2013 Budget Planning

It's the time of the year where I get to do one of my favorite things - make the 2013 Budget!  I know...what a geek!  But what did you expect on a personal finance blog?!

I started by reviewing our spending habits in 2012 - the summary is below: 

Variable Spending
The image on the top shows the average variable and total variable spending for each category that we track.  This is going to be helpful when we look at how much we need to save over the course of the year for each of these items.  

I knew we spent a lot on gifts around Christmas - but wowza!  We spend a lot throughout the year.  

Home Maintenance is a bit out of whack because we just moved into our new home and did quite a bit of work on the lawn and that sort of thing

Emergencies is probably not realistic either - during family emergencies - and I've had a few this year - typically we spend more on gas and eating out - so the day-to-day spending takes a hit when that happens.

Education and Banking shouldn't be an issue for 2013 - our credit card will be paid off by Christmas and neither Jordan or I are planning any further education in the coming year.

A month ago, Jordan and I increased our day-to-day, weekly spending allowance from $300 to $350 after we realized that we were using our credit card again to supplement things when we ran out of $ which was making it difficult to both stay on track and pay of the credit card.

You can see - that we still have some changes to make - because on average we spend $1,848/month which is $331 more than the $1,516/month we give ourselves (on average - I've spread the 'extra' week we get four times a year over a 12 month period).

It's no wonder we tend to hover with a credit card balance around $3,000 - - - $331*12 is $3,976!

I would like to keep our planned day-to-day spending at $350/week - and hope that if we actually pull emergency gas/eating out/travel - and use the emergency fund rather the day-to-day or credit card when the ca-ca hits the fan, that we'll be closer on target.   

Jordan and I were also taking about groceries and waste and we both believe we have some room to improve their - we through out way to much food after it spoils.

On to 2013

This is what I'm thinking for our 2013 plan.  I haven't reviewed it with Jordan yet - but he reads this blog - so it's all open to change.

I tried to match up with what we did last year, as well as consider any changes - I don't think this Christmas - or any really - going forward will be as flush as they have been - and with some other recent changes in my life - I don't imagine we'll be spending as much as we have in the past on gifts.

Home Maintenance spending will be supplemented with Tax Returns and any gift money we receive throughout the year.

Yes - I want a Baby Bank - No, I'm not pregnant -  I want to start saving for whenever in the next few years we get pregnant and have leaves of absences and what not to contend with.  

Last but not least, let's look at the potential monthly spending plan as a whole - I've made so many changes to this over the last six weeks that I thought it best just to put it out there to get feedback.

Fixed expenses are just that - they don't typically change.

Allowances - they are on hold right now but the intent is to start them back up again in the new year.

Variable Spending - this should match the 2013 plan I posted above.

Long Term savings is pretty consistent with last year except I want to increase Jordan's contributions by at least $100.  I would like to see this at $400 - but I'm not sure where to take from to make that happen.



  1. Jessie, you've done a fabulous job of putting together a good budget for 2013. You are smart, smart, smart to put aside $200 for a future baby/maternity LOA. Good job!!! There isn't anywhere that I'd suggest changes. You have a good amount heading to each of your variable spending funds that could be pulled in the event of an emergency. Even though that $900 is marked to be spent, it could be diverted to a more pressing priority... it is the cushion in your budget that everyone should have.

  2. Aw! Thanks Makky's Mom!

    I've spent a lot of time on this one - I'm hoping Jordan likes it too :)

  3. I don't know where you got this planning and organizational ability from, but I sure admire it!

  4. good job on the budget. It's a great idea to get started on baby related savings however,me not knowing how much money will be needed if/when a baby does come, is it possible an extra $100 can go from the baby fund to long term savings? The PF blogging world is pretty set on fortifying your own retirement savings in lieu of spending on the kids. In your case where the kids aren't even on board yet nor have they started to put additional stresses on your budget ( teenage boys eat a lot of food!), now may be the best time to put as much as possible into your long term savings, more time for them to compound for retirement. When the kids do come along, you can always adjust the budget as needed.

  5. @ Mom - I'm not really sure either, but thank you!

    @Alanna - that's a thought....the baby bank isn't for things like education - I should have explained it better. It's for when I'm on Maternity Leave and my income is reduced to employment insurance. It's money that we would survive on.

  6. I would suggest looking at your grocery budget as an area to trim. You mentioned you have food waste - are you meal planning, freezing leftover, etc? Food is always a struggle for me, but concentrated effort does yield some results. ;-)

  7. @Hawaii - We defn. have some room to trim with food - that's the hardest part for us too!

  8. Like your budget. I approach budgeting very similar to you do and one of these days I will have to work out my budget for 2013. Nice work!


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