The Balanced Spreadsheet-Financial News, Budget Advice, Debt help, Financial Tips, and other advice

January 14, 2010

Follow up to “Financial How to. . . .” series Part I. Updating our own budget

This is a follow up to my post in the “Financial how to . . . . . .” series on creating a budget.  My very first blog post was on how my wife and I created our very first budget.  With the New Year under way my wife and I have decided to look at our budget and see if any adjustments were necessary and we came up with the following budget.

Budget 2010

You may remember that our household budget is based solely on my income.  My wife’s income goes primarily towards retirement and extra mortgage payments.  With that being said, our budget has stayed pretty much the same primarily due to the fact that there is a salary freeze at work and I have not gotten any kind of raise in two years.  We did track our spending throughout the year and made a few adjustments.

Necessities-The only thing that slightly changed was our gas budget.  The grocery budget is small compared to the average US household, but we are fine with it as we do not feel any restrictions when it comes to going to the grocery store.  I am always trying to find ways to decrease our utilities and we might be a little over budgeted but I would rather be over budgeted then under budgeted.  We are always trying to keep our necessities down to a minimum so it was good to see them decrease slightly.  By keeping our necessities where they are, we are able to keep our emergency fund at $10,000 which is between 3 and 6 months worth of expenses.

Fixed-These increased slightly, due to the fact that our taxes will go up due mostly to me switching from a traditional 401(K) at work to a Roth 401(K).  This was offset by a decrease in car and health insurance premiums for the year.  In July we took out a life insurance policy for me, which was an added but necessary and well worth it expense. 

Luxuries-Our lifestyle has pretty much stayed the same since we have gotten married.  The misc category is the one that fluctuates the most from month to month.  Some months we are a tad over budget and others we are real low.  Even though luxuries are our smallest category at 8.45% we naturally had the most discussion over this category.  Sure it would be nice to go to more sporting events and concerts, but at the price of eating out?  Ultimately my wife and I decided that our breakdown was good and fair to the both of us. 

Well after going through a review of our budget, it was nice to see that we are still living within our original budgets as well as our means.  My sticking to our budget it allows us to continue to follow our financial goals and move forward towards financial independence!

Coming up over the weekend will be part II in the “Financial how to . . . . .” series on getting out of debt.



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