Can you believe it’s been a year and a half since I did a pie chart party?! The last one was May 2013… I was just getting used to eating Paleo AIP, just starting to share a work commute with JHubbs because of my new job (that would lay me off six months later…), and our rent was about to get a little higher.
I can’t believe how much has changed since then!
Now I work from home full time, eat Paleo AIP around the clock, and love, love, love our apartment. Here’s how different our budget looks, too, based on our budgeted expenses for December 2014 (by “budgeted expenses,” I mean that we spent other money in December that was already saved up: an extra $500 debt payment a la Dave Ramsey snowball and a $500 Christmas Fund that are not reflected in the basic budget. This also does not reflect $2,000 that went to savings or $1,500 that went to taxes a la family plan. The pie chart is just budgeted expenses that meet our minimum living budget…. I hope that makes sense!).
By how “almost guilty” I feel about how much we spend on money, it’s actually one of our smallest pie segments! This exercise really helps to look at the proportion of where we spend our money.
We’ve come a long way from $400/month gas bills! It also helps that gas prices just dropped to $1.87USD in my area. I saw a great quote on Twitter that went something like “It’s official…. $5.00 is once again gas money!”
Spending & Giving
For 2015, we’re excited to match personal spending money with giving money at a 1:1:1 ratio. Eventually, we’d like to scale up to tithing the traditional 10 percent. I’ve definitely found it to be true that the more we give (and the more regularly we give) the more money we have and the more we have a “feeling of plenty.” Again, looking at everything in proportion, I’m really excited to think of what we’ll be able to do when we are out of debt.
Copays + Medicine
Unfortunately, this category has been on the rise the past few months because I’ve been seeing a physical therapist for some lower back pain. In general we’ve been seeing doctors more throughout the fall :-). The good news is that I signed up to get my medication through a long-distance pharmacy so I will save about 35 percent each fill-up of my autoimmune meds!
The slightest disclaimer: since this budget reflects JUST budgeted expenses, rent is the biggest budgeted expense we have, and so it looks crazy on here. Granted, 35 percent is above what I was raised to spend on rent and utilities (25 percent or lower). We love where we live so much, but we’re open to housing that would slice this piece of the pie even lower. That’s something that would need to happen in/around August of this year.
Utilities + Insurance
This category covers a bunch of utilities including electricity, water, phones, Internet, and Netflix, as well as life insurance and car and renter’s insurance. This would be the “adult” category.
This covers our two cars, two student loans, and two credit cards (currently not used, but paying down the gross balances).
Phew, there we go! I may not return to pie charting every month because we’re on a pretty fixed budget and it would be boring, but if anything changes I’ll be sure to do another one.
And, as always… if you want to share your pie chart I would be forever grateful! Keep in mind that it is totally anonymous and NO REAL NUMBERS are shared… just percentages so that we can see how other people live and what other people prioritize.
P.S. I’m also writing about what losing 60 lbs feels like over at Eat Your Values… thoughts?