The Rabbit Budget

Posted in Personal News at 8:41 pm by divinity

For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard a calling from California. It just seems like the place where I should be, both socially as well as professionally. So, after a visit out there, I decided I’m moving to San Francisco in November. Now I need to be able to afford the move. Meanwhile I need to continue to pay my monthly bills, pay off a ring, and go to Burning Man. That obviously puts me in a tough spot. Can I really save enough money to make it to California? How much do I really need to move to Cali? Well I’m putting it at about $4000. That should cover the deposit and first month’s rent, and then my current salary will be able to afford the monthly rent as long as I shoot for a place around what I’m paying now. How can I get to that goal of $4000 in 4 months? I either have to save a lot of money, make a lot of money, or a combination of both. I currently have two sources of income, my salary from my normal job and the income generated from my websites. How do I balance this out with my bills and still manage to save enough? Hardcore budgeting that I am dubbing the Rabbit Budget. Here’s the rules:

– No new purchases of items

I don’t need any more stuff, I already need to reduce the amount of things in order to make the move.

The only exception to this rule will be items necessary for Burning Man and/or the Move.

– Reduce the number of bills

What do I really need to pay? Rent, Gas, Power, Water, Phone, Credit Cards, Loans, Insurance
Exceptions: bills that allow me to create income, i.e. internet, web hosting, etc.

– Reduce the amount of stuff I own

There are many things I own that I don’t need or use. By selling what I can and giving away what I can’t sell, not only will I reduce the amount of stuff to move and clutter in my life, but I can also supplement my income to some degree.

– Eat in

Eating out used to be the biggest drain on my income. Now that I’m on my own, I can eat what I want and I’m not a picky eater. Cheap meals like rice and beans and vegetables, chili and peanut butter, ramen, cereal, sandwiches, etc. Why pay $6 for one sub at Subway, when I can take that $6 and buy a whole loaf of bread, sandwich meat, lettuce, onions, and make sandwiches for a week?

– Entertainment

Entertainment needs to be put on hold until I make it out to Burning Man and San Francisco. I think Burning Man will be more than enough entertainment, and I always have the internet to pass the time (as well as a lot of work I should be doing anyways).

Exceptions: social outtings, going to the bar, etc. These will have a $20 limit on the evening, with a $40 limit on the week. By placing an envelope for each week with $40 in it, I will keep myself in check.

The next step is figuring out just how little I can live on from day-to-day. I obviously need to eat, and I unfortunately need to put gas in the car to get to work (a little too far to bike, and not so convenient to bus). I don’t need to go out to eat, I don’t need to go see a movie, I don’t need a trip to the ice cream shop, or a new hard drive. There will be plenty of time for that when I get out to San Francisco. So, starting tomorrow, it’s time to start tracking every penny and saving as many of them as I can.

Some of the resources I’ll use:

ChgoNW_SuburbanClassifieds · Chicago’s NW Suburban Classifeds

Anyone out there have any additional suggestions?

ps: if you want to help me follow my dream of making it to California, there’s a handy little donation button to the right. I would be truly grateful. 🙂


  1. Rubin110 said,

    July 13, 2006 at 11:46 pm

    Wow man, didn’t know I had that kind of power over people, kind of makes me happy. d:

  2. ed.hunsinger.org » The Age of the Web Hermit said,

    July 20, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    […] Scary or exciting?  The sheer vastness of the amount of information on the Internet has always thrilled me.  Instant knowledge whenever you need it.  (Granted it needs to be taken with a grain of salt sometime)  I find myself falling back to a web hermit every now and then.  Especially lately since I’m on a hardcore budget.  For the cost of my internet connection I have access to income generating work, entertainment, friends (in text form), and education.  However, after a few days of this I do find the need for actual human contact and get out of the house.  I do have a bone to pick with people that contrast the online world with “real life.”  For some of us the internet and computers are so interwoven into our lives that there is no distinction, it is “real life.”  The internet is not just a game but rather a source of income, a passion, social community, and more.  Granted, I don’t fully understand those that spend hours playing video games, but I do understand that part of it is community and hanging out with your friends.  There’s a big social aspect to some of the MMORPGs, but at the same time it pulls you away from other social circles.  In the end it’s all about balance.  You have to figure out when to turn on and turn off.  I’ll probably go home this evening and spend 6-7 hours working on websites, but come this weekend, I’ll be looking for a good reason to get out of the house.  Perhaps I’ll run around the city with some friends doing sf0 tasks. […]

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