Waa-BANG! It seems we go through $6,000 a month!! WOW. I knew we spent a lot, but my goodness. Do you know how much that is a year? … $72,000 bones! At least $17k of it goes right into savings/retirement. Actually, that # is almost doubled when you add in the 401(k) employer match too, so I’ve got no complaints :)
Another thing I need to keep in mind is that these new #’s are actually for BOTH the Mrs. and I, as opposed to just my own stuff. We’ve been spending all of this all along anyways, but this is the first time i’ve putten it all together and anylized it like I did. While it was scary as $hit, i’m not gonna lie, at least i KNOW now where it’s all going. Going forward this will be my new benchmark to beat ;)
And to be honest, it’s not *that* far off from what I used spend early last year all by myself! If you recall last year’s money flow chart, I was going through $5k ALONE! That covered $3,779 for all my expenditures, and then an additional $1,188 worth of 401(k) deposits. So in reality this ain’t to shabby. It’s still a helluva lot of money going out the door, but still not too horrible – at least for the area we are living in (Washington, DC).
Here’s how it all breaks down:
MORTGAGE: The #1 bad boy eating up all our money! I’d *really* like to change this over the next year, but for now it is what it is. This section covers Mortgage #1 ($1650.00), Mortgage #2 ($200 as of now…used to be $540 before rates got slashed), Taxes ($282), and Home owners (HOA – $127).
SAVINGS/RETIREMENT*: This would be the #1 slot in my dreams ;) Most of this includes my all-time favorite pre-tax 401(k) contributions of 19% ($1,188/mo), and is why it may look like we’re “spending” more than we take in. Gotta love those tax benefits! We also add about $200 worth of savings every month, and periodically add a little into our Emergency Fund & Roths too when extra money comes in.
TRANSPORTATION: My “car loan” right now is the biggest culprit here @ $444/mo., but my goal is to wipe it out within 4 months. The Mrs. doesn’t have a car loan (you go girl!), so the rest of these expenses fall into Gas ($146), Metro ($68) and Train tkts ($125).
FOOD: Groceries are the biggest item @ $317/mo., followed by Dining Out ($173) which covers work-day lunches, dinners out, starbucks (for the Mrs.), etc, and then Beers ($58).
OTHER: I’m sure half of this stuff belongs in other categories, but it’s much easier to manage the “leftovers” this way, as well as work on lowering it. “Other” includes gifts ($75), clothes ($100), charity (currently $25 but would like to start increasing soon!), and then all other Random items @ $224.
UTILITIES: We have our Comcast Triple Play @ $159 which covers tv, internet, and phone, Electric ($95), and Water ($28). For some reason we saved a lot here when we got out of renting.
INSURANCE: One of my favorite categories! haha..am i a dork? This covers both our Cars @$118, Life insurance for the two of us ($56 total), Homeowners ($15), Jewelry (aka diamond rings & earings @ $7/mo.), and our Computers for a whopping $1/mo!
HEALTH & BEAUTY: The girl’s section ;) $20 for monthly prescriptions, and about $70 for hair cuts/dyes, make-up, lotions, and maybe (just maybe) a tiny portion for my Aquanet hair spray!
GRAD SCHOOL: If the Mrs. hadn’t gotten a free ride here, we’d be looking at a good $35k/year!!! Ouch. But, as luck/smarts would have it, we are only looking at around $42 for books and $38 for fees. They’re paid per semester, but i broke ’em down per month to track easier.
Whew! I must say, this took quite some time pulling all together. I had abut 75% of my stuff calculated already, but it was getting the Mrs. stuff together that really took some time. I’d highly recommend doing this though if you haven’t already. It only takes one time and then you’re set for the year! Although i’ll probably revisit it every 6 months or so, esp when major things change.
And now, I’m gonna set my first NY’s resolution: To spend only $60k of this est. $72k this year! (Take that economy…)
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What about health insurance? We are a family of 6 and pay over $600.00 a month.
oh wow. well, when this was first written we were paying $0.00 for health insurance as it was 100% covered by my employer. Then a few months ago we had to chip in $150/paycheck for it, and then I got laid off (last month) and are now searching for the best plans for us ;) which, so far, looks to be around $350-$400 for the two of us (no kids…yet). Fingers crossed we get a decent one!
(I think there was a good discussion here before we xfered this blog from Blogger to WordPress, but unfort. all the comments got wiped… so thanks for starting a convo back up!)
Do you have a templete for this pie graph? How did you create this? I would love to visually see our finances like this.
Thanks for sharing:)
It’s all in Excel :) I just took a screenshot and then played around a bit in Photoshop. If you have any photo/graphics software (you could google for some free ones out there too), you should be able to do pretty easily. Unfort. it’s not automated or anything, that would certainly be nice ;)
Holy crap, you pay 1650 on one mortgage?? Please tell me that’s not the minimum…
This is great! I went through a similar process to figure out how much money we bring in after taxes and where all of that money goes. My husband and I are saving up to quit our jobs and travel the world indefinately. We make average-people salaries and are saving $30K a year- it’s all about priorities!
@Jonathan – Hah! That was just MY portion ;) We pay about $2200 minimum every month – crazy, huh? I should actually update this again – soooo much has changed over the last 2 years.
@Kim – HOTNESS! That sounds like a most beautiful plan – good job :) Maybe I’ll see you around during our travels?
Damn, I thought Optimum Cable was high. We’re paying $118/mos for phone/cable/internet.
Have you tried calling to see if you can get a deal? If you call and threaten to switch, they might knock down the price as a Triple Play customer (to the introductory rate). Unless that IS a deal.
Also curious (if you don’t mind revealing) how much life ins. coverage you have? We’re paying $150 a month, but we have 2 kids (well, we purchased w/ 2 kids in mind) so I guess we need more than you. I’m just wondering if we should have shopped around for a better deal on that!!
I like seeing your breakdown and noting that you don’t “skimp” on anything… you’re frugal, but not insanely so. You still eat out, wife drinks Starbucks, etc. etc.
i’ve tried calling those jokers and they just mess things up every time I try to get something done. once they left us without cable for like 3 days! just so i can get a discount… can’t stand them :(
insurance — we (my wife and I – no kids) have like $250k or $300k each. can’t recall of my head. i’m sure adding in kids def. raises it a bit ;) you’re probably good. I use USAA for everything – if you can get in there GO FOR IT! so incredible.
look for an update on this soon! i want to see what our numbers are looking like these days… i’m pretty sure they’re way lower ;)
I’ve always found it much more enlightening (yet maddening) to show all of your “paycheck expenses” like Federal Withholding, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, health insurance, as budget items. They are, after all, MAJOR expenses. Doing that, you’ll see that, like most people, you spend as much on taxes as you do on food and utilities combined.
Hah! no doubt about that… damn good idea too actually.
Thanks for being so open and honest (as always) J!! Yes, we have a lot more in life insurance than that. There’s so much to think about with insurance w/ kids: college, daycare, (if something happened to one of us and the other still had to work, we’d need daycare), paying off our mortgage, etc. We also don’t have a lot of other investments (other than hubby’s 403B) to draw from so we wanted to max out the life insurance as much as possible. Sounds like you guys are good for double-income-no-kids though.
I’m now considering switching to DirecTV after the baby gets here… one life change at a time. LOL (Not that cable is a major life change, but you know how it is when you work from home… a few hours with no Web access can really screw you up!)
For sure, I like being open w/ all this money stuff – it’s fun :) I just REALLY need to update this as it’s kinda outdated now… and luckily it’s for the better!
Am from Nigeria how can I get started
The same way anyone gets started – you just start! :)