The $3,000 Budget

How far does $3,000 go in Dallas, Texas for a couple?

I cannot believe how much has changed since April. Remember my post “Working on our First Post School Budget?” I did not have a car, a job, or anything really! After working some numbers, I believe I have our first budget. Here it is:

Let’s just say it’s pretty tight. Despite the fact that $3,000 is a lot of money, it doesn’t seem to go very far! 😦 And I live in Dallas, TX, an affordable city! I totally feel for the PF bloggers living in pricey cities! We have a $111 buffer, which I believe we may spend sooner rather later during the month. I am hoping the gasoline bill is not as high as I am predicting. We are going to be living 5-10 minutes away from my job, and I hope my hubby finds a job nearby! Everything is also five minutes down the road.  I, also, don’t know if my company will pay for my cellphone. I hope they do, at least partially.

Line Items:

  • Rent is an estimate. I have been looking at apartments and they all range between $700 to $900 depending on location and amenities. The cheaper the apartment, the more buffer.
  • Cash Allowance- I have budgeted a cash allowance for my hubby and I. Right now, I plan for a $50/ a week for each of us.
  • Car maintenance fund- I have also budgeted $100 for car maintenance. This should help pay for tires, oil changes, etc.
  • Christmas fund-  I am putting away $100 a month for Christmas gifts, so when the time comes we won’t go over budget.
  • Vacation Fund- Budgeting $100 a month for vacation expenses.
Some thoughts:
  • I am not sure how families do it. $3,000 for 2 people seems like a lot, but then it just disappears on rent, car insurance, etc. Hats off to the families who can. I know my mother always managed to find the money to pay stuff, and her budget was/is LESS $3,000 per month for 4 people.
  • I am so grateful to NOT have loans of any kind. I don’t know if I could pay off additional debt and stay under our budget. This is motivation for me not to rack up any debt.
  • You might notice that I say “I” or “me” when I talk about the budget. I am married, but  in the end I am the one who handles the finances. My hubby doesn’t like setting limits or paying bills or setting financial priorities. He leaves it to me.

What do you think? What is your budget like? Do you stay under it usually?


18 responses to “The $3,000 Budget

  1. Our budget is very similar! The only difference that I really notice is that your car insurance is much higher than ours. Is there any way you could get any more discounts on that?

    • Honestly, IDK. My Honda Civic is $130 to get insured (full coverage). My husband has full coverage as well. And we need it. We have horrible luck with car accidents. We already get a married discount. I need to inquire more. What insurance company do you have?

  2. It looks like transportation takes up a large portion of your budget. At $580 a month that’s 20% of your budget. I would look into biking to work. I just started doing it last week and I love it. I save money and get free exercise.
    Long term, I would consider downsizing to one vehicle. I’m sure things are too hectic now, but once you both get settled in your jobs it should be feasible. If you both biked to work and sold one car, you could easily drop this category below $200.

    Also, Cable+Hulu+Netflix? I know its a small portion of the budget, but do you need all 3?

    • Thanks for the comment! And welcome to the website. No, we need two cars. We recently just purchased my car, and it’s amazing! I don’t have to depend on my husband to drive me anywhere. I cannot really bike to work because it’s Texas. My office is business attire, and in this heat, I could never last.

      I am probably dropping hulu in the next month. I share the subscription with daily for netflix. Cable is a have to for my husband. He loves watching sports.

  3. I agree with the commentor above – that’s a lot of cable/tv options.

    But I do think that it’s great that you are putting money aside for future car repairs, Christmas, etc.

    Is there a way to make extra money?

    • Right now, no side hustle money. I need to start making some. I have thought about tutoring spanish and music classes.
      However, I do have to concentrate on my job. I will be getting paid very well, and will be on fast-track towards management if I work hard. Which means putting it in a 60 hour week.

  4. I think your budget is pretty reasonable. It’s amazing how 3,000 just disappear doesn’t it? Your transportation bill is pretty high, I guess that’s because you are young and insurance is expensive. Sorry about that. Our budget is about 3500-4000.

    • Insurance is extremely high because we are young (both 22). If my hubby gets a job nearby the gasoline expense will drop. We will be living in an area where everything is close by, and my work will be within 5 minutes. Thanks for reading Joe!

  5. Wow 230 a month for car insurance does sound like a lot. I think ours is like $150 a month for both of us, but I am not sure because I pay it every six months. I think your budget looks good! I can’t believe you will only pay $870 in rent! We pay 1750 : ( and its a two bedroom townhome.

    • :< Everybody keeps saying that about our insurance. But, since we are only 22, our rates are high! The good thing is, the older we get, the less the rates will be. You do live in Cali though! I live in Texas. Location = $$$

  6. Pingback: Apartment Choice: Do you pay for location and amenities? | SavvyFinancialLatina·

  7. I think your budget looks very reasonable. My budget for myself is about 1300. That includes my half of our living expenses ( 720) along with my personal bills and gas. I *think* I have 600 a month for personal spending/ savings but I wishI had 600 for personal spending and 600 for savings. Living life as a 20 something year old adds up quick!

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