Friday, May 6, 2016

Yearly budget spending - how are we tracking?

First of all, I increased my federal tax withholdings by another $500/month, and am trying to remind M to do the same. That will reduce our liability by $12K next year. We did increase our withholdings last year, but need to continue to do this, as it's not enough to offset the gains on our stock options, which are taxed at a flat 25% (i.e. not enough is withheld).

Alright, on to the yearly budget! The year is more than 1/3 over (34%, but who is counting ;-)), and we track random (non-standard monthly expenses) costs in the yearly budget. I'm going to remove taxes for the purpose of this check in, as it obviously throws off the entire budget & makes it hard to manage with the giant numbers included. So, here goes!

Areas where we're under (as measured by % of year elapsed compared to % of spend): 

  • Auto - We've only spent 6% of our budget, so we still have $1400 to spend here.
  • Boys college - I've only put $50 in the boys account, so I'm at 2%. This is because I made a ton of changes (switched providers, got a full refund, etc) & had a much larger amount than expected to put in due to gains & refunds. I will put some additional money in their accounts, so expect to catch up later in the year. 
  • Charity - we're under and tracking at 9%, but we donate almost everything in Q4. 
  • Christmas - at 2% (taxes/fees on frequent flier flights for the holidays). I do expect to come in under budget for this category, as we were able to use our miles to pay for the airfare.
  • Clothing - we're at 27% of spend, and I expect to keep this in line and come in 
  • Gifts - we're at 16%, but I have Father's Day & M's birthday coming up. I expect to spend at or around the budget by the end of the year. I'm under because I was able to use Amazon gift cards for some of the boys birthday gifts. 
  • Health - we've spent 9%, but I plan to do a few runs between now & the end of the year, which will increase this. 
Areas where we're over (trending below expected spend for this time of the year):

  • Boys (all) - we've spent 74%, most of this was for school donations, and field trips. This was a much more expensive category than I'd expected. 
  • Boys Activities - We're over. We've spent 102% of our budget & will still have fall soccer coming up. I need to do a better job of measuring & tracking this category, but I'm happy with their existing activities (just soccer, plus the occasional swimming lessons). 
  • House - we've spent 37% so just a little over. No major concerns here. 
  • Personal - we've spent 46%, mostly due to my lavish 40th birthday massage. No regrets, but have cut back other personal expenses to try to bring this in line by the end of the year.
  • Travel - we've spent 83%, so way up. But, we've booked & paid for almost everything. I do plan to spend more than our original budget. Mostly because I'm going to pay for part of a trip that M is planning with my Dad & his buddies. Aka - the Las Vegas "trip of a lifetime". More details forthcoming on this. ;-) 

Net/net, removing the taxes, we have spent 47% of our yearly budget, with 1/3 of the year elapsed. So, we need to slow our spending. ;-) I'm still hoping to come in right around our budget, but slightly over. I'd be happy if we were around $5,000 over, so I'll have an update on plans around this soon. What about you? Do you have a yearly budget as well as a monthly budget? How are you doing with your spending & saving?? More on saving soon as well!

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