Remember how, in theory, we should be able to get by on $2500 a month?
Well, we did! $2582 was the final number…okay, so a tiny bit over, but granted, we did buy a couple of Christmas presents early, which I decided to include here, and ate out a little more than usual. (What’s not included is our contents insurance, which was due this month, and the cost of our “new” car and associated expenses. They’re not in here because while one is budgeted for regularly and one was not so much so, neither are things we pay for in the course of a usual month.)
But it proves my maths skills are not totally hopeless and that yes, this is a realistic number for a four-week month without major special occasions, ie, birthdays, etc.
Also, I made an extra $630 this month aside from my regular job – that’s from regular freelancing, a focus group and editing some rather dry economics essays. All of that went to my travel fund, which is currently sitting at just about enough to take us both to a tropical island for my birthday next year, or one flight to either California or London. Ahem.
Now, to the next order of business. While I love my monthly spending recaps, they don’t provide a full picture of what’s happening. They don’t include my regular savings. They don’t include T’s own fun money. It is simply a picture of (almost all) of our spending, and the percentages are relative. Er, by that I mean the percentages are the percentage only of our expenditure, not our total budget/income.
So, after much work, this is a more accurate snapshot. I don’t feel the need to start doing this regularly, but I did want to do it at least once.
As you can see, this incorporates savings, debt repayments (which is just T paying me back for some costs I covered for him once upon a time, that pesky insurance, and his spending money. My only real concern is that his allowance is larger than our eating out costs!
Anyway, the main reason I wanted to do this was to see if we were totally out of whack with our proportions. Here are some relevant links. The one I went with about as simple as you can get – the 50/30/20 budget.
- Basically, it posits that you should be spending:
- 50% on needs
- 30% on wants
- 20% on savings
In comparison, here’s ours:
- 44% on needs
- 11% on wants
- 45% on savings (granted, this got a hefty bump from my side incomes this month)
As T says, we spend more on, well, living, than the few of our friends who support themselves. We also have regular internet (which more than pays for itself through the side work it affords me) and eat real food (ie, not just beans, mince, noodles and pies). I would argue, though, that our lack of drinking more than makes up for it. But let’s not get me started on that…Proportionally, I think we’re doing all right.
And just for fun – here’s the breakdown of where his money went this month.