Author Topic: Getting on a budget  (Read 1011 times)

ACyclist

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Getting on a budget
« on: November 03, 2017, 05:38:28 PM »
We like to keep our overhead low and have been successful at saving and paying down debt without a budget per se. 

After reading stuff on here, I realize that we could be more aggressive with finances.  Our biggest sin is the bike thing.  OOF!  I like pro level bikes and we've been down the rabbit hole with it for a while.  This is our only vice, so it isn't too bad.  Also, my bike shop gig helps tremendously with that habit in how much things cost.  pro deals are SWEEET!

Anyway, we are both very visual people.  So, reading Mr. Mustache, live on 24000 a year plan, spoke to us.  We took a blank piece of paper and went to try and live on less than 1000 a month for discretionary spending (food, gas, luxuries, and whatnot). The other thousand is for house payment, all utilities, car insurance, home insurance and property taxes for our home and the rental house we have.  Our homes are modest ones.  $100-150K each.  Our truck is paid off, and we only tend to drive it for camping or long drives (grocery getting sometimes).

We write every thing we buy on the sheet.  Last month was the first month of this exercise.  Even with renewing our AAA membership with a tow package, buying one wedding gift and two charitable donations...we ended the month with a $238 surplus.  We were able to live on about 800 a month.  WOW!  Of course, we rode our bikes to work all month, and kept things modest. 

Things we removed or cut back on:

coffee at bistro type places.
cut back on the bike crack
leaving lights on
excessive grocery purchases (organic foods have jumped the shark on costs).  We get very little of it now.  I do insist on ORG dairy, and certain veggie and fruit items. 
Amazon shopping has been reduced significantly
Cross fit membership was cut (I use the budget fitness center at my place of work)
No soda at all.  Didn't drink much of it, but it's bad for us anyway.

My husband just got paid and we saved $21% of his check pretax.  We saved the surplus that was left i the checkbook, and we saved half of his post tax amount in our trading account. MASSIVE amounts of saving going on.  I saved 80% of my check in a pre tax status as well this month. 

You people are an inspiration to me.  Thank you.  I am going to stay the course and see what happens.  We do have a vacation next month, but it is relatively inexpensive.  The lodging is with a friend, and all we will be doing is bike..bike...bike.  The only thing we have to fund is a 600 mile drive.  Our truck is a GMC, so that will cost some.  This will be our big spending next month.

Minnowstache

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Re: Getting on a budget
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 02:43:36 AM »
Great start - well done!

Llewellyn2006

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Re: Getting on a budget
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 02:55:34 AM »
That's fantastic. I've only started tracking our expenses and savings from the start of the current financial year and it's been a revelation.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Getting on a budget
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 03:28:34 AM »
I think tracking my spending , creating a budget over about a year on mint was the single biggest tool that made it possible for me to be fire'd nearly 3 years ago. With 4 kids too. It made me realize and have to think about all the areas I was wasting money and how to be a better saver. Good luck!