My Household Budget (Q2 '18 Edition)
If you have not been following along, early last year I became fed up with my bloating household expenses and made a commitment to do something about it. At that point in time my recurring household living expenses were averaging $3,248.92/month. Since then, quite a few changes were made which have brought those expenses down by an average of about $500/month and growing. I continue and track these numbers here to better hold the Sutherland household (wife and dog included!) accountable.
Here is an overview of the process and where things now stand.
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 latest numbers:
- As of the last post, rolling household expenses were $3,096/month. Currently, they stand at $2,775/month which is an improvement of $321 in just the last 3 months. The reduction in rent, parking, healthcare, cell phone, and utilities expenses are finally starting to produce real results.
- With the savings, we have been feeling a bit more abundance. This being said, we've added a gym membership to our budget ($55/month under Healthcare) and decided to sponsor a child through World Vision ($39/month under Charity/Giving). Although I am conscious about letting expense creep kick in, these are feel-good items that we believe will provide soul point dividends far in excess of their cost.
- Now that we are settled into the new apartment, House Misc expenses that were associated with the move should reduce. We do have a new couch still to purchase, but everything else is in good order at this point.
- Bring the rolling monthly spending average to under $2,250 by the end of the year
- Further reduce our internet bill
- 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)
I am excited to witness how the average rolling expenses progress from here! The goal is to have this number under $2,250/month by the end of the year. I think this is achievable, assuming no major expenses arise (fingers crossed). Stay tuned to find out.
Note: Going forward, I plan to only update this report (and my real estate performance report) every 6 months. I've found that there are quite a few fluctuations that happen quarter to quarter. A six month report will do a better job of smoothing out those numbers in route to providing more realistic view of progress made (or not!).
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.