Our 2014 Budget

January 13, 2014 · 24 comments

Finally found the motivation this weekend to spend a little bit of time working on our 2014 budget. Especially after many of you called out my laziness in last weeks post and forced me to get my stuff together. Thanks for the swift kick in the pants ya jerks.

Girl Ninja and I will be repping dual income for about eight months, but come August we’ll be a one income household. Below you’ll find a screenshot of our 2014 budget coupled with our 2014 financial goals/predictions.

 

2014 budget

If you want to view the spreadsheet at normal resolution just give it a little click.

Before Tax Income:

I think it’s stupid that I have our gross income included in our budget. But for some freakin’ reason, I seem to leave it in. This year is no different. I’m reminded how much of “my” money I don’t get to keep thanks to taxes and other deductions.

You’ll notice below my gross income, I have a section titled Side Hustle. This is money I think I’ll make from blogging or other random ventures. As you can see, at $100/mo I’m not expecting anything too crazy. A few years back I sold my PF soul and brought in over $1,000 a month from this site, but nowadays I’m totally comfortable passing up sucky advertising offers.  I hate when other bloggers host “guest posts” that are clearly articles they got paid to publish.

Investments:

In last year’s budget I said I would probably cut back my 401k contributions from 10% to 5% if we bought a house. I’m happy to report that I made no such cut and don’t plan to in 2014 either. Even after Girl Ninja quits her job, I’m still planning to push forward throwing 10% in to my 401k. Retirement isn’t going to pay for itself and there’s no better time to start investing for the future than now.

Expenses:

Pretty self-explanatory. I include a 10% “random” category at the bottom of the expenses section as it seems most months have unexpected or non-budgeted things come up (household stuff, a weekend trip, birthday parties, etc). Instead of making random guesses how much we spend on cleaning products or clothes each month; we just try to keep all those miscellaneous expenses less than 10% of our net income. We also tithe/donate to charity monthly, but didn’t think it was necessary/appropriate to put those numbers in the spreadsheet.

Left Over:

This is the most important part of the budget, the green box titled Total Cash Savings Ability is how much I anticipate we will be able to add to our cash reserves on top of our retirement contributions. It’s not as much as years past, but I can’t complain if we are still able to bank a decent five-figure sum.

Goals:

In the top right of the spreadsheet you will see a section for my annual financial goals. In 2014 I’m hoping our overall Net Worth will increase to about $282,263. This would be a $47,382 increase from our current position. I’m really looking forward to being able to say I’m a quater-of-a-million-aire at some point this year. For my retirement accounts I’m estimating 6% growth over the year (2013 had like 25% growth) and a 3% appreciation on our house. Obviously, if the markets do way better (or worse) these figures will be off. All I can do is guess.

We’re going on five years of solid improvement and as long as the Big Man upstairs continues to grant us a generous income, we’ll do our best to be responsible (and generous) with it. That’s really our only goal after all.

How do you budget? You do budget right? Anything I do with mine that you think is weird? What’s your preferred budgeting tool (Mint, Quicken, Excel, Paper/pencil)?

{ 24 comments }

1 Carlotta

Hi!
I actually love that you put your gross income before everything. I don’t even try…I really don’t want to think about it. (Italy–> free schools and colleges + free (almost) hospitals + public retirement system + a lot of waste in the system = a lot of taxes. a lot.)
but there’s one thing I don’t understand: you actual take home income is different than your net income. what does that difference comes from?
thanks!

2 Mysti

He isn’t listing all the other deductions from his check….taxes, medical insurance, etc.

3 Carlotta

…but the actual take home income is lower than the net income…
:( how come i don’t get it? I have a degree in administration and finance, but still…

4 Ninja

You don’t get it because I probably made it confusing. “Actual take home pay” is how much i take home each month from my job.

Net income is my take home pay, PLUS my side income (at 75% to account for taxes.)

Make sense? I could definitely have made that more clear. Haha.

5 Mysti

I know this is just your side of the income, since you are planning on being a 1 income family later this year. Don’t forget about any increases you will have in your medical (not sure if you med insurance is for a couple, or a “family”).

Depending on how you account for baby….your “grocery” or “personal care” lines will go up…those diapers are expensive, and in case you didn’t know, as baby grows, you get LESS diapers per box for the same price.

