Also, sorry, duh, just saw your budget. Sounds like your income is low right now because of economy not choice, so yeah, part-time work would help. Even just delivering pizzas.
Agree completely with Jill. Your car payment is WAY too high. If you can, I suggest you sell the car and buy a used one. When my car got totaled last year, I went the used route and bought an 11-yr-old used VW in VERY good condition for $4K and it runs like a top.
Also, some of your other bills are way too high. You’re spending too much on gas, according to what you say your commutes are. My commute is 25 min one way and I spend just $100 a month in gas on average. And I live in L.A. where gas is pricier than in most other places.
Also groceries. Too much, especially since you can cook more in bulk when you have two people… make leftovers. I eat organic fruits/veggies and spend about $130 a month. What are you buying at the store? Can you make more from scratch, reduce meat purchases, etc? Use coupons? Shop sales?
You didn’t post any of your other spending habits. Is there any way to trim back on those? Stop eating out, purchasing coffee at work, going to movies, etc?
You also didn’t mention electric, but you can reduce that by a few bucks too by unplugging everything you can when not in use. Your TV, any side things like printers, sewing machines, hair dryers, etc. It will save you a few bucks minimum a month, maybe more (I cut about $10 off my bill just by doing that one thing). It sounds nuts, I know, but it does work.
Right now in the winter my hubby and I are making approx. 1960 a month. Ouch. Bills are as follows (for the month!):
- Rent 500
- Groceries 260 (barely enough!)
- Oil Bill (every 6 weeks, try not to use unless we have to but landlord uses lots and high! we pay half, she pays half!) 250
- Car Pymt 395
- Car Ins 95
- Gas 240 (my job is 15 min away, hubby’s is 10 min, car is non negotiable as no bus route runs near either of our works and we can’t rely on anyone for drives)
- Debt 255 (MINIMUM mthly payments)
- Laptop 85 (almost paid off, paid off in Sept of next year I believe)
That’s what I can think of right now. Almost all of it at least if not all of them.