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:
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.