Author Topic: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge  (Read 13146 times)

umi

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2017, 06:43:46 AM »
Do you actually pay rent on a daily basis? Or are you just doing the math in this manner for it to be convenient for you?

Usually, no. But sometimes if I'm in a place for just a few days I do. It's mostly for convenience and being able to see what my distributed cost is. It gives me predictability rather than lumpy sums that don't make any sense expected when viewed over a long timeframe.

For example, this month I stayed in a few hostels/hotels for just a few nights, but in February I've already booked a place on Airbnb for the whole month. I use Ledger (http://www.ledger-cli.org/) to do my bookkeeping, and there it's fairly straightforward to have a transaction date and then distributed the cost over time.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 06:47:42 AM by umi »

monstermonster

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2017, 08:23:06 AM »
I meant regular essential expenses which does not include medical costs, etc.
I'm confused as to why regular essential expenses don't include medical costs? That sounds like the definition of regular essential expenses. Especially given that many folks are reliant on FIRE math, give they'd be paying these expenses at FIRE so it needs to be part of their calculations?

(I am genuinely curious, not accusatory, tone is hard on the internet).

minimalistgamer

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #52 on: January 20, 2017, 07:47:02 PM »
I meant regular essential expenses which does not include medical costs, etc.
I'm confused as to why regular essential expenses don't include medical costs? That sounds like the definition of regular essential expenses. Especially given that many folks are reliant on FIRE math, give they'd be paying these expenses at FIRE so it needs to be part of their calculations?

(I am genuinely curious, not accusatory, tone is hard on the internet).

> I'm confused as to why regular essential expenses don't include medical costs?

I am assuming you are asking me why I am not budgeting for medical expenses each month. If so, then you are right. I should budget for it. I just don't know where and how to start budgeting for it. I will look into it though. Thanks for the suggestion.
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

TheBeardandTheBohemian

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #53 on: January 23, 2017, 02:17:39 PM »
We are in as well! Just the two of us and a dog so we're setting it up for $1800

frugalkristen

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #54 on: January 23, 2017, 04:30:08 PM »
Just totaled my bills for January (I'm including credit card bills paid in January for December expenses - There were a couple extra purchases for Christmas so they were a little higher than normal) and I'm at $2100.51.  I think I can do much better!  This makes me realize $2000 is completely doable!  I'm in the middle of a home project (nothing too expensive - just need paint now) so February should be a little better.  Excited to keep my expenses under $2000 every month!

minimalistgamer

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #55 on: January 23, 2017, 07:26:46 PM »
Well, I started this challenge for myself, but unfortunately I will definitely not be able to win it.

The main reason is because I decided to pay off my house. I closed my CD account and I had to pay an early withdrawal penalty of $1081. This is worth it for me considering I will be saving close to $30,000 in interest over the course of next 14 years. This also means that I am way past my $2000 spending limit for the month.

Once I pay off the house though, I will set a different target for February. I hope you all can join me on that journey! Thanks for all your support.
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

monstermonster

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #56 on: January 23, 2017, 10:55:49 PM »
Well, I started this challenge for myself, but unfortunately I will definitely not be able to win it.

The main reason is because I decided to pay off my house. I closed my CD account and I had to pay an early withdrawal penalty of $1081. This is worth it for me considering I will be saving close to $30,000 in interest over the course of next 14 years. This also means that I am way past my $2000 spending limit for the month.

Once I pay off the house though, I will set a different target for February. I hope you all can join me on that journey! Thanks for all your support.

Congrats on paying off the house! What prompted you to do it now? (And when was the CD matured?)

minimalistgamer

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #57 on: January 24, 2017, 05:43:07 AM »
Well, I started this challenge for myself, but unfortunately I will definitely not be able to win it.

The main reason is because I decided to pay off my house. I closed my CD account and I had to pay an early withdrawal penalty of $1081. This is worth it for me considering I will be saving close to $30,000 in interest over the course of next 14 years. This also means that I am way past my $2000 spending limit for the month.

