Hey everyone! Hope you're making it a great week. I haven't done an updated budget in a couple of months so I thought I'd do a new post to see where I'm at. My last budget can be found here.
Our goal is still the same as it was in the last post, which is to increase our income by an extra $500 a month. This is through the BF working extra hours, blog income, surveys and mystery shopping. We've been doing good with this. Most of this “extra income” money goes straight towards our travel fund though, so it's actually not directly related to our budget.
- Mortgage, home insurance, property taxes: $969.
- Gas (car): $250. This went down by $100.
- Electricity: $75. I'm increasing this for the summer months.
- Gas (house, heat, stove): $40. This is being decreased for the summer months.
- Cable: $68
- Internet: $50
- Car Insurance: $100 for all cars. We pay this every 6 months, but budget for it every month.
- Groceries: $300 a month
- Eating out/Entertainment: $300. This is still a variable amount, but we try to keep it below this.
- Cellphones: $130. Recently the BF got an iPhone, so this has gone up.
- Sewer: $29
- Trash: $12. They decreased trash pickup by $5 a month, WHOO HOO
- Water: Around $25 a month
Our budget is slightly lower than what it was at 2 months ago. This is mainly due to lower car costs. Does your budget look similar? How much do you spend on certain categories, such as housing?
Now what you may have noticed is that investing and saving are still not listed. Right now we are spending less than 50% of our after-tax income on the bills above. So the other over 50% is being thrown at extra payments for student loans, mortgage and investing. Currently I am contributing around $400 a month to retirement. I'm not sure if that's a good amount or if that's low (factor in that my goal is to pay off debt quickly as well)? What do others think? Let me know!
We would contribute more, but we want our debt gone first. While this isn't always the best choice because most of our debt generally has a low interest rate and we could make more by investing most likely, we want our debt gone first for ease of mind. This probably isn't the best idea though.
I would like to know how other people have set their priorities for paying off debt versus saving for retirement. Is it all about the interest rate for you or is it about the piece of mind of the debt being gone?
I also am in the SEP plan at my work, and they contribute anywhere from around 5%-15% of my salary every quarter, which is a good amount as well. Not a super high amount, but it's a couple of thousand a year right now if they just do 5%.
Our emergency fund is still fully funded at $15,000. We have definitely been thinking about taking money out of this and putting it towards debt though. We've also been thinking about selling our truck in order to wipe my student loans out completely as well. I just don't know if I can do it! I'm definitely a hoarder and get attached to things.
Our food budget still varies. We still eat out but not as much and try to make it cheap.
We still have other funds that we are working on, such as a vacation fund and we are working on a Christmas fund.
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