Hello there! Every month, when I (Peter) do the budget, I take a look at how much we spend as a percentage of our income on all of our expenses, from utility bills to mortgage to dining out to travel.
How to read our spend report:
For privacy purposes, we don’t actually put in the actual numbers of our earnings. We earn our income through a variety of means:
- By both having full-time 9-6 type jobs.
- By side hustling for extra cash:
- By renting out our spare bedroom on AirBnB (to get $20 off your first booking, let us know so we can email you a referral code). You might want to stay in our room if you are looking for a great deal in the Jacksonville, FL area!
- We are also freelance blog and article writers covering anything from finance, travel, and book blogging. Interested? Please send us a note on our contact us page or email us!
- We’re always on the lookout for side hustles, let us know on the comments below if you have any suggestions!
Below are our expenses in terms of percentages. Why no real numbers? Well, we want to keep how much we are spending private (for now) – maybe there will come a time when we will finally reveal it, who knows? And our income is also not included in this post (maybe we’ll include how much we’re earning in our side hustles in a future post too?)
- Retirement Account – The biggest expense we have is the 401K account, which accounts for 32% of our spend every month. Technically, it’s not a typical expense per se, but it is cash flow going out, so it is included here. The retirement account is just one of the ways we are trying to save money to become more Financially Independent!
- Mortgage – Second biggest expense. We paid the mortgage twice this month due to a snafu with Quicken, the money management software I will no longer be using after I discovered the terrific Personal Capital. This way, we save an extra $10/month (that’s $120/year) by NOT paying for Quicken!
- Other – This was 16% of our expenses this month, higher than usual due to some one-off expenses such as buying another website, watching the Lion King play in Tampa (which was excellent) and Peter’s AAA Renewal. Ruby’s Note: Theoretically the Lion King goes in my Entertainment fund, but this is Peter’s post so there….
- Travel – 9% of our spend, half of which was due to roundtrip airfare tickets to Memphis, Tennessee, and Richmond, Virginia, plus trips to Orlando (twice) and NYC for a friend’s baby shower, you can see our 2016 planned trips here.
- Groceries – 4.36% of spend, higher than usual. The rise was due to two trips to Costco, which Ruby calls her black hole, because every time we go there, we seem to get a few things and our bill is never below $100! Then again, we stocked up on frozen food (and Rosie’s too).
- Car Maintenance – 2.45% of spend, mostly gas. We get lower gas bills by utilizing the Shell Fuel Rewards card or the Winn-Dixie fuelperks program, we use whichever gives us the lower price at the pump.
- Utilities – 2.04% of spend, not much different than December. Self-explanatory but if you don’t know, this comprises electricity, water, sewer, etc, etc.
- Dining Out – 0.99% of spend, which is well within our target of less than 2% for eating out. We try not to eat out whenever we are in Jacksonville, and tend to self-cater!
All in all, a positive month for expenses, with the exception of the one-off items I mentioned earlier. This post is a month and a half late, but better late than never, right? We’re still working on our February budget/expenses now so stay tuned for that post!