Once I pay off the house though, I will set a different target for February. I hope you all can join me on that journey! Thanks for all your support.

Congrats on paying off the house! What prompted you to do it now? (And when was the CD matured?)

Thank you very much. I posted about it here - http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/i-am-going-to-pay-off-my-house-in-a-few-days!-i-am-a-nervous-wreck/

Basically, I am tired of paying a lot of interest to the bank. I am not earning as much as I am paying, so I liquidated the CD, and decided to pay off the mortgage. I contemplated investing the money into the stock market, but I know I will be happier without a mortgage. I am now going to invest the money I would have paid to the bank into an investment account.

The CD was paying 2.30% APR, for 5 years. It was set to mature in 2019. I just didn't want to wait that long because we paid $3500 on mortgage interest and earned $2200 in CD interest. So yeah...I felt like it will be a big burden off my shoulders.
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

Toffeemama

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #58 on: January 24, 2017, 10:16:56 AM »
Congratulations, minimalistgamer!

----

We're at $1990, with our car insurance still due at the end of the month.  So if I can be careful with groceries, we'll go a little over, but it'll be less than $2100 for sure!  I'm actually very pleased with how this month turned out, especially our groceries(est $500) and dining out($15).  And there's still plenty of room to improve :)

minimalistgamer

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #59 on: January 24, 2017, 09:39:16 PM »
Congratulations, minimalistgamer!

----

We're at $1990, with our car insurance still due at the end of the month.  So if I can be careful with groceries, we'll go a little over, but it'll be less than $2100 for sure!  I'm actually very pleased with how this month turned out, especially our groceries(est $500) and dining out($15).  And there's still plenty of room to improve :)

Thank you very much! I appreciate it! :)

Also, good on you for staying within the limit! Way to go!
I paid off my mortgage! You can read the details here -
https://minimalistgamer.blogspot.com/2017/01/paid-off-our-mortgage.html

Feel free to ask any questions.

recklesslysober

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #60 on: January 31, 2017, 02:51:35 PM »
I was just following along for inspiration because I thought this might be too much for me at this point. This month is going really well so far though! It's looking like I'm going to make it!

$1,174.10 on rent and bills - nothing else to come out

$71.47 on groceries
$21.72 on meals out
$14.38 on entertainment
$11.33 on health

= $1,239.00 so far, or $940.95 USD. Not including student loan repayments of course! Everything extra goes to those.

January total: $1,455.01, or $1,117.59 USD.

$173.46 on groceries
$21.72 on meals out
$14.38 on entertainment
$11.33 on health
$38.39 on household items

The rest to rent, bills, and misc. fees/interest.

SquashingDebt

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #61 on: February 01, 2017, 08:27:38 AM »
$2,000 per month is what I generally aim to spend, though I mostly failed at it in 2016 (with an overall monthly average of $2,373).  For me, that $2,000 includes all spending - rent, utilities, insurances, food, etc., but doesn't include savings or debt repayment.

Hit my goal for January with $1,844 total spending!  Now to be fair, I live alone, so I'm really impressed by all of you who can hit those kind of numbers for 2 people or even with a larger family.  But, I came in $529 under my average monthly spending for 2016, so not too bad.

For those who are interested, here's where the money went:

Rent/rental insurance/utilities/internet:  $851
Groceries:  $94
Dining out:  $50
Alcohol:  $85 (included treating some co-workers while on a business trip)
Car-related expenses:  $65
Entertainment:  $105
Health-related (insurance, gym, etc.):  $295
Travel:  $167
Household goods:  $52
Personal (toiletries, haircuts, clothing, etc.):  $76
Cell phone:  $4 (rest reimbursed by my employer)

Toffeemama

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #62 on: February 01, 2017, 10:36:31 AM »
So a couple last minute bills(not due till Feb, but husband wanted to pay them early), and a larger-than-expected grocery shopping trip put my family's spending total at $2434.  That's the bad news.

