My ‘Working Again’ Debt Payoff Budget September 2013


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Now that I am working again and no longer unemployed, I’m revisiting my old unemployment budget and making updates.

NET Income Per Month (after taxes & required deductions)

Job #1:  $4,935    Omg, taxes are a BEAST!  Grrr.

Job #2:  $540

I am not pursuing any additional side hustles at this time. Between these two jobs, I’m maxed out on hours and stress (60-75 hours per week). Any more than that and my health suffers noticeably.

Total Income:  $5, 475


The Outgo per month

Rent+Utilities:  $1465   (Unfortunately, I’m back in an expensive apartment, this time WITH a roommate.  How this happened.)

Phone:  $70    (Yes, I still have my iPhone. Sigh.)

Student Loan 1: $40    (This one is not bundled with my others, so I pay on it every month.)

Food: $500    (Yes, this is too high. I am not cooking and still eating out a lot.)

Public Transportation: $200  (Yikes! Public transit is waaay more expensive here than I thought it would be. )

Health Insurance: $100  (Yikes again! This is the cheapest High Deductible plan offered.)

Credit Card Debt:  $2,000  (Ouch!  Did I mention how much I HATE debt!? The credit card debt will die first.)

Student Loan 2: $850    (These payments begin next month. This is interest only. Aggghhh! This should be retirement money!)

Gym Membership: $65

Netflix: $15

Fun/Misc/Clothing: $100

Emergency Savings: $70

Outgo Total:  $5,475


What Does This Mean?


This will roughly be my budget for the next year. I will not be having fun. This assumes that all goes well with my new job and that I don’t get fired again. This assumes that I don’t have any major health problems. Items in red are targets for cutting. This apartment complex makes it virtually impossible to get out of your lease, so I may be stuck here for a while, but I will consider my options. As soon as I am able to look for cheaper housing I will do so. That will save me hundreds of dollars each month that I can put towards retirement and emergency savings.

What Does This Really Mean?

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)

My Unemployment Budget


Running the Numbers.

1. The Outgo per month

Rent:  $425   (I’m so glad* that I moved out of that expensive apartment in January!)

Phone:  $65    (Yes, I still have my iPhone. Sigh.)

Student Loan: $40    (This one is not bundled with my others so I pay on it every month.)

Food: $400    (Yes, this is way too high**. I am not cooking and still eating out a lot.)

Public Transportation: $100  (Yikes! No longer getting free bus pass from employer. )

Misc: $70  (This may go up as I incur job seeker expenses, such as buying an interview suit, etc.)

Credit Card Debt Minimum Payment:  $650  (Ouch!  Did I mention how much I HATE debt!?)

Student Loans: $0   (These are on forbearance. Whew!)

Outgo Total:  $1,750

* – However renting a room under someone else’s roof introduces another set of challenges.

** – My goal is to start cooking more, but so far I haven’t encountered the copious amounts of free time that I am supposed to have at this point. Another part of it has to do with my living situation.

2. The Income per month

Unemployment Benefits:  $1790 (est.)    (After years of working myself into burnout and paying taxes through the nose.)

Second job: $640   (This income is NOT steady. It is ‘as needed’ work only. So I may not earn all of this in a month. Where I live you can earn up to a certain percentage of your unemployment income without it reducing your benefits.

Side hustles:  $0 to $100    (I haven’t started any of these yet, but I’m hoping for pocket money. Rest assured everything is legal and on the books, LoL.)
Total Income:  $1790 (+ $0 – $700)
TOTAL BUDGET BALANCE = +$40  (+$0 – $700)

What Does This Mean?

Well, the good news is that for the foreseeable future (5 months), I will be able to pay my bills while I look for work. This is of course, barring any unforeseen expenses. I don’t plan to remain unemployed for 5 months, but you never know. This is a lesson learned for me, to keep my living expenses low. I have learned that no job is secure and that I need to be out of debt more than anything.

I did not intend for this blog to become an unemployment blog, so while I am working at getting  work, I’ll start writing about other things as well.

Until next time!


“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)

14 People You See When You Ride the Bus


First let me say that I greatly appreciate having access to a bus to get to work and around town.  However, with a 45 minute bus commute between home and work, when I’m too tired to be productive, I have some time to observe my fellow passengers.

Here are 14 people that I have identified on my bus ride. These labels are not mutually exclusive, so one person may embody several of them simultaneously. Now that’s something to see. Here we go.

#1 – The Talker – That person who sits or stands at the front of the bus and talks the driver to death and distraction. ‘Hey driver! You missed my stop!’

#2 – The Ashtray – Sorry smokers, but you guys really don’t know what you smell like. I’ll tell you. You smell like an ashtray.  ‘Damn. Why did this person sit next to me? Cough, cough. Let’s see. 45 minute bus ride. Packed bus with no other available seats. [Tries to hold breath.] Cough cough. Sigh.’

#3 – The Petri Dish – The sick person who gets into a sealed compartment full of people and insists on coughing and sneezing on everybody and everything. This person somehow thinks that the ‘stay-at-home-when-sick’ etiquette applies to everyone except her. ‘Nice. Yeah, don’t bother covering your mouth. We all want to share your virus.’

#4 – The Eco Professional – This person usually works in a creative or high tech field like web design, makes good money and owns a car, but takes the bus to spare the environment. In some cities with good public transit, it’s hip to take the bus when you don’t have to.

#5 – The College Student – The backpacks and mentions of ‘Professor’ are usually the giveaway.

#6 – The Mentally Ill / Homeless / Drug Addict – The person who is having a much harder time at life than you are, and it shows.

#7 – The Drama King / Queen – This person talks way too loudly or is always having an argument with another passenger or with their phone.

bus fight

#8 – The Rich Person -This is the random high powered professional who is  well-dressed and obviously well-off, likely owns multiple cars, and has absolutely no business on a public bus.  You might overhear them talking about their law practice or patients.

#9 – The Annoying PDA Couple – I think they purposefully target the most single looking person on the bus to sit in front of.  ‘OMG! Get a room already. Really?! Sigh.’

#10 – The Face Starer – This person refuses to sit facing the way that the seat is meant for him to face. He proceeds to stare at the people sitting behind or across from him depending on how  he has positioned himself.  ‘Why?’

#11 – The Couch Sitter  (often also the Face Starer, but not always) – The Couch Sitter sits lengthwise on the row of seats with his legs propped up, apparently without regard for the fact that this is called PUBLIC transit and that others might want a place to sit. ‘Go ahead. Put your feet up. Make yourself at home. That pregnant woman and her elderly grandma standing next to you enjoy exercising their calves during long bus rides.’

#12 – The Diner – The Diner pulls out a meal, complete with fork, and proceeds to enjoy dinner in the middle of a crowded bus. Listen, after a long day at work I’m tired and hungry too, but this is not an Amtrak dining car, so either eat before you get on the bus or hold out until you get home. We don’t want to smell your garlic spaghetti on an airtight bus.

#13 – The Backdoor Blocker – This person will get on the bus and stand in next to the back exit door when there are other empty seats available. Is he planning to jump off at the next stop? No. He just plans to stand there and force people to maneuver around him when they need to get off the bus.

#14 – Broke Debt Slaves and Other Poor People – We are the ones on our way to work or coming back from work. We often have long commutes and set up camp with a book or headphones. Otherwise we stare out of the window with a resigned look of quiet desperation in our eyes.

There you have it.  These are 14 types of people you’ll see on the bus.  Now sing along everybody! “The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round, all through the town.”

Hey, you bus surfers out there, did I forget anyone? Who would you add?


“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)