Thursday, May 17, 2007

Category 10: Miscellaneous

The Miscellaneous category is probably one I should eliminate. You can’t buy a miscellaneous, so how can you spend money on it every month? That said, I find it incredibly convenient to have a catch-all category. It varies widely from month to month and is something I should do a better job of regulating.

My miscellaneous category covers the subcategories of mail, gifts, charity, and house wares to date. More subcategories will likely be added as I spend more times budgeting. I do mail a lot of letters and packages, often going to the post office a few times a week, making the mail category much more than a few stamps. Charity is not something I contribute to every month, but on a yearly basis I try to give ~5% of my gross income to non-profits. This year I’m planning on $2000 is my undergrad institution (with a matching grant from my employer!), and will be finding other smaller causes to donate to as well (such as my brother’s bike ride for cancer, or the Boston AIDS walk). Even though I’m trying to save money, I need to give to charity. Gifts are also not insubstantial, but need to be reduced a bit. I like being able to give “extravagant” gifts to loved ones, or send someone something that reminded me of them. I should instead remind myself of how I’ll be able to buy people things after grad school, when I have a real salary. The last subcategory, house wares, is not something I spend a lot of money on, it was just that I needed a juicer last month for a diet I was trying. I like house wares, but I try to resist them as much as possible.

Everything in my miscellaneous category is stuff I like to spend money on. I should really be careful not to abuse this category.

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