The good news is that it was still $1498 less than our average monthly spending last year!  Whaaaaaat?!  That's ridiculous!  I am more motivated than ever before to get that number to below $2000!

Are we starting a new thread for February, or continuing with this one?

tortoiseshell

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #63 on: February 02, 2017, 04:56:54 AM »
In January, we spent $1626.82, but I think I will have to pay both my February and March health insurance invoices this month, which is going to make staying under $2000.00 in February much more difficult. I'm still going to try to do it.

babybug

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #64 on: February 02, 2017, 06:10:01 AM »
I'm in. I'm single but have to travel a lot, about $6-700/month (personal). And i plan to give 200-250 charity. But I'm paying​ off CC, saving $100 interest, and car insurance isn't due till May. So goal of $2000 it is for Feb.

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tomatops

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #65 on: February 03, 2017, 02:03:04 PM »
$1885.88 for January. Just snaked under! Part of it was making my own coffee at work through my French Press Christmas Gift and eating out less.

Fish Sweet

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #66 on: February 03, 2017, 02:25:06 PM »
$1135 for the month of January, a little over $150 beneath my minimum!  Not sure how it happened, but I have ever intention of keeping it up.

tarheeldan

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #67 on: February 03, 2017, 07:03:00 PM »
$1,828.09 for January, and that included booking at trip to Florida for my Grandmother's 95th birthday :-)

umi

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #68 on: February 04, 2017, 10:44:41 PM »
January: $2666.

Daily breakdown:

Code: [Select]
CATEGORY   SPEND  BUDGET
Rent:        $26    (+6) !
Transport:   $17    (+7) !
Food:        $17    (+7) !
Insurance:    $6    (+1)
Misc:        $12    (+2)
Business:     $8    (-2)

Monthly breakdown:

Code: [Select]
Rent:       $819
Transport:  $514
Food        $528
Insurance:  $171
Misc:       $378
Business:   $256

Big ones are the big three: rent/transport/food. Outside of this, I have an outstanding medical bill that my insurance should cover 100%, so I'm counting this as a liability for now.

Looking forward, I know my rent will be $24/day for February, barring any day trips. I haven't found any good coworking spaces, so I'll be working from home and coffeeshops, hence part of my business budget will instead be spent in rent (good working desk) and extra food costs. Adjusted daily budget is as follows: Rent $24, Transport $10, Food $13, Misc $10, Insurance $5, Business $3. Transport should be easier as I live now live centrally in a walkable city with good public transport (Taipei).

Food will be the hard part for me, and I will focus my attention on this number. My average the last week is already way too high (lack of kitchen, expensive to eat out, drinks with friends), so I need to be more mindful of this number, especially on a daily basis. Specifically: buy fewer coffees/teas/drinks; figure out grocery situation (investment cost in foreign country); cook at home. Another thing I'll do is keep my food budget in the local currency in mind. In order to have some small buffer, a maximum of 300 TWD (~10 USD) seems like an appropriate number, and ought to put those 100 TWD coffees in the right perspective.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 12:14:49 AM by umi »

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #69 on: February 05, 2017, 06:10:04 AM »
I would love to do this challenge but my fixed expenses are already over 2000:
Mortgage 1550
Electric 178
Gas 100
Trash 27
Car insurance 60
Health insurance 125
Internet/Netflix 65
Cell phones 25
Total 2130

Kaybee

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #70 on: February 05, 2017, 04:18:21 PM »
I would love to do this challenge but my fixed expenses are already over 2000:
Mortgage 1550
Electric 178
Gas 100
Trash 27
Car insurance 60
Health insurance 125
Internet/Netflix 65
Cell phones 25
Total 2130

Do you want to do a slightly higher cap amount and just tag along with the thread with me?  My mortgage is high too and wouldn't leave me enough funds for everything else...
I'm late to the game but I'm trying to be quick to pick up how to play!!

babybug

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #71 on: February 05, 2017, 07:28:49 PM »
I would love to do this challenge but my fixed expenses are already over 2000:
Mortgage 1550
Electric 178
Gas 100
Trash 27
Car insurance 60
Health insurance 125
Internet/Netflix 65
Cell phones 25
Total 2130
Do you eat food?

