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Real Numbers

August 14th, 2015 at 07:04 am

Okay, finally I know the real income numbers I'm going to be working with. I got my stipend from the college today. It was $20 lower than I estimated, a little disappointing, but that's okay, it will be a smaller tax bite in April.


Social Security: $1089
Stipend: $204
TIAA-CREF Interest Payment: $307
Total: $1600


Fixed expenses: $788
Variable expenses: $822

Fixed expenses are my assessment fees, utilities, savings for insurance and taxes, and medical premiums. Variable expenses are food, clothing, gas, gifts, entertainment, travel, etc.

I realize that many people do not consider utilities, for instance, as fixed. But mine are so regular, I can do it, being mindful, of course, when I have to make adjustments.

I also have a mortgage payment of $321. I am transferring it monthly from my E-Fund/Mortgage Fund, which is held at the same institution. It is easy to do. There is enough money there to get through the next four years even if I don't add to it, but I will add to it as I can. My part-time earnings, as well as any budget surplus, will go there to give me a cushion.

Reminder: this is a deliberate bare-bones plan for the next four years. When I am 70, I will claim my own SS benefit (currently drawing on my ex's). At that time I will get a "raise" of about $850, which will make for a more comfortable budget. So I'm making sacrifices now for more comfort later.

Another caveat: the $127K in my retirement fund is always available for withdrawals in case of dire emergency. Right now I am only collecting the interest earned. I don't plan to ever touch it in any other way, but it's there if I really need it.

I am estimating that I will earn about $1000 a month at my part-time job.

Also, I currently have $12K in my checking account. I have been holding it there because I was going to open a Chase account to earn a bonus. I have until September 27 to do that and I still may, if I can see my way to tying up the money for 90 days. However, since my SS won't start till the end of September, it's what I'm living on now.

I realize most people would find this budget unrealistic, but I have simple needs and wants, and a lot of determination, and I've been testing it successfully since March. It is only this month that I have ever gone over budget, and that was because of unexpected vet bills, which were too big to cash flow.

7 Responses to “Real Numbers”

  1. snafu Says:

    Am I reading this correctly, 100% of your retirement program income? Do you anticipate a whopping tax rebate on filing 2016, for 2015 income?

  2. snafu Says:

    sorry, a sentence disappeared... is your retirement income net, deductions made for income tax?

  3. latestart Says:

    Will the interest vary from month to month?

  4. SecretarySaving Says:

    Great plan!

  5. CB in the City Says:

    Yes, it is net. The interest is the same month to month but is adjusted on an annual basis.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That's about what I live on monthly (net) so it doesn't seem to unrealistic to me. Smile

  7. My English Castle Says:

    You're a good manager, and I'm sure the PT work will give you another cushion.

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