It has been so long since I have done a pie chart party despite the fact it is one of my favorite things to do! So, here is how we plan to rock December 2012:
Food spending 8%
We are pleased with our food budget, but I have already spent a little more than this stocking up on the basics like flour, olive oil, honey, etc. Still cheaper than eating out! (And crazy to think that back in the day, households would spend closer to 25% of their income on food…. I wonder if that took into account growing your own, though).
Gas spending 10%
Don’t get me started on this. We still spend more to feed our cars than we do to feed ourselves, but there’s not much we can do right now. I did experiment with driving slower to save gas and it worked, so I do my best to do that on my 120 mile driving days.
Rent spending 15%
This is not entirely accurate since the rent is due on the first and we pay using one week of the previous month, but it is pretty close to our living costs. I am, in general, very pleased with our rent and water usage.
Health + Utilities spending 8%
Things like electricity, internet, health co-pays, and prescription co-pays fall under this category. Nothing too crazy, thank goodness!
Debt spending 33%
This amount accounts for student loans, car loans, and consumer debt. We refinanced our consumer debt in November and so far it has been going very smoothly! There is a minimum base payment which we overpay each month, and then we try to aim at least 20-25% over it each month.
This is still a significant portion of our income (33%!) but rest assured it is so high because we’re paying it off instead of “maintaining” it. Woo! And when we get it paid off, that will be like getting a 33% raise! Isn’t that crazy?
And just because I haven’t gone on a rant about this yet, this drives me crazy! We have student debt because we both got degrees so we could get higher-paying jobs… but then we got cars so we could drive to those jobs. And we pay for those cars and the student loans with our paychecks.
Would we have struck even if we never went to school and we found jobs we could walk to? What would our net worth be like then? (Of course, then we wouldn’t have met….).
Travel (Hotel + Spending) 10%
The Christmas season means three nights at a hotel and $50-75 travel money for meals, extra gas, and incidentals per trip. I do so love traveling like an adult, though, and paying our way and not sleeping on couches any more. Or near cockroaches. *shudder*
Gifts spending 5%
Another Christmas season expense is gift budgeting, but 5% is not too bad! Both sides of our families have opted for the lottery gift exchange, dropping it down to $100 per side of the family plus kids, Christmas cards, hostess gifts, etc.
“Excess” spending 8%
This amount will be going towards the Greesonbachs desperate need for an iPad. Okay, JHubb’s desperate need for an iPad. While the nerd in me would rather put this towards overpaying our debt, I am very proud of the fact that we will be buying this indulgence with our own hard earned money — not with credit.
Indulgence spending 2%
This includes JHubb’s exercise club, my massage membership, and Netflix. Arguable necessities (I kid, I kid).
What is your highest expense this month?