Never mind! *Fixed* expenses

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« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 07:30:58 PM by babybug »

umi

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #72 on: February 05, 2017, 10:56:51 PM »
I would love to do this challenge but my fixed expenses are already over 2000:
Mortgage 1550

Do you want to do a slightly higher cap amount and just tag along with the thread with me?  My mortgage is high too and wouldn't leave me enough funds for everything else...

When you say mortgage, do you mean both interest payments and paying off the principal? You could consider treating paying off the principal as not an expense, since you are financially speaking just using a liquid asset (cash) to pay off a liability (mortgage), keeping your total assets and liabilities balance the same.

Kaybee

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #73 on: February 06, 2017, 09:50:08 AM »
Umi, that's a good point to consider.  I'm out of town for a few days so don't have access to all my figures/info but that *might* make it do-able for me.
I'm late to the game but I'm trying to be quick to pick up how to play!!

swick

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #74 on: February 06, 2017, 09:57:35 AM »
Umi, that's a good point to consider.  I'm out of town for a few days so don't have access to all my figures/info but that *might* make it do-able for me.

Also, if you are comparing Apples to Apples, that's over 2600 CDN ;)
 

Fire2025

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #75 on: February 06, 2017, 10:43:09 AM »
Well, I started this challenge for myself, but unfortunately I will definitely not be able to win it.

The main reason is because I decided to pay off my house. I closed my CD account and I had to pay an early withdrawal penalty of $1081. This is worth it for me considering I will be saving close to $30,000 in interest over the course of next 14 years. This also means that I am way past my $2000 spending limit for the month.

Once I pay off the house though, I will set a different target for February. I hope you all can join me on that journey! Thanks for all your support.

Is there anyway that you can do an average of $2000.00/ month?  I don't think I can make $2000.00 this month because of property taxes, but I think I maybe able to make it as an average, if I tighten my belt a bit.

boomer7407

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #76 on: February 06, 2017, 02:30:15 PM »
I'm down for this challenge. I make approximately $2600-$2800 per month at my full-time job (depends on whether or not I have call pay. Yay for healthcare call shifts!) and this does not include anything from my part time gig because some months I don't work there and some months I do. I'm currently trying to live under $2000 so I can bank the rest of my earnings for a possible move to Colorado later this year! I added it up and my approximate living expenses are around $1950 and that includes my "Blow Money" and eating out.  Hopefully this will be able to help keep me accountable. 

Toffeemama

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #77 on: February 08, 2017, 02:32:55 PM »
Looks like February is going to be harder than I thought.  We're already at $1571, after having paid all bills except car insurance and trash pickup, and spent an additional $213 on stuff to renovate our apartment and another $98 on vehicle maintenance.

Since the apartment will be rented out, should I consider renovations to be an investment, and leave that out of my monthly spending calculations?  That sounds like the correct thing to do, but I don't want to use that as a cop-out.

jim555

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #78 on: February 12, 2017, 08:14:35 PM »
My total expenses last year were $13,000.  Paid off condo, car and on Medicaid.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 06:28:54 AM by jim555 »

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #79 on: February 16, 2017, 05:15:16 AM »
I would love to do this challenge but my fixed expenses are already over 2000:
Mortgage 1550

Do you want to do a slightly higher cap amount and just tag along with the thread with me?  My mortgage is high too and wouldn't leave me enough funds for everything else...

When you say mortgage, do you mean both interest payments and paying off the principal? You could consider treating paying off the principal as not an expense, since you are financially speaking just using a liquid asset (cash) to pay off a liability (mortgage), keeping your total assets and liabilities balance the same.

