So I decided to start a new budget feature here on Penny Thots. This is the first crack at it and I am sure that over the months it will grow and evolve into something new. I haven’t thought it through very much, just have the urge to share some budget details to help stay accountable and to help readers as well.
With that said, I am only going to track a few spending and saving categories at first. I don’t have the urge to track fixed monthly expenses, just the few variable ones that end up costing us the most over the long-term. These will include:
- Dining Out
These are fairly straight-forward and I don’t think I really need to go into detail as to what these mean.
When it comes to saving, I am just going to track 3 categories:
- Mortgage Paydown
- Rental Down Payment
- Rebuild Emergency Fund
The mortgage paydown is additional money I am putting towards our mortgage on our house. The rental down payment money is money I am saving up to buy another rental property. As for the emergency fund, it has dropped over the past few months due to a variety of things. So, I am working now to rebuild it back to a respectable level. I figure I need $4,500 to get it back to where I want it to be. So with that said, here are my goal amounts for October:
- Groceries -> $300
- Gas -> $150
- Dining Out -> $200
- Mortgage Paydown -> $100
- Rental Down Payment -> $100
- Rebuild Emergency Fund -> $150
So there you have it. The goal is to move the money left over from the spending categories into these saving categories, assuming there is money left over. The catch is that I am not going to count this addition as part of my savings.
In other words, if I save $50 in my emergency fund and then add in $50 because I only spent $250 on groceries, I am looking at the savings amount as just the $50, not the $100. The money left over from spending less will be treated like a bonus.
Come the beginning of November, I will be updating my results in a new post as well as setting up some goals for next month as well.
Readers, what are the parts of your budget that cause you the most headaches? Any savings goals going forward?
Hi, my name is Jon and I run Penny Thots. I’ve been interested in personal finance since high school and love writing and talking about it. You can learn more about me in the Authors section of this site.