Budget #1 — Spending

I think the common debate for any pf blogger is to determine whether to provide the $ figure of their monthly budget or to provide a %.  It seems that the trend is if you are anonymous then you provide a $ figure; if you blog under your name you provide a % so those who know you all of a sudden do not have information to your income information.

I am not really comfortable with either options. I plan on remaining anonymous but I also don’t want to see judgments from folks based on my earnings.  So, I will provide a mix… I plan on providing a $ for the expenditures and the various savings buckets in % with the remaining money.

So below is what has been set up for my spending budget:

  • Rent (Fixed): I know this is probably on the higher end for all readers out there aside from those in NYC. I have a 750 sq ft condo with a covered parking space in a relatively nice area. I know that I could get a lot more square footage for less money elsewhere, but I like the quietness of the neighborhood and that its close proximity to downtown means I usually walk to client sites.
  • Electric + Gas (Variable): I had originally budgeted $25 because that was the total that I was told to expect by my landlord. I am a bit disappointed by the high number and am looking into ways to at least reduce the electric bill.  My fondness for hot baths and showers as well as cooking (gas stove) probably will make reducing the gas bill improbable.
  • TMobile (F): The entire bill is actually just shy of $100 but, since I also use my personal cell as my work phone, my company reimburses me for 50% of my cost. I have an unlimited plan so the only overage I am charged is for international texts from my friends.
  • Internet (F): I use Clearwire and have decided to rent the modem each month rather than paying for it. I may decide to go with AT&T in the future.
  • Netflix (F): Basic cable is included with my rent but I still watch most of my TV shows through Netflix, streamed through Roku.
  • Health insurance (F): It’s a bit on the high end and I am searching to see if there are cheaper options available.
  • Gas/Transportation (V): This is probably much higher than I really use in a month but budgeted high just in case I receive a work engagement for a client in the suburbs, since the drive within 20 mi is not reimbursed.
  • Groceries/Food (V): I actually have a freezer full of food plus a fully stocked pantry and a produce garden. I can probably spend only $100 a month if I really wanted to reduce my expenses, but I like the safety of having stock pile, just in case. I also do couponing off and on, which requires some cash each week.

There you have it. Do you have any feedback or recommendations? Something that has worked for you to reduce cost that might be applicable to my situation? I would love to hear what you think.



2 responses to “Budget #1 — Spending

  1. Pingback: When my mind starts wandering… | 30 is the new 21

  2. I’m less than semi-anonymous, I’d say, but I don’t have any problem sharing numbers. I don’t get specific about my income though, and I talk about saving and spending separately, so it would be difficult to calculate what I make, compounded by the fact we’re a two income household. But really, it’s not hard to take an educated guess given my industry.

    I understand in many ways percentages are more valuable because raw numbers are not necessarily useful when we’re talking varying COLs. But raw numbers, to me at least, have more impact.

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