With the start of a new year, plus the addition of a new Wharton, we recently revisited our budget. We've been using Mint to track our spending for several months and really like it. By creating different budgets in Mint, such as for personal spending money, groceries, health, kids, etc., we can track our spending very closely. I love this because it's like a cash envelope system where certain amounts are designated for specific purposes. This pushes all the right organization buttons for me.
In addition to tweaking some of our monthly budget designations, we've also designated a few yearly budgets, which we have never done before. We now have budgets for home services (i.e. repairs, lawn service, etc.), home supplies (i.e. light bulbs, trash bags, weed spray, etc.) birthday gifts, Christmas gifts and for clothes. These are all expenses that we weren't really accounting for previously and since they occur sporadically throughout the year they were throwing off our budgets.
So, here are our updated monthly and yearly spending and savings budgets:
A few notes:
+ We've increased our grocery bill to $625/month to reflect what we are actually spending.
+ My entertainment allowance has increased to $300/month but this is a bit misleading. This money goes to my savings and I pay off any spending on my credit card from this. I'm usually the one who buys miscellaneous extras we need such as clothes and toys for the boys or hiring a photographer for a family photo session so we designated a bit extra to my account for these things. I don't usually spend $300/month so this represents a mix of spending and saving but for our budget purposes we lumped this together. This year I also expect to spend a bit more on clothes because of needing nursing bras and some new post-baby work clothes.
+ We only have one car now and so our gas budget has decreased but we added a "public transportation/parking" line item to over those costs.
+ Chris and I have both cancelled our gym memberships and joined Orange Theory. Chris's membership is at the 2x/week level and mine is at the 1x/week level.
+ Note that the "Chris Summer" savings is what Chris saves from his paychecks to cover expenses during the summer months because he is only contracted to work, and therefore paid, for nine months of the year.
2015 savings goals:
+ Contribute regularly to college savings for the boys. We have 529 accounts for each child and contribute $25/month to each. That certainly isn't going to pay for college but our plan is to increase our contributions once we build a healthy savings for ourselves. Our goal is to put each child through college without either us or them taking out loans.
+ Save $10,000 in emergency savings. To pay off my student loans we used some savings so we'd like to replenish our cash reserve.
+ Invest $20,000 in index funds. Inspiration from Mr. Money Mustache.
Erica and I recently chatted about finances, budgeting and how not to fight with your spouse over money on a recent episode of The Girl Next Door Podcast, take a listen if you haven't already!