And where is the college savings line item for Baby??

Congratulations on the new human addition (and the canine one as well).

6 austin

Higher grocery bill for Girl Ninja, too! :)

7 Jennifer

What I’m wondering is, how do you get such an inexpensive bill???? I get rid of cable in the off-season of college football, but normally it costs twice that. Right now I’m living off Netflix and Hulu for $16/month.

8 Ninja

Ah great question. My employer covers $40 of my cable bill expenses for internet. So I have only accounted for our basic cable package.

9 Brian@ Debt Discipline

I use excel to track my budget. I haven’t made the leap to any of the online tools yet, but have been considering you need a budget. I like the note about the last credit report check, a nice little reminder.

10 austin

Ninja, how much would you charge to analyze our budget? :-) I’m very impressed that you and GN live so frugally! We are a family of four and my wife gets to stay home to take care of the twins. We have almost every penny of our take-home accounted for. Great job and hope your 2014 is blessed!

11 David S.

I am sure he could point things out, but would we go along with them?
I have to say that some of my hobbies are money drains (couple hundred a year). But all work and no play would make life rather dull. :)

12 Angie

I know your vacations will be less with an upcoming baby and living near family. But still there is no line item for travel at all. Do you try to fit travel into your 10% monthly spending limit or do you agree to take it out of the cash savings? This is something I struggle with.

13 Shad

Would you mind sharing your template for download?

14 sheila

Shouldn’t you budget for the baby?

15 C The Writer

LOL I was wondering that too. Nowhere does it say “baby expenses.”

16 Ninja

As far as medical expenses are concerned I am 100% covered for maternity so I have no out-of-pocket costs. Otherwise diapers and baby food should fall in that 10% discretionary category.

17 Emily @ evolvingPF

I admire you for keeping your budget so simple, but I don’t think I could do it! I always want to make sure we have enough for those miscellaneous/irregular expenses. How often do yours exceed that 10% line item?

18 Mark Ross

I think your budget is great! I only create my budget using a paper and a pen, and that’s still the way I want it to be this year.

19 Micro

Awesome to see that you stuck with the 10% 401k contribution even after you got the house. I think it would be really easy to cut it back and just say the house needs to be properly budgeted for. Instead of borrowing money from future you though, I’m guessing you found it through other means. I’m planning on trying to max out my 401k this year to try and take advantage of the time it will sit there.

20 Lindy

I just ran your spreadsheet against mine and I see property taxes and home insurance are missing. Do you have that tucked in under something else like mortgage. If the bank/lender is paying the property tax…watch them like a hawk…I’ve heard horror stories of cases where it wasn’t done on time, if at all and Lordy Lordy… the fines are never paid by the lender, eh! Oh, and you guys don’t buy clothes or cleaning supplies? humph.

21 Midwest

Or budget is similar to yours, and even stole your 10% line to account for our misc expenses each month. I track all income, medical deductions, investment deductions, and recurring expenses. I track separately each account and percentage gained and lost each month. Another sheet has projected net worth gain for each month ($15k), and a color coded column to define if we met, exceeded to failed to meet the goal for the month. There is also a comment section for notes that might explain what occurred to explain a swing. Examples would be quarterly stock purchase, dividends, big purchase, etc. That same sheet also has a future projection of when I will reach millionaire status down to the month. It gets adjusted monthly as well and is based off my average of the prior four months of income.

22 Jeffrey Mitchell

“Total Cash Savings Ability” reminded me of the accounting Term “Free Cash Flow” – I actually put FCF into my finacial spreadsheets to let me know how much flexibility there is in my budget. It is basically everything left between Income – all short term debts (I pay credit card in full every month) and monthly bills.

I think I am going to steal your term bcause it will constantly remind me to save the money rather than go out and spend it on things I don’t need later!

23 Dreemsie

Congrats on the baby!

You should write a post about your college savings plan for Lil PDITF.

And dont worry about the baby budget like some posters suggested, use trial and error until you figure out what he/she will need.

24 Charlie @ Our Journey To Zero Debt

I tend to use a lot of technology to aid me in my budgeting: Mint, Level Money and Check. All iPhone apps.

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