I shared our budget three years ago, but thought I would give a refresher since things have certainly changed since 2012. We have now have been married for a few years, no longer have any debt (woohoo), have a dog and own a house.
I’m going to share just the percentages of the amount we spend, since I don’t want to disclose the full amount. But this should give you an idea of how we budget and where our money goes each month.
While it may look like we are saving SO MUCH MONEY, let me just preface a few things about this amount. We have a lot of things that we know we pay for once or twice a year:
- Car insurance (we were able to find the right car insurance policy that works for us at moneyexpert.com)
- Car taxes and registration
- Car inspection
- Oil changes
- Vet appointments
Since these amounts are mostly set for the year, we set aside a little each month, and then pay them off from the savings account so it doesn’t take a huge hit from our regular budget when those bills are due.
The rest of the money from this category goes to our emergency fund, travel savings account and our Roth IRA.
This includes our mortgage, home insurance and home taxes. We are still paying a lot of interest, but it’s nice knowing that a portion of our mortgage each month goes towards the principle and we’re slowly increasing our equity month after month.
Food & Dining: 13%
This category is for anything purchased at a grocery store, coffee shop, restaurant or super store. So, groceries, coffee, alcohol, restaurants, fast food, toilet paper, dog food, paper plates, etc.
We used to separate these into Groceries, Dining Out and Household, and that was WAY too confusing, since we found ourselves constantly adjusting our budget each month based on what was going on in our lives. For example, some months we are out of town a ton, which means we eat out more, and other months we are in town, so our grocery bills are higher.
One brilliant month we decided to lump them all together and have never looked back.
We give monthly to our church, missionary friends, and organizations that we support.
This category is very important to us, and we try very hard to keep our lifestyle pretty minimal, so we can continue to give generously. This means that our lives look a little different than most two working married couples with no kids. I don’t buy a lot of clothes, we don’t own new cars, our furniture is mostly hand-me-down pieces, and we try to live a pretty minimal life. We aren’t completely frugal and devoid of fun — we have smartphones and travel and throw parties and decorate our house — but we try hard to watch our spending so that we can continue to give a lot.
Similar to the food budget, we decided to lump our “everything else” into one bucket, since every month is different. This includes:
- Office supplies
- Home decor
- Personal care
- Healthcare (click here to know more)
- Unexpected fees
- Anything not mentioned!
We don’t get our haircut every month. We don’t pay for parking or go to the movies on a regular basis. Some months I spend a lot on makeup and personal care, and other months we have healthcare co-pays. It’s always different and we’ve never had a consistent month with any of these smaller categories, so we lump them all together.
If you are creating your own budget, this category is the very last one you should make. The amount we have in this category is basically leftover after we save, tithe, and pay our bills.
Bills & Utilities: 8%
Bills & Utilities includes all monthly bills that we receive or are under contract for, including electric, gas, cable, Internet, water/trash, and cell phones. This amount is mostly set, although it may increase/decrease based on how often we use our utilities.
Our gasoline budget fluctuates by month, but we steadily spend about 5%, I know, we should drill and find our own hdpe pipeline contractors. We add to this category if we go on big or many road trips, and thanks to the price of oil decreasing, we have been under budget in this category for the last few months!
There you have it! Any questions? Do you separate out your budget differently? I’d love to hear. :)