Author Topic: Let the 2018 budget games begin!  (Read 4382 times)

ixtap

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1514
Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« on: October 30, 2017, 10:38:52 AM »
There isn't much free time left between now and the end of the year. Halloween starts a year end extravaganza of non stop birthdays and holidays for us. So we sat down this weekend to set next year's budget.

We have already been living within our retirement budget, even though our plan is to immediately leave our HCOL. Nonetheless, we would like some more leeway. As such, our goal is to cut $5k from our budget next year.

Our first ever budget breakdown shows that dining out, groceries, sundries and memberships are our only places to cut.

I sure am going to miss the zoo and the aquarium, but the fast food has been a very unhealthy relationship. And it is going to be interesting to cut groceries at the same time as fast food.

How are things looking for everyone else next year?

L2

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 109
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 10:53:46 AM »
Posted in another thread, but right now it looks like my 2018 budget will have expenses decreased  by approx. 3k. I moved into a new apartment at a savings of $87/month. The move as well as my firm acquiring somebody (which will enable me to transfer offices) will save me about $100/month in gas, not including depreciation on my car. My employer is also adopting a HDHP, which I do not know the exact cost on yet, but I expect it to save my approx. $50/month compared to my current low deductible plan.

Unfortunately there will probably be a few increases in other areas. I have been looking to get an Xbox for a long time now, and most likely will during this year's black Friday. With that comes a monthly cost of I believe about $10 for Xbox live. Maybe I'll ask for the annual membership as a gift. I am also considering upgrading my internet, which will also cost me another $10/month due to the fact that I will be doing some gaming and have officially cut the cord finally. I technically attempted to cut the cord at my old residence, but inept TW never actually turned my cable off, so I had free SD cable for about a year and a half.

Aside from that.....I feel like my budget is about a lean as it can really be. The only things to really cut are dining out/grocery/bar (social) expenses, but I have them set at pretty reasonable limits to begin with.

haypug16

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Boston, MA
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 01:32:59 PM »
Working on my 2018 budget now. Seeing how low I can go realistically. I got it down to $1,800 monthly. There is probably some more room to trim the fat but I also don't want to set myself up to fail each month. I have some expenses budgeted in monthly even though they are paid yearly so some month I will be way under (I hope) and others over Like June when my Car Insurance is due, will be high. Unless I get super mustachian and only bike/take bus to work and I get rid of my car and car insurance! Well that may not happen this year but it is a thought I've been having. Or at least cutting down the driving and biking whenever possible. I only live about 10 miles from my work so it's easily bike-able it's just a matter of the weather cooperating as I live in NE and as they say Winter is coming.

diapasoun

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3345
  • Location: California
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2017, 01:29:31 PM »
I've been working through some possible models for my budget, and it looks like I'll have a good decrease going. I moved in the middle of this year to a much cheaper residence (to the tune of $600/mo) which means that I'll have trimmed quite a bit of fat if we don't get the rent increased dramatically at any point. *crossing fingers* A tiny bit will get trimmed off cell phone (about $20/mo) and I'm working to take the rest out of going out monies, books, and groceries. I haven't been living out of my means, but there's no reason I can't up my savings rate 10% if I just plain make better choices.

ixtap

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1514
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2017, 01:52:29 PM »
I've been working through some possible models for my budget, and it looks like I'll have a good decrease going. I moved in the middle of this year to a much cheaper residence (to the tune of $600/mo) which means that I'll have trimmed quite a bit of fat if we don't get the rent increased dramatically at any point. *crossing fingers* A tiny bit will get trimmed off cell phone (about $20/mo) and I'm working to take the rest out of going out monies, books, and groceries. I haven't been living out of my means, but there's no reason I can't up my savings rate 10% if I just plain make better choices.

That's great. We are on a waiting list to make a change to our housing situation that would cut another 10% from our budget, but we expect it to be another year before that happens. For 2018, we just hope we don't have to replace anything so that we can save up for a couple of big projects on the horizon.

Rhoon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 136
  • Age: 2015
  • Location: South East U.S.
    • Multifamily and Apartment Investments
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2017, 07:44:01 PM »
I had made changes this year to save about $500/mo. Then my child started going to day care (3 years old) and there went that savings... at least it didn't affect my savings rate and the cost is temporary (~another 18-24 months and he should be old enough for public school).

IHATESCHOOLDEBT

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2017, 08:08:14 AM »
Maybe you all can help me with mine. 2017 has been a year of debt removal and so far we have gotten rid of $109,375.59 in debt...$26,138.36 of it cash flowed. Anything we had a payment on we sold, minivan, property, and a camper. Now we only have debt on our mortgage $113,879.08 and school debt  $109,035.54.

