Author Topic: 2019 Budget - First time. Need advice  (Read 1028 times)

aalferez

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2019 Budget - First time. Need advice
« on: December 29, 2018, 09:51:12 AM »
Happy Holidays fellow mustachians.


I've been following this blog for a little over a year and I started doing some changes in my life since then, like maxing 401K and IRA.
But today I'm seeking advice for my budgeting. It is the first time I am budgeting ever so I want to have all bases covered and get some feedback wether my budget is off or I am missing something.

I started this because since it's the end of the year, I went to my MINT and checked my expenses vs my income for 2018 and I saw that I spent 50K from 80K that I received in income.

Here is my 2018 summary:

CategorySpending
Home$13,252.77
Financial$9,773.08
Food & Dining$7,105.48
Auto & Transport$5,986.19
Travel$3,284.22
Shopping$2,836.43
Bills & Utilities$2,293.31
Health & Fitness$1,859.63
Entertainment$1,702.47
Pets$628.22
Uncategorized$601.25
Personal Care$250.00
Gifts & Donations$44.25
Fees & Charges$40.67
Business Services$9.82
Taxes-$1,017.00
Total$48,650.79

Note that 'financial' category is actually some transfers I made into my taxable investment account.

A little about myself:
I'm 31, not married, no kids. Have a dog. Work as a Software Engineer. Live in Chicago.



I find Mint categories a bit misleading. For example, all food expenses are in the same category, and I want to distinguish between groceries, fast food and restaurants.
So I did my own categories and my own budgeting for 2019:

Item NameCategoryAmount MonthAmount year
RentHome$1,200.00$14,400.00
Vehicle InsuranceAuto & Transport$85.00$1,020.00
GasAuto & Transport$100.00$1,200.00
Vehicle RegistrationAuto & Transport$12.00$144.00
GroceriesGroceries$130.00$1,560.00
ElecticityBills & Utilities$30.00$360.00
HeatBills & Utilities$100.00$1,200.00
WifiBills & Utilities$20.00$240.00
PhoneBills & Utilities$15.00$180.00
ClothingShopping$25.00$300.00
TravelTravel$200.00$2,400.00
Cleaning SuppliesCleaning supplies$10.00$120.00
ShoppingShopping$10.00$120.00
GiftsGifts$20.00$240.00
Personal CarePersonal Care$10.00$120.00
PetsPets$45.00$540.00
SportsHealth & Fitness$30.00$360.00
ParkingAuto & Transport$5.00$60.00
TollsAuto & Transport$5.00$60.00
Service & PartsAuto & Transport$10.00$120.00
BarsFood and Dining$10.00$120.00
RestaurantsFood and Dining$50.00$600.00
EntertainmentEntertainment$5.00$60.00
TV (Hulu/Netflix)Bills & Utilities$1.25$15.00
MedicalMedical$50.00$600.00
Total$2,178.25$26,139.00


My aim is to be around $30K which compared to 2018 is 10K less if we don't count the transfers I made towards an investing taxable account.

Every input is welcome.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 11:28:48 AM by aalferez »

remizidae

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Re: 2019 Budget - First time. Need advice
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 04:19:14 PM »
Okay, so the first set of numbers is what you spent in the past and the second is what you're planning to spend, have I got that right?

The second budget looks pretty great to me, but it'll be a big change to go from spending $592/month on food to 180. I'm sure there are other threads on here on the subject of food spending that you could look at.

secondcor521

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Re: 2019 Budget - First time. Need advice
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 05:06:05 PM »
I agree with the poster above.  You should have a realistic plan for how you're going to spend less, otherwise it's just wishful thinking and you probably won't achieve your budget.  So if you plan to spend less on food, you should be able to say it's because you're going to switch from steak to beans and rice, or you plan to get less packaged dinners, or whatever.

A second suggestion is to make a budget monthly instead of yearly.  Each month is different -  one month property taxes are due, another month might be your annual bonus.  Your budget should reflect that variance.  The key is to be intentional about your spending rather than reactionary.

Finally, if you continue to spend $40K on $80K, you'll probably be just fine - if you have no debt (which it sounds like you don't) and are happy with your current lifestyle, then you'll probably be able to retire by your mid-40's.

aalferez

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Re: 2019 Budget - First time. Need advice
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 09:44:10 AM »
Okay, so the first set of numbers is what you spent in the past and the second is what you're planning to spend, have I got that right?
Correct

The second budget looks pretty great to me, but it'll be a big change to go from spending $592/month on food to 180. I'm sure there are other threads on here on the subject of food spending that you could look at.
I think the problem with my 2018 expenses for food is that it includes alcohol. Used to go for drinks every day after playing soccer, which at the end of the month is A LOT OF MONEY

BrightFIRE

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Re: 2019 Budget - First time. Need advice
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2019, 02:59:10 PM »
I find Mint categories a bit misleading. For example, all food expenses are in the same category, and I want to distinguish between groceries, fast food and restaurants.
So I did my own categories and my own budgeting for 2019:

Just a note on Mint from a longtime user. You're reinventing the wheel. Mint has the ability to distinguish between groceries, restaurants, etc., but you have to give input initially so it can learn.

The default category might be Food, but you can change it to the subcategory Restaurant and then tell Mint to always categorize purchases from that place the same way. So then at the end of the year when you check Trends, you'll see the high level category of Food, but you can click on that to see the breakdown of Fast Food, Restaurants, Groceries, Alcohol & Bars, etc.

You can also split transactions, so if you bought a sandwich at the grocery store, you could split that into $5 for fast food and the rest for groceries (depending on how granular you want to get).

You should change the "Financial" category that was really a transfer and not spending to the category Transfer. Or you can Hide from Budgets and Trends (I use this for rebates/reimbursements I don't want to throw off my numbers). Take a little time to learn how Mint works and I think you'll like it better.