Sorry I took so long getting back on here. I can tag along here, MMM himself suggests that principal on debt is a savings rather than an expense. We are only about 4 years into our mortgage so the principal was $541 this  month,  bringing fixed expenses down to $1609.

I will have to ask the husband about our spending, as he does the majority of the shopping around here. He works 1 day/ week and is a SAHD most of the time, so I transfer $1000/ month to him for groceries, gas, and other expenses (pet food, hobbies, etc). Half of his income from paid work goes straight to the 401k.  What he doesn't spend he uses to buy stocks (he likes stock picking, and it is a very small percentage of our total savings). I do not usually ask for details on his spending each month, as long as he gets the groceries on my list and doesn't need extra to pay his credit card.

 My own discretionary spending so far has been $10 (my old Fitbit broke while under warranty and they sent me a gift card for the full purchase price, I upgraded to a newer model and $10 was the difference in price, including sales tax).

Drifterrider

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #80 on: February 16, 2017, 05:18:45 AM »
does this include rent? bills? savings?
or just purely expenses? w/thoughts on your post. i tallied the following for me: $1,799 expenses + savings sans bills, $2,749 w/bills, $4,539 w/bills and rent.

dropping your spending down $666 does sound challenging. but a good challenge can be fun. looking forward to your updates. sounds like cleaning out the pantry and some recipes from budget bytes could help out.

Seems like a red flag to me :)

LindseyC

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #81 on: February 21, 2017, 08:37:14 AM »
I just posted this in the Uber Frugal February thread, but then I saw this one and realized it was relevant.

********************************************

My goal is to always have my monthly bills at $2000 and under, with the exception of money I throw into savings and at debt. This month for me ends on the 23rd (because I track by my credit card statement) and I don't intend to buy anything in the next two days so I am reporting a little early.

Monthly spend $2029.50. (I can post an exact breakdown if anyone is interested)

I technically spent $74 on items I did not need to survive, but nothing ridiculous.

LED lights $15.00 
Candle $5.00 
Plants $12.00 
Wire $2.00 
Vase (thrifted) $3.00
Pens $2.00 
Socks $24.00 
Winter hat (thrifted) $4.00
Purse (thrifted) $2.00
Random item $5.00

Wins for Uber Frugal Friday: I spent ZERO on eating out, takeaway and/or convenience food. A huge win for me!!

I also count my principle of my mortgage in my $2000, but I don't count money I pay towards other debt which I am aggressively attacking or any savings. Do I fall into the rules? Should I post my breakdown of all expenses for the $2029.50?

Zamboni

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #82 on: February 26, 2017, 09:35:40 AM »
I am going to try for this minus the mortgage related costs. I've been tracking expenses for a long time, so I just took a break for January and February to see what it would feel like to not track . . . the result is that I don't think I need to track anymore, but that I like the tracking.

So, Shooting for under $2K spending in March. We'll see how it goes.

SquashingDebt

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #83 on: March 03, 2017, 01:13:14 PM »
$2,000 per month is what I generally aim to spend, though I mostly failed at it in 2016 (with an overall monthly average of $2,373).  For me, that $2,000 includes all spending - rent, utilities, insurances, food, etc., but doesn't include savings or debt repayment.

Hit my goal for January with $1,844 total spending!  Now to be fair, I live alone, so I'm really impressed by all of you who can hit those kind of numbers for 2 people or even with a larger family.  But, I came in $529 under my average monthly spending for 2016, so not too bad.


Did even better in February with $1,460.50 total spending!  Some good self control plus some good luck.