You will notice on the budget that we have both mortgage and rent payments. I travel for work for extended periods of time, we haven't stayed in our "house" over three weeks in over two years. That amount of time was only because of my son being born... We can't sell the house for family reasons, but we are planning on renting it next year. The rent should pay the mortgage and then some.

Please take a look and help me cut some more. Really want this school debt gone ASAP!


ixtap

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1514
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2017, 08:15:28 AM »
It looks like a big part of it is cleaning up your spreadsheet. The aeroponic line looks like start up costs, yet you repeat it for next year? Same with the ebike. Plus, you have an ebike and $200/month in gas?? Then there is the low hanging foot, like your excessive cell phone bill and you have cable?

I highly recommend the case study forum for you!

marielle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 861
  • Age: 26
  • Location: South Carolina
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2017, 08:22:33 AM »
I think my spending will come in at about 21k this year. I'm not proud of this number, but it could be worse I guess. I moved twice this year which certainly didn't help. I no longer have a 36 miles commute each way so the numbers should only improve from here. The two cats alone cost almost $1800 this year, mostly due to a ridiculous pet deposit and a couple vet visits... Other than that, there's not much room to cut anything other than maybe driving a more fuel efficient car that doesn't take premium gas. Charity is probably the only truly optional category but I'm okay with that.

Next year should be better. I think $18k is easily doable provided I don't need to buy a car (though I'm considering getting a cheap one about $2-3k if I have to buy one).

IHATESCHOOLDEBT

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2017, 08:58:46 AM »
It looks like a big part of it is cleaning up your spreadsheet. The aeroponic line looks like start up costs, yet you repeat it for next year? Same with the ebike. Plus, you have an ebike and $200/month in gas?? Then there is the low hanging foot, like your excessive cell phone bill and you have cable?

I highly recommend the case study forum for you!

Thanks for the input!

The aeroponic system and the ebike would be attempts at lowering the grocery bill and fuel bill in 2018. No money has been spent on these items yet. There should be no value in the 2017 column.

The cell phone bill is high because I stupidly, idiotically got a new phone for myself and my wife on the verizon monthly payment plan. I could pay them off, but it is zero interest so I figured that money would be better going to the school debt.

The cable bill is internet only. 

Illgetthere

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2017, 09:39:24 AM »

 I have been looking to get an Xbox for a long time now, and most likely will during this year's black Friday. With that comes a monthly cost of I believe about $10 for Xbox live. Maybe I'll ask for the annual membership as a gift.


If you want live, definitely get the 12 month on sale. The regular price makes it $5/month, and you can usually get 10-20% off a few times a year. My son got it for his bday for a couple years for a good price. There's always Christmas sales too; check Target

You don't have to have live, but it is a perk for sure. My son recently decided it wasn't worth it and made some money selling some games that required it

Edit: $10 off black Friday at Target plus 5% if you have a redcard
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 10:28:06 AM by Illgetthere »

lexde

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2097
  • Age: 29
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2017, 11:57:40 AM »
About 50% of my take home goes to paying off my student loan which will continue through 2018. I’m hoping to be debt free by 12/31/2018 and 8/31/2018 as my stretch goal. Other than that I usually live on $1800/mo including an international (and usually a domestic as well) vacation annually.

haypug16

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Boston, MA
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2017, 08:40:32 AM »
I've decided to be more detailed in my tracking. Currently I'm just taking my net paycheck and tracking what I spend from that. In 2018 I will put in Health Insurance deductions and 401K contributions so I can get a better idea of my savings rate. I also broke out the misc category I bit more to show clothes and health/beauty spending. This is fairly minimal (I think) but would like to track it to make sure it's under control. Some months my Misc. category is pretty high so through out the year I have been adding more and more categories to get a good idea of where I'm spending. I managed to trim some other categories so that even though I'm "adding" in my insurance costs my monthly goal is still $1,800.

L2

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 109
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2017, 06:41:01 PM »

 I have been looking to get an Xbox for a long time now, and most likely will during this year's black Friday. With that comes a monthly cost of I believe about $10 for Xbox live. Maybe I'll ask for the annual membership as a gift.


If you want live, definitely get the 12 month on sale. The regular price makes it $5/month, and you can usually get 10-20% off a few times a year. My son got it for his bday for a couple years for a good price. There's always Christmas sales too; check Target

You don't have to have live, but it is a perk for sure. My son recently decided it wasn't worth it and made some money selling some games that required it

Edit: $10 off black Friday at Target plus 5% if you have a redcard
Appreciate it!

