Monday, February 2, 2015

A Quick Look at my Budget

I have decided my current life goals are travel are I've made my budget reflect that. While at times I do find it too confining I am thankful that most times I've adapted well to it.  Everyone's goals, income & expenses, family and therefore budget will be different but I enjoy looking at the budget of others to see if there's anything I'd like to use for myself. Below is part of my biweekly budget as a single person household.

Pet (1 dog, 1 cat)   $40.00           4.5% of my take home pay
Gas                        $25.00           2.5%
Food                      $50.00           5%
Fun                        $25.00           2.5%

That adds up to a total of $140.00 or 14.5% of my take home pay. Of course I have bills, a mortgage, etc to pay but those amounts are not easily changed but these 4 are.

Because my main goal is travel I'm currently putting 7% into travel-only savings. By that I mean I have a separate amount I put in savings to go towards future expenses (like the new car I want). I've previously saved up my Magic Amount for emergency savings, giving me more money to put towards travel and a car.

While the amounts may seem quite small because I live in a large town these totals do not "crush" me. I do not travel far to work and most places in town can be reached in 5 min of travel so my gas budget is small (in summer, I can also walk many places). I have 2 main grocery store options (and  couple mini-grocery places) enough to let me take advantage of sales but not drive myself crazy with finding "The Best Price". There's not a lot of extracurricular activities around so my fun budget isn't always tempted.

This budget makes me think about my purchases. I wanted to buy a food dehydrator but the cheapest I've found in town is $50. If I wanted this dehydrator, was I willing to set aside my fun money for 1 month (two pay periods)? The answer was yes. Now, the second part of this question is, would I be willing to save up another pay period to get a more expense dehydrator? Now that answer is a "no".

This budget has worked for me for about a year (with slight changes) and likely will for several more months before I need to make changes. Do you have a budget that works for your household? I'd love to here about it and any tricks you've gathered along the way. I'll be talking more about my budget later so stay tuned if you're curious!