Not Loving May's Finances

My budget is slowly dwindling away this month and I am in desperate need of a babysitting job to help buffer my expenses. I had no idea how dependent I have become of this extra income through babysitting! Three of the six jobs I had lined up for this month were canceled for various reasons, so I have yet to earn extra income and I can feel the impact it’s made on my budget. I usually put that income into my WF, but this month I’ll probably just pocket it to make up for my half-marathon fee of $78 and my $78 for fixing my AC yesterday.

Second-Half of May Budget:
Gas: $80
I still have two weeks left of driving to work–total of 22 miles round trip–plus a trip to visit J for Memorial Day weekend. My goal is to fill up no more than 4 times and carpool with my coworker as much as possible.

Food: $100
Yikes. The $200 food budget for both dining and groceries is harder than I thought. The best way that I can save money is to actually eat everything that I buy at the grocery store. There is no reason for me to throw away spoiled food! Silly me!

Misc: $30
For things like toothpaste or entertainment or whatever else I end up needing in the next two weeks.

In other news, J is in Texas visiting friends this week and next week since he’s in between spring and summer semesters. I know we’re long-distance so it’s not like I miss him any more than usual, but I find it hard not to be jealous and sad since his traveling limits the time that we talk. Plus, while I am so thankful for my job, I miss the casual schedule of a student’s life. *Sigh*

Oh well! These are the cards I’ve been dealt. No use complaining about them. Let’s just say I am really looking forward to seeing him in a week.

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  • I completely understand where you are coming from. I’ve known for months that May and June would be a little tight financially since I plan on traveling to see my grandparents, traveling to Des Moines to find an apartment for the fiancée and I, and traveling to find a wedding dress, on top of all my other monthly expenses. Still, it doesn’t make it any easier since I don’t get paid-time-off at either of my jobs. Therefore, for every day that I don’t work, I have less money to put in the bank and spend. I’ve worked extra hours the last two months to prepare, in order to have enough money to travel and pay my usual costs but I still feel like I am cutting it close. At least I am good at sticking to my budget. I just need to remember that all those extra long days and nights I worked during the winter were so I could have fun and relax this summer!

  • Okay, after seeing the $80 for gas, I have to ask: Why with a city that has such great (&safe) public transportation available do you drive to work?

    I’ve ridden Metrorail and granted, it’s crowded with tourists beginning in April, but it was fantastic. The convenience was amazing, we never had to wait more than 6 minutes for the next train and it gets you all over the district in just minutes. While we were in DC, we only saw one instance of some guy dancing (okay, we’ll call it dancing), waving his arms and shouting across the platform. Security was there in about two minutes and told him that if he didn’t settle down, he would be ejected. I wish we had this kind of public transportation in MN! I’ve actually spoken with our state representatives (and I hate politics) to get mass transit options besides buses here.

    Metrorail has got to be cheaper than driving. My advice would be that unless you need a vehicle for your job, take the train.

  • I love the metro! Believe me, if I had the opportunity to take it to work, I would. Unfortunately my office is not accessible by metro so it only leaves me with a 20-minute commute via car (which isn’t so bad in this area). I also looked into a bus commute and it would take me an hour and a half to get there. So for now, driving to work is the only sensible option. That and carpooling with my coworker to save on gas. :)

  • Bummer! You gotta do what you gotta do and the commute is short for DC. There’s a website, gasbuddy.com that lists low gas prices across the US. Maybe that would help you save a bit at the pump. You could also check out your favorite gas stations to see if they have online coupons or rewards programs (since you have to buy the gas anyway, you might as well get something back).