Inching closer to the dream budget?

Aaaaaages and aaaaaaaaaages ago I wrote about those dreaded PITA irregular expenditures.

And for months now I’ve had this post sitting in drafts. We’ve gotten ohsoclose to the dream budget, veered away from it, and so on. It frustrates me. It is unbelievably irritating. But I think I have to accept that an easy life, for now, remains a pipe dream. What I wouldn’t give to be able to go to concerts! Movies! Restaurants! To buy fish and chicken and olive oil and ice cream on our grocery shops every single week!

It hurts me to think how much money we wasted in the past, either by just not knowing where our money was going, or spending too much on, well, crap. I think the fact that the amount of discretionary income T had when he was working FT, compared to after being laid off, barely changed (ie, hardly anything at all) says a lot.

So here’s my current dream budget, which I’m finally going to post as a kind of motivator – or something.

  • Rent – $250
  • Groceries – $130
  • Gas – $30
  • Bills account – $110
    – Power $20
    – Bus $25
    – Phone and internet $20
    – Sky TV $15
    – Insurance $15
    – Car stuff $15
  • Saving – $100 (me) – $50 (him)
  • Debt (him) $50
  • And perhaps another $100 for everything else…fun, clothes, medicine, whatever. (Hardcore budgeting doesn’t really work for me. As long as the essentials get paid, whatever’s left over is fair game.)

Total: $920

This is a pretty conservative ‘dream’ budget – more like a ‘cover it all’ budget. Obviously it would be nice to have more – especially in those last three categories. Right now, my take-home each week after tax and Kiwisaver is around $560 or so (I’m paid fortnightly but budget weekly.  I’ve never understood people whooping about 3-paycheck months – but I guess if all your bills are monthly then it makes sense!) – so we’re a long way from managing on one income, even without play money or repaying debt.

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5 thoughts on “Inching closer to the dream budget?

  • Reply Serendipity May 4, 2010 at 11:54

    I think I might be confused. Are you paid 560 a month, weekly or bi weekly? Your budget does sound reasonable I think. I tend to make budgets and then blow them but I’m trying to stay on task this month too. 🙂

  • Reply eemusings May 4, 2010 at 12:46

    @Serendipity – I’m paid fortnightly although I budget weekly ($560). Since we moved and started paying rent fortnightly, I’ve tweaked it a bit so that our budget is, well, bigger on rent weeks and smaller on alternate ones.

  • Reply Aspiring Minimalist May 4, 2010 at 15:31

    I haven’t had a budget for the past few months. I think I need to get back on the band wagon.

    So, what I understand is the $920 budget is for the month? Or for the fort night? And your income is for one week ($560)?

  • Reply eemusings May 4, 2010 at 17:10

    @Minimalist Everything here is listed for a week. I’m the only regular income at the moment.

  • Reply Veronica May 4, 2010 at 22:19

    It’s difficult budgeting, and planning and saving when it’s just one income. I’m doing that on my own, but thankfully I just have me and animals to support. I hope you reach your dream budget soon.

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