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My Household Budget (Q1 '18 Edition)

My last budget update was posted at the end of November.  To get things in a more structured format (and to cater to my slight obsessively-organized nature), I've decided to begin posting these updates at the end of each calendar quarter.  It's just more tidy.

That being said, the 1st quarter of 2018 is now behind us which means it's time for a check-in to see where things now stand in route to shoring up the monthly living expenses.

OVERVIEW

The objective here is to highlight the year's household expenses.  To help analyze these expenses, I calculate a rolling average of monthly outflows to get an assessment of whether or not expenditures are steadily moving higher or lower.  I am not accounting for miscellaneous expenses (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.  By going this route, I can evaluate where there is room for a reliable budgeting improvement.

Here are the updated numbers:

OBSERVATIONS

  • As of the last post, rolling household expenses were $3,112/month.  Although current expenses of $3,096/month aren't much of an improvement, the savings should start to snowball from here.  The Sutherland household relocated our home base this past month which will be a catalyst for significantly reducing fixed expenses.
  • The rent expense is much higher in March simply because we had an overlap in leases (meaning double rent, which stinks).  However, ongoing rent will now be $850/month, down from $1,298.25 we were paying previously. 
  • Miscellaneous house expenses were also higher in March.  This is due to some new home items purchased for the new apartment.  Going forward, these will fall more in line with the sub $100/month total we experienced during 2017.
  • Automotive expenses should also decline this year as we now no longer require a garage parking lease.  This ran us $214/month, which will be a savings of $2,568 per year!


GOALS (2017)

  1. (x) Bring the rolling monthly spending average to under $2,900 by the end of 2017
  2. (✓) Eliminate our parking lease ($214/month) by May of 2018
  3. (✓) Reduce our rent/mortgage expense at least 10% by May of 2018

GOALS (2018)

  1. Bring the rolling monthly spending average to under $2,250 by the end of the year
  2. Further reduce our internet bill
  3. Create a cost analysis of keeping our car versus getting rid of it entirely (for this, I will start to include gas as an expense within the "Automotive" category)


Two out of the three budget goals created in 2017 were met.  Although not an overwhelming  success, I am content with these results simply because the numbers for 2017 don't truly reflect the progress made.  Positioning efforts were put into place that will allow for the savings we will realize this year.  Since beginning this budget project last year, cost savings have been established in 4 major categories:  automotive, cell phone, healthcare, and rent.

Stay tuned for the next update at the end of June.  I am excited for that report, as the actual numbers should really start to reflect the cost savings accomplishments over the past few months!


Still have yet to start budgeting for your own household?  I encourage you to take action on that, 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.