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The Facts.

August 1st, 2007 at 11:20 am

So I sat down last night and balanced my budget. That was a bit depressing.

+$3,400: Total Monthly Income.

-$1125: Split mortgage and bills.
-$405: Home equity loan.
-$100: Extra payment to Home equity loan.
-$350: Gas and car maintenance estimate (commuter).
-$150: Dining out.
-$100: Clothing allowance.
-$100: Emergency savings to ING account.
-$100: Personal care.
-$45: Pet.
-$33: Gym.

That leaves $892 each month. That's GREAT! That an extra payment to the home equity loan, PLUS upping my savings each month!!! Wait. Uh. I don't have $892 at the end of each month. Where is it?? Oh yes, I ignore my homemade lunch most of the time in favor of dining out with coworkers. That's right, I bought a pair of $200 shoes - to replace my staple black strappy heels. But two weeks later I found a pair super cute Coach peep-toe pumps at Nordstrom Rack that I just HAD to have as they're classic...$119 down from $300. That was like SAVING money! Right?

Goodness. I am NOT this retarded. Seriously. I have faithfully categorized and recorded every purchase I have made for the last 2 years. I know exactly how much I've spent on clothing. I know what my monthly average is for dining out. I am aware of my tendancy to not shop for 4 months straight, then impulse-buy a $300 coat. But I excuse myself constantly. "That was an anomaly!", "Oh, that month I travelled a lot", etc.

My situation...I'm 27, female. I own a house in Northern CA. My boyfriend lives with me (hence the split mortgage and house bills). Besides that, finances are completely separate.

I have a 401k through work - which is good...but I don't have anything to compare it to; what SHOULD I have in there? What's normal for someone who's been employed for 5-6 years? Also, my e*trade account - which I'm shamefully ignoring as the only stock I have is company stock and it's been faltering for the last 6 months. But where do I start?

So I'm here. Hoping that being accountable to a community of sorts will help me along. Give me that obsession! Because I don't have anyone in the real world other than myself. And apparently, I'm sucking at it.