Here is the planned budget (expenses) for 2017.
A couple of key points:
– The T-Mobile bill is for 5 people. I pay for my parents’ and my brother’s cellphone bill. My brother reimburses me $32 every month to pay for his portion of the bill and his Iphone. I’m definitely giving him a great deal since he is in college. So really, the bill is $144 ($36 per person). I miss not paying for cellphones (we used to have work cellphones). While I’ve looked at other options, T-Mobile’s plan is the best because we all have Iphones. My parents find Iphones easy to use and we prefer Iphones. T-Mobile’s free international calling and roaming is a huge plus. My mom spends time in Mexico and she can now be reached whenever and she can also communicate freely. Plus she calls Mexico a lot when she is in the US.
– Food is budgeted for $515. We usually go over on this category. Actually, every single month. I should probably give up and raise it to $600. That’s a more realistic number to shoot for every month. Will review next month…
– I don’t have travel or health &medical budgeted for in the budget. It’s zero now. We have a savings account where we put travel money every month, so when we spend money for travel, the money comes out of that savings account. This fund came in useful when I had to fly for my grandmother’s funeral in early January. I had to book an international flight same day. It was very expensive, but I’m glad I went. Health & medical will usually include prescriptions, medical appointments. We usually average $700 with contacts, glasses, dentists, prescritions, etc. It’s hard to budget on a monthly basis though. Expenses come at different times of the year.
– Did you notice there is no gym membership? I use my work gym (win!). I’ve actually never paid for a gym membership. My husband hasn’t signed up for one. I’m hoping when he lands he has access to a gym for free. A girl can dream.
– Shopping is for any shopping that’s not related to groceries. Clothes, video games, etc.
– Auto Insurance – We own 2007 Honda Civic and a 2008 Mitsibushi Lancer. The cost is split up and sent to a separate savings account since the payment is semiannual. This is for full coverage. Need to review in 6 months whether it would save us more money to drop full coverage and switch to liability only. Our deductible is already at $1,000.
– I try to make sure out actual spending stays within our budget. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Monthly budget is set at $2,426. Let’s say we come in usually around $2,500. I think that’s pretty good. We could cut food, but it’s really hard. We like food. I think an easy win would be to relook at our insurance premium when it renews in 6 months.