Budget Update

Happy Friday everyone! This week went by extremely fast and of course that’s a good thing. I have midterms next week so this weekend will be dedicated to studying (but at night I have dancing plans of course). Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Today’s post is about my budget. I tried searching for when I posted my last budget, but all I could find was this, and that post is from September of last year. So I definitely figured that I should update this. Not a whole lot has changed, but this helps me keep track of myself as well.

Also, right now our goal is to increase our income by an extra $500 a month by doing side gigs things.

Our monthly budget:
  • Mortgage, home insurance, property taxes: $964
  • Car Payment: $0, I’m paying it off on Monday, I promise!
  • Gas (car): $350
  • Electricity: $40
  • Gas (house, heat, stove): $75, this has been a great winter!
  • Cable: $68
  • Internet: $50
  • Car Insurance: $150 for all cars
  • Groceries: $300 a month
  • Eating out/Entertainment: $300. This is still a variable amount, but we try to keep it below this.
  • Cellphones: $100
  • Sewer: $29
  • Trash: $17
  • Water: Around $25 a month
Total bills (approximately):
$2,500

 
Our food budget varies greatly from month to month. We need to do better with controlling this. Lately, we’ve been on a steak kick and have ate it way too much. And I’ve been trying so many Pinterest recipes and that’s been adding to our food budget. However, we have been eating SUPER healthy, which is good! Past months were really good, but recently not so much.

I don’t think there’s anything missing from this list. I’m also of course saving for my vacation fund as well. And that pretty much just gets whatever money is left funneled to it. Usually at least a couple hundred. And this money is usually from my extra income that I make for the month. It makes vacations hurt a lot less.

I’m still guilty of not “paying myself” first. I should be saving and paying off debt first in order to increase my net worth, but it honestly scares me that something expensive might come up towards the end of the month and then I’ll be screwed. Yes, I know that’s where the emergency fund comes in, but I’m weird and OCD like that. I like to have a nice cash flow throughout the month.

We also have a fully funded $15,000 emergency fund. So no worries about that.

However, I do think about using a portion of this money and throwing it towards debt. I could eliminate a lot of my student loans by doing this. I just love that buffer though.

Some of you are probably wondering where retirement comes in, my work has a retirement plan which is extremely helpful since right now since I am mainly trying to pay down my student loan debt. I do of course pay some of my own towards retirement, but definitely not 50% of my own money or anything. Right now, between my work’s plan and I, about 25% of my salary is contributed towards saving and retirement.

However, I am aware that I should be applying some more towards retirement, I do plan on doing this soon. I always think about how I could gain better interest in other areas such as investing, and I’m still thoroughly thinking about this. Does anyone have any opinions on this? Pay down debt faster or  do something that will gain higher interest? But then there’s always the compounding effect.

Does anyone have any tips regarding my budget? Any opinions? How’s budgeting going for you?

Comments

  1. Live Simply- Live We says

    Awesome! Get that car paid off.We follow Dave Ramsey, so I would work to pay off all the debt first

  2. Alex M says

    You come in about where we do for expenditures so I think you are doing pretty well. My car is paid of next month too!I would still try to sock the minimal amount for any company match to a 401(k) because that is free money. Also, your 401(k) is a protected asset so it's not anything that could easily be taken from you if you had a financial disaster down the road. Of all the things I might financially look back on regret out of life, saving for retirement has never been one of those things. How often do you hear anyone say "I wish I saved less for retirement!"But honey… keep up the good work!

    • Michelle P says

      We don't have a company match (because we don't have a 401(k), we have SEP instead), but my company does contribute between 10-15% of my salary towards my retirement plan.

  3. Liquid Independence says

    Nice budget, very thrifty for 2 people. Nothing wrong with not paying yourself first. If you already have a solid budget then your savings are fixed anyway no? I like to give myself a big cushion during the month for unpreventable and unexpected expenses, then save what I can by the end of the month.

  4. BrokeElizabeth says

    Way to get that car paid off! Kudos. I know what you mean about fluctuating food budgets… some months I've spend less than £50, and some months I get closer to £120… it's something I need to work on as well.

  5. Jana @ Daily Money S says

    Your budget looks good but you need to find a way to save, even the small $1000 EF that Dave Ramsey recommends. Having that will alleviate some of the "OMG what if a huge expense comes up" anxiety. You'll have that cash set aside so what you're already keeping out of the budget can go towards debt or retirement.Congrats on paying off the car!

  6. Lesley @ my lively m says

    Thanks for posting your budget. I definitely need to set one up to make things easier. It's also nice to see what others pay for things and then I don't feel so bad about my spending and whatnot (:

  7. P!nky says

    Wooo hooo keep up the great work. I still haven't budgeted yet, I really need to try because I HAVE to get a new car by April. I am not too worried, but knowing where my money is going will be helpful.I have been investing for the past 4 years and I'm so glad I started early. I was lucky because I got the same lady my dad works with and she is awesome. I don't understand everything but I do know I am making money and that she has my best interests at heart. I would say if you can afford it…invest, even just a little. Money just sitting doesn't make money. xoxo

  8. debtntaxes says

    There are a bunch of ways to think of paying off debt vs saving for retirement. My thinking is that you are young, so even if you decided to focus more on debt payoff you will be fine because you still have 30+ years for your retirement account to do the whole compound interest thing. Plus it all depends on what your goals are, Do you want to be closer to being debt-free. Or do you want to save more for retirement? I don't think either answer is wrong.

  9. Rebecca says

    Do you not include your student loan payments in your budget? My expenses look pretty similar to yours, but I spend $600 a month on student loan payments.

    • Michelle P says

      No, I'm kind of stupid like that. I just funnel whatever is left over towards that. It varies from month to month (but thankfully I have no interest building up on it until 6 months after I get my mba this year) because I help my mom with her bills as well.

  10. shopping2saving says

    The higher the risk, the greater the reward! I like to invest in risky mutual funds. I try not to watch them everyday since they can drop really fast but they go up really quickly too. Depends on the market. Is your e-fund in a high interest savings acct? It's not really much since the interest rate is low these days, but it's something.

  11. CeCe @Frugalista Mar says

    I'm super jealous of your mortgage!!! OMG that is low. We put aside about $3150 between the two of us per month to cover all joint expenses and groceries but that is heavily padded and includes a misc stream of money so that we always have extra in there for when we need to do things like spend $375 bucks on a kitchen sink! We usually have about a good $1500-1800 bucks in that account even after bills are paid which makes me feel better because I am OCD like that.

  12. Annemarie @ Brunch a says

    First, congratulations on paying off your car!!! That is beyond awesome. And your emergency fund is more than impressive as well! I love reading your monthly budget breakdown because it helps lessen the anxiety I get when doing my own. You are awesome! Happy week xo

  13. lil desiqua says

    Wow your budget looks great! Mine looks similar, but I'm budgetting for only myself. I live with my BF, but we are not married, and do not have a joint account, so it's easier to just budget for myself instead of both of us. Major congrats on paying that car off!!

  14. Squared says

    girl, your blog is so cute. I think this post is so interesting. Never saw anyone posting about their budget. Makes me want to count every cent I spend now!Come by and let's follow each other:D

  15. Aloysa @ My Broken C says

    You know just the fact that you fully funded your emergency fund says a lot. You are handling your budget really well. And that to top off with a car pay off? And you are asking if your readers have anything to say or advise? We need to ask you for an advice! Great job!

  16. Rafiki says

    Your budget looks pretty normal and good. I don't see a problem with you finance habits as of this point either. I understand where you are coming from.My first official budget so far for March is going quite well. Outside of the unexpected expense, it's going great.

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