Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Budget

I've been tracking our budget for a while, and over the past few months have gotten much more disciplined about tracking exactly where our money is going. At the end of each month, I'd like to post a summary of where we're spending our money.

Our currently monthly budget looks like this:

  • Primary mortgage - $4850
  • Vacation home - $2500
  • Child care (we have one child in Kindergarten, and we have to reimburse the school for part of this, as he attends full day + after care, and a second child in preschool) - $1675
  • Utilities - $800
  • Groceries - $600
  • Gas - $500
  • Misc/clothes - $400
  • Cleaning Lady - $346 ($80/week, but the number of cleanings in a month varies, so this is the average)
  • Kids (lessons, etc) - $300
  • Insurance - $200
  • Eating out - $150
  • Gifts - $100
  • House - $100
  • Personal (hair cuts, the occasional pedicure for me, etc) - $100
  • Yard service - $60
  • Dry cleaning - $50 (my husband has to wear suits to work regularly).
As you can see, we pay quite a bit in mortgage payments, and the majority of our other expenses are relatively low. We are good with "forced budgeting" (i.e. if we had smaller mortgage payments, we would no doubt be spending all of our extra money on frivolous things). My goal is to pay down both mortgages substantially over the next few years as we pay less in child care (my older son "S" will be in first grade next year, saving us $400/month, and my older son "N" will cost $150 less next year). This will also go down the following year as "S" starts first grade. After I pay off the vacation property, I'd like to finish funding our kids college accounts as well as make substantial progress paying down our primary mortgage.

ETA: I should probably add that this is where I think our money is going monthly, & where our spending should be at. But, I'm tracking & will be regularly reporting progress against this budget. :-)

1 comment:

  1. definitely hear you on the "enforced budgeting" on account of the mortgage. We did a 15 year mortgage and it's 40% of our take-home pay. But hey, we'd probably be spending the leftovers on junk if we'd gotten a 30-year, like you said! Great blog, looking forward to reading more.