Let's play a game called what's wrong with my budget. Here's what it looks like. Tell me what you think is missing. What's too high? What's not high enough?
Note: the below percentages are for post-tax income. I put 6% of my pre-tax income into my 401K and I've been doing that since I was 21. *patting myself on the back for that one*
Tithes - 10.0%
Short Term Savings (for CC debt repayment) - 29.7%
Rent - 22.9%
Living Expenses - 6.6%*
Student Loan 1 - 8.2%
Student Loan 2 - 2.1%
CC Payment 1 - 4.8%
CC Payment 2 - 1.3%
CC Payment 3 - 1.3%
Laundry/Cleaners - 2.2%
Groceries - 3.4%
Gym Membership - 2.5%
Discretionary Funds - 5.0%
*Living expenses include: Cable, Internet, Netflix, Cell Phone & Electricity
Here's what I think:
Problem 1: I have no long term savings.
Problem 2: There is no budget for trips, gifts or dining out. (I know good and hell well I'm not going to stop taking trips, going to weddings and baby showers or eating out with friends. No matter how hard I try). That money will come out of short term savings and then I won't reach my CC debt repayment goals. As usual, I'm trying to do too much, but I can't really see it any other way. I always aim high and fall short, rather than being uber-realistic.
Most financial experts say pay yourself first (savings), but I have a very hard time putting money away when I owe money. It seems silly, but it's the honest truth.
So, who can talk some sense into me? Do any of you have budget templates/expert formulas that work well (or seem like they would work well)?