HINT : Target & wine (if Target ever starts to sell wine near me I am in serious trouble)
A few notes before I get started. This is where MY money goes. It goes there because I tell it to. I choose the aspects of my life that I can control carefully, so I can put my money towards things that matter to me. Travel matters to me, and it's evidenced by my spending. Clothes do not particularly matter to me, and you'll see that below too.
I get it, not everyone can have a budget like this, whether you live in an expensive city (NYC, I'm looking at you) or want to prioritize buying all organic (you go girl!). I am showing you what I spend each month, give or take, in the hopes that it might inspire you to cut some of your excess spending so you can spend that money in a way that's meaningful to you. Trim Starbucks spending to buy a new purse, or trim your grocery budget to go on a weekend getaway, rent a cheaper apartment so you can pay off your student loans faster. It is all up to you.
| side note | Haterz will not be tolerated, "This is impossible" - umm nope, here I am over here, living my life & this is my budget. Since I'm not starving or dead I'd say it's going well. Any more stupid statements?
You may see a few things "missing" from my budget below. Debt repayment - student loans or a car payment. I don't have one. I busted my butt from August of 2012 - December of 2014 paying more than quadruple my monthly student loan payment each month. I threw every extra dollar I had at making additional payments. I even spent March - June of 2013 unemployed, but my budget saved me. I've paid off over $40,000 of debt and while unemployed, avoided moving back to KY and back in with my parents.
A few more notes - no decimals, math is hard enough as is. And finally, these are budgeted numbers, I'll be back to show you how well I hit that each week // month next week. So, without further adieu, my monthly budget - WITH REAL NUMBERS.
Quick facts : Single female, living in Pittsburgh, PA, no debt, doesn't care about designer
Monthly Pay : $2,965 (take home only - I put about 15% of my pre-tax monies into my 401K)
Rent : $350 (this includes my water, sewage, trash & interwebs)
Gas // Electric : $50
Car Insurance : $80
Groceries : $120
Gas : $120
Gym : $30
Race Entries : $50
Health Insurance : $40
Clothing : $250 // quarter = $83 // month (this includes running shoes)
Dining Out : $120
Misc : $100
Savings : $1550 (Monthly recurring withdrawals mean I don't even miss the money)
Now, if you're good at math you already noticed this, but my spending + savings adds up to less than my monthly take home pay. Why yes, yes it does. I like to keep a buffer of a few hundred dollars around in case I need something like emergency car maintenance, or quick cash from my checking account. Monday I paid for new front brakes for my car, and while not something that's fun to spend money on, it will have zero impact on my monthly budget. I monitor my accounts carefully, if my buffer gets above $500 or so, I transfer the remainder to my savings account.
But, wait, I said above I like to travel. And I do. I budget $5000-ish annually to travel. If I come in under that, okay, if I go over that by a little, that's okay too. Where does it come from? My "savings". Even if I only put $1550 away monthly, I save $18,600 annually. But, in 2015, I managed to "save" an extra $3000, just by transferring additional money to my savings account when my buffer went over $500. And this year, I've saved an additional $6K - which, if you think about it, covers my travel for the year, while leaving my net savings at $18,600. Is this confusing yet? Hope not.
I use my "savings" for things like stock market investment, Roth IRA contributions & just straight up as an emergency fund. I keep a certain amount of $$$ as liquid cash, and the rest funnels through my savings account to other things, like stocks, and adult-ness.
Like I said (probably 4 times already) I'll be back next week with real numbers - in case you were curious what I spent at Target last month. And considering doing a weekly or bi-weekly little post about my grocery shopping haul + meal plan. 'Cause cooking for 1 ain't always easy. Would that interest you?
What budget questions do you have?
Where do you prioritize your spending?
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