As promised, this is our budget for 2016. If you’ve never created a budget for yourself, and you don’t track your spending, chances are you’re spending too much. I’ve been using Mint to track our spending for the last two years or so, not that we really stuck to a budget, but every once in a while we could check it out to see where our money was going. Before that I used Quicken, and before that I used Microsoft Money 99. (I miss Microsoft Money.) I’ve been tracking my spending for a long time, but since I’ve changed programs a couple times, I can’t easily track it all the way back. And what does that matter anyway? All I really need is the last twelve months to help me figure out the next twelve. So that’s what I did. I figured out how much money we spent on each category for the year, divided it by twelve and made that the monthly budget. So, although one month we spent $700 to fix a sensor on the Insight, it still averaged out to $75 a month for car repairs overall.
There are a couple things missing from this budget that we are going to be paying for: savings and taxes.
Saving money is important, and it should be included in a budget. I am sort of including it here in that everything we make on top of our budgeted $28,600 is going to savings of one kind or another. First, a liquid savings account for emergencies, then into less liquid investments as well at Coverdell Education Savings Accounts for Coraline and Mazlo.
As far as taxes go, I’m just not going to pay them. Just checking to see if the IRS is reading. No, I guess I’ll pay them, but since that’s not a negotiable expense, and since I’m not sure how I feel about sharing my salary with the internet, I’m not going to worry about that in the budget either. But stay tuned for more of my thoughts on taxes.
My biggest concern is the amount allotted for groceries. Does $500 seem like enough? $125 per week. $16 per day. $5.38 per meal. Can we make that happen, for every meal, all year long? I guess we’ll find out.