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My Household Budget (Aug '17 Edition)

Following up from my first household budget post here, it's time for the quarterly check-in to see where things now stand in route to tidying up the monthly living expenses.

OVERVIEW

I list a rundown of this year's expenses, broken down by month.  Each month I calculate a rolling average of monthly expenses to get an assessment of whether or not expenditures are steadily moving higher or lower.  I am not accounting for miscellaneous expenditures (clothes, travel, meals out, etc.) as they are rather discretionary and personal.  Instead, I want to hone in those necessary items that are somewhat fixed and more predictable, so that I can honestly evaluate where there is room for a reliable budgeting improvement.

Here are where things now stand:

OBSERVATIONS

  • As of last report (through the end of May), the monthly rolling average was roughly $3,250.  A quarter later, we are now sitting at almost $3,150, which is an improvement (lowering) of our necessary monthly expenses of nearly $100.  Am still hoping to achieve a $2,900 rolling expense average by the end of the year!
  • A reduction in spending was expected, as we paid off our car loan in May.  However, the auto insurance premium increased (ugh) and hit in August, which bumped our expenses on the month.  An overall downward trajectory of auto expenses is still anticipated.
  • The cell phone bill bumped up in August, but this is only due to international fees as my wife traveled to Italy for work (tax write-off).  I hate the cell phone bill and internet bill, and am always keeping an eye out on how to reduce these costs.

GOALS

  1. Bring the rolling monthly spending average to under $2,900 by the end of the year
  2. Eliminate our parking lease ($214/month) by May of next year (2018)
  3. Reduce our rent/mortgage expense by at least 10% by May of next year (2018)

These goals should produce savings of nearly $700/month from where we started in May (spending of $3,250/month).  This gets me amped, because lower ongoing fixed costs means two things:  1) more savings for growing my passive income investments, and 2) a better ability to do more traveling while not worrying as much about costs while away!


Still have yet to start budgeting for your own household?  Quit delaying, as there are many good reasons why you should be tracking your expenses.  Here is a blank version of my Excel budgeting template if you would like to get started today!