Ooh I’m excited about this pie chart update! I posted about one of my favorite money related shows ‘Til Debt Do Us Part’ on CNBC with Gail Vaz-Oxlade, and her budget guidelines. I haven’t watched the show in forever, and without paid TV, I likely won’t for awhile, but at least she has a blog.
My 2012 pie chart can be found here. Our transportation was out of control thanks to a car payment and gas costs. Life expenses were high due to childcare, and food. The guidelines for creating a budget are below, the numbers in black are Gail’s recommendation, the numbers in red are my 2012 percentages.
- 35% Housing Costs 25%
- 15% Transportation Costs 24%
- 25% Life Expenses 34%
- 10% Savings 10%
- 15% Debt Repayment 7%
Not bad, not great. Always room for improvement. Even if it is very, very slow improvement. I’m going to go through each category this time. Gives me something to look back on when I do yearly updates. Here’s where we currently stand for 2013…
HOUSING Includes: Mortgage, Insurance, Property Taxes, Equity Loan, Utilities. Only a 1% change, this is attributed to lower utility costs and property taxes. This will change next year, when our property taxes double. I expect this category to +/- 2% at any given time due to utilities.
TRANSPORTATION Includes: Car Payments, Insurance, Gas, Maintenance. This was the biggest change for us. By getting rid of gas guzzler vehicles and downsizing to a Honda Civic, we’re saving over $270 in gas, possibly more! We also paid off our other car, which saves another $315 per month. Cut our transportation budget in half!
LIFE EXPENSES Includes: Food, Childcare, Internet, Television, Entertainment, Cellphones, Vacations, etc. Despite canceling television, and cutting back on food costs, life expenses went up. My original pie chart includes childcare, but part-time. My son is now enrolled full-time. Big price increase with that, so that’s why this category went up. This won’t go down much until 2015, if he attends public school.
SAVINGS I had no idea we were putting 16% of our take home pay into savings. Never feels like that much! I’d like to get a comfortable cushion built up in the next few months, then bring savings down to 10% and apply the difference to debt repayment.
DEBT REPAYMENT Progress! We increased our debt repayment by a whopping 3%! This definitely needs to go up though. At least 15%. Especially if I want to be on track to pay off credit cards this year, which I’m not confidant will happen.
A lot has changed in the last year. I’m happy with the progress we’ve made. My focus will be life expenses, particularly food (as always) and debt repayment. As well as bringing in extra income, which has admittedly been slacking the last couple of months for various reasons. Sometimes I just get tired, busy, or overwhelmed. Or sick, which is the common theme for 2013 it seems. Time management and personal motivation are lacking lately.