For those who are interested, here's the updated numbers on where the money went:

Rent/rental insurance/utilities/internet:  $851 $863
Groceries:  $94 $106.50
Dining out:  $50 $22
Alcohol:  $85 $30.50
Car-related expenses:  $65 $55, or -$29.50 including mileage reimbursement
Entertainment:  $105 $45
Health-related (insurance, gym, etc.):  $295 $312.50
Travel:  $167 $11.50
Household goods:  $52 $4
Personal (toiletries, haircuts, clothing, etc.):  $76 $57
Cell phone:  $4 $4 (rest reimbursed by my employer)
Misc.:  $0  $34

JAYSLOL

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #84 on: March 31, 2017, 08:38:52 PM »
I finally get to join this club :)

I just had my lowest spending month in over 2 years, since I started tracking spending/ found MMM. I totalled $1899(CAD) for this March for family of 3 in western Canada, (yep, including rent).  It was a fairly average month for income, so I managed to save well over 50% after tax).  I didn't have any big one-time expenses this month (yearly car insurance, dentist visit, vacation etc) so that helped, but we also did better in most regular categories like food, eating out, clothes spending etc.  Last year I averaged over $2500/month, and I'm hoping to bring that down to less than $2200 this year. 

haypug16

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #85 on: April 02, 2017, 10:37:25 AM »
I'm in! My budgeted expenses (not including Savings) is $2,220. Cutting out an additional $220 for the month will be tough but I'm sure I can think of some ways to do it. :)

recklesslysober

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #86 on: April 03, 2017, 11:55:59 AM »
I'm back. January was about $1,460 - February $2,020 - March $3,140. Aiming for $1,400 CAD this month or around $1,000 USD. (Not including student loan payments - that's the bulk of my expenses right now.) 

haypug16

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #87 on: April 12, 2017, 10:00:42 AM »
April is looking pretty good. I'm at $1,227.77 with just my cellphone, gym, food, and CC interest left to add. I got the budget down to $2,125 but I think the interest on my CC is going to be lower than budgeted because I was able to pay down quite a lot of that debt this month.

zinethstache

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #88 on: May 24, 2017, 04:20:00 PM »
I have an update of my post in Jan (#38). I was hopeful I could meet this challenge. We started slow travel in March. Living exp=$1625 and Discretionary exp=$333.April Living exp=$1716 and Discretionary exp=$258.  Medical subsidy of $554/mo. Was approved which helps greatly dropping our premium down to $526/mo.

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haypug16

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #89 on: October 05, 2017, 12:51:40 PM »
I finally did it! My living expenses for the month of September were $1,960.90 Just barely made it under $2K but I did it!

StarBright

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #90 on: October 06, 2017, 08:34:21 AM »
I finally did it! My living expenses for the month of September were $1,960.90 Just barely made it under $2K but I did it!

awesome! I was pretty psyched to see an update on this thread :)

andy85

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #91 on: October 09, 2017, 01:13:37 PM »
I forgot all about this thread...so it just made me go check my spending and i may as well update what i've done for the year

Jan: $1,474
Feb: $1,688
Mar: $1,780
Apr: $2,262
May: $1,990
Jun: $2,950 (travel spending)
Jul: $1,712
Aug: $1,987
Sep: $2,264

So i am 6/9 so far, with an average spending of $2,012 per month. There is one LARGE caveat to this spending...and that is a kitchen renovation. That alone will run around $10,000 for the year, but i've kept that as it's own line item on my spending. The above spending is literally everything else i have spent other than the kitchen renovation, which is truly a one-off expense.

Rosy

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #92 on: October 09, 2017, 01:50:38 PM »
This is such a cool challenge.

I do think setting it up as living within an average of $2K a month (or whatever your monthly goal is) is a more flexible way to go about it.
Budgets need to be realistic to work - I love a challenge, but I do hate to set myself up for failure.
Just finding a side gig that will add as little as $50 or $75 a month to the budget may solve a problem.

@the OP - you took a big, surprise step by paying off your mortgage instead - it solved all your problems. There is now sufficient income each month and you've saved yourself $30K in total. Amazing how we trick ourselves sometimes - zeroing in on goals that are unachievable in our present circumstance - but we forget that we can nicely sidestep our circumstances and simply take a step in a different direction.

