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…)
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!