a 3-day bus pass costs only $20, so a bit of mapping and a bit of budgeting will get me wherever I need to go. However, I'll still need to play Uber roulette after a shopping trip or during inclement weather.
  • 7% - Discretionary. I haven't decided what to do with this money yet, so my plan for now is to shove it in my savings account in case an emergency happens or if I go overboard with another expense.

I confess that those percentages aren't exact (i.e. the actual percentage for rent is approximately 33.55704698%). I did some rounding for aesthetics, but those percentages do add up to 100%.

I purposefully omitted any money from my professional writing gig; I love the job, but the work isn't consistent mostly because my fucking life isn't consistent. (If I can get my act together, I could easily churn out works for at least five days a week.) First and foremost, I'll need to use whatever money I get to survive. After that, I'll earmark the extra money towards either rent, bus passes, or discretionary.

For November's budget, I want to include a category for repaying my friends from whom I've begged, pleaded, and mooched. They value their privacy, but I refer to them as angels for obvious reasons. I'd also like to help out some other friends who are in worse conditions than I. I can't go crazy with the charity, but I'm tired of putting off my debts -- both financial and spiritual.

All that's left to do is to see if my plan for dollars and cents makes any sense.

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I have 15 years of experience as a software tester. I've been writing off-and-on for 28 years. I adapt quickly to new technologies and new methodologies. And I believe that humor is the most important social skill.

Dollars and Nonsense
Dollars and Nonsense

Are you familiar with the phrase "funny money?" Finances are no laughing matter unless we make jokes about them. The purpose of this blog is to put a comedic slant on anything related to finances. Cryptocurrency, dollars, stocks, golden parachutes... if it goes ka-ching, I'll make it guffaw.

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