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1907
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2017, 09:02:37 AM »
I'm in. Right about now is when I look at all of our 2017 spend by category, and see where we're tracking over or under. Then I evaluate the following:
1) Is the increased expense unavoidable? If so, I'll need to increase the 2018 budget & find alternate categories to offset.
2) Is the reduced spend a one time thing, or something that we can realistically continue to keep at that rate? If so, I'll permanently adjust the budget category for 2018.
3) If we're over the budget, is it a question of discipline? If so, what strategies will we deploy to do a better job in 2018.

I think look at the overall numbers, ensure they are aligned with our total goals, and tweak as needed. We have a few unknowns. We bought an electric car & haven't fully determined gas savings (not quite a month in), so trying to measure that before the budget begins.

Epor

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 176
  • One day at the time
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2017, 01:28:33 PM »

2018 already, I can't believe it.

I'll be finally maxing my 401k (from 12k/yr now to 18500), besides that I need to take care of the following:

Code: [Select]
            Total         Mo $             Note
Hospital     870          350              0 interes
Car          3844         175              3.49%
CC           2800         200              0% until Feb/2019
Heat/Air     2993         748              0%
HomeImpr     4415         150              3.99%


I'll be done with the hospital monthly payment in January and the Heating/Air Conditioning in March. Those two will free up what I need for the 401k, with room to spare.

I also signed up for my work insurance and will have that taken pre-tax - it will save me about 1500/yr.

I will try to pay off my 3.99% home improvement related loan of 4450 and maybe tackle my 3.49% car loan of 3850.

I'm excited as I found a side job every other weekend that will bring in about 500 that i can payoff everything even faster.


2Birds1Stone

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5666
  • Age: 1
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2017, 03:20:26 PM »
For 2017 I'm going to come in at ~$24,900

For 2018 I would like to get that down to $24,000 flat, and my SO is shooting for $21,000 for a combined $45k/yr in HCOL Long Island, NY.

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3514
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2017, 04:30:56 PM »
We're looking at landing somewhere in the 27K ballpark for 2017. The only budget area we haven't squeezed yet is travel, which we may do next year a bit to offset rent increases.

That and we haven't figured out how to make free/profitable housing a thing yet, but maybe one day. We do acknowledge that it's a possibility, at least, which is more than a lot of people.

Epor

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 176
  • One day at the time
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2018, 08:42:42 AM »

I'll be finally maxing my 401k (from 12k/yr now to 18500), besides that I need to take care of the following:

Code: [Select]
            Total         Mo $             Note
Hospital     870          350              0 interes
Car          3844         175              3.49%
CC           2800         200              0% until Feb/2019
Heat/Air     2993         748              0%
HomeImpr     4415         150              3.99%


Jan 1st - 401k is all set up! Here's the update on the debt:

Total: 13545.

Code: [Select]
            Total         Mo $             Note
Hospital     120          120              0 interes
Car          3150         175              3.49%
CC           3580         270              0% until Feb/2019
Heat/Air     2245         748              0%
HomeImpr     4450         150              3.99%



diapasoun

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3345
  • Location: California
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2018, 04:14:39 PM »
As a new bb!Mustachian, I'm looking to increase my savings rate 10% this year to 35% (plus the usual 10% of net going towards debt, oh student loans -- can't wait until those are gone). Some of that will come from things I've already done this past year, like reducing my phone plan and moving to a much cheaper residence. My other reductions will be coming from reducing how much I eat out, and how much I spend on my main hobbies (books and crafts) -- I'm a good cook and I have good stashes of books and craft supplies, so there's no reason for pretty much any spending in either of those categories this year. ;)

The breakdown:

Pay future me first: 22500.

Necessities (rent, utilities, groceries, gas, loans, work phone, car insurance + maintenance, medical, transit, and pet costs): 30700.

The wants (eating out, gym, books, crafts, travel, so on): 10421.

I need to remember to keep phrasing the wants as wants -- they're really and truly not necessary. Ideally, I'll come well under the number above, but that's what I've budgeted for as a reasonable target that matches up fairly closely to last year's spending; we'll see how well I do with changing my money habits.

Suzanne

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: Let the 2018 budget games begin!
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2018, 12:09:18 AM »
I wanted to buy a home with help of property mortgagee.
Thanks to my friend who promised me to help in this regard.