It carries the possibility of opening our eyes to the larger picture of our lifestyle and financial life - instead of agonizing over a grocery shop of fifteen bucks, you've moved on to a paid off home and have become an investor:) Not a bad outcome!

haypug16

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #93 on: October 31, 2017, 08:33:11 AM »
Hit this goal for October! Total spend was $1,634.85 :)


ACyclist

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #94 on: November 03, 2017, 09:20:36 PM »
This is a fun exercise. This was my first month living on a real budget of about 2000 a month.

I'll play.

Oct 17

Home with taxes and insurance:  $550
Utilities:  $300 month average (2 cell phones, garbage, gas, electric, water, internet, Netflix)
Vehicle Insurance for one truck: $70
Haircut:  $14
Gifts and donations:  $83.81
Groceries and home items:  $494.71
Gym: $6.25 (work gym)
Dining out: $32.20
Gasoline:  $95.50
Washer part: $7.95 (little stupid latch)
AAA policy renewal $138.00
Total spending:  $1792.42
Saving pre-tax: $2434
Saving post tax: $2068
I also saved 100% of our rent money $850, this month (that home is paid off).

Note:  My insurance cost comes out pre-tax.  I only did this exercise with my post tax spending, as I attempt to live under 2000. Everything in excess of this amount is saved in pre-tax and post tax accounts.  We max out the 18K and the roth contributions.

haypug16

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #95 on: December 01, 2017, 08:48:22 AM »
November was even better! Partly due to DH owing me for prior Vet bills so he paid the Mortgage.

Total spend was $1,166.63! I have December budgeted as $1,800. DH will still be covering the Mortgage this month and probably Jan too (Vet bill was super high!) So $1,800 should still be doable even with the Holiday's. I had started a Holiday savings account a couple months ago so some of the gifts will be purchased using that money plus a little extra from this months budget. Thankfully I don't have too many to buy for. 3 kids and 5 adults. Should be able to keep it to $250. Other than that there shouldn't be any out of the ordinary expenses *knock on wood*

frompa

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #96 on: December 02, 2017, 09:40:16 AM »
Okay, on the theory of "better late than never," count us in.  My partner and I are both retired as of May of this year, and still finding our sea legs.  $2k per month is exactly our goal, and other than last month, when we really started paying attention, we spend probably twice that, many months, and surely at least $3k/month.  Although these colder months are generally more expensive for us, given the costs of heating, this will far be outweighed by the positive benefits of life being slow enough that we are paying attention. 

Last month, we had, roughly:
housing (ins and taxes) - 260
utilities (gas, phones, elec, netflx, garbage) - 285
transportation (gas, ins, maint, bicycling stuff) -- 210
health ins -- $410
food & household necessities (includes T'sgiving for 20!) -- $550
entertainmt -- $130
clothes -- $85
TOTAL:  $1930
Thanks!

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #97 on: December 02, 2017, 10:28:32 AM »
Averaged $2005/month for first 11 months of the year.

December will unfortunately be around $2800 with Xmas and travel, putting us squarely in the range of what we spent last year.

There's always 2018 lol....
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ACyclist

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Re: Living within $2000 per month - 2017 Budget Challenge
« Reply #98 on: December 02, 2017, 10:55:49 AM »
Nov 17

Home payment with taxes and insurance:  $550
Utilities:  $267 (2 cell phones, garbage, gas, electric, water, internet, Netflix)
Vehicle Insurance for one truck: $70
Groceries and home items:  $533
Gym: $6.25 (work gym)
Dining out: $35.59
Gasoline:  $0
Total spending:  1461.84
Saving pre-tax: $3728
Saving post tax: $3855
Additional savings this month $3081 (cashed in some rewards & had $0 in emergency expenses.and my spouse worked an extra shift or two).