Regardless of what some may say, I don’t think budgets are sexy at all. In fact, I can’t think of anything less sexy than a bunch of numbers and an excel spreadsheet. This is why I only open up my spreadshet once a year. Now that 2012 is a thing of the past, it’s time to make some predictions on what could come in 2013. Here’s a screenshot of my budget, followed by some explanations
If you want to view the spreadsheet at normal resolution just give it a little click.
Before Tax Income:
Does anyone know why we include Gross Income in our budgets? It’s kind of pointless really. It just reminds me how much of my income I don’t get to keep. I haven’t included Girl Ninja’s gross in this section for a very important reason; I’m lazy.
You’ll notice below my gross income, I have a “Side Hustle” section. This pretty much accounts for my blogging income (and now hopefully MANteresting income). In 2011 I made $13,000 a year from this blog. In 2012, I scraped by with $4,000. I’ve decided to scale back even further and only estimate bringing home $3,000 this year. Hopefully it will be significantly higher, but only time will tell.
We’ve finally added Girl Ninja’s retirement accounts to the spreadsheet. It only took being married for 2.5 years for me to get around to it. Haha. Oh well gotta start sometime, right? For as long as we don’t own a house, I plan to contribute at least 10% of my gross pay to my 401k (which gets matched at 5%). If/when we purchase, I may scale back a tad to free up some cash flow. With our savings account quickly approaching $100,000 we might as well use our discretionary income to up our retirement contributions. I’m sure my 70-year-old-self will be happy I did.
Pretty self-explanatory. I include a 15% “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, clothes, etc each month; we just try to keep all those miscellaneous expenses less than 15% of our net income. We also tithe/donate to charity consistently, but didn’t think it was necessary/appropriate to put those numbers in the spreadsheet.
This is the most important part of the budget, as it really gives us a look in to our financial future. As long as we are spending less than we make, everything is gravy. Fortunately, it looks like we’ll have about $2,400 left after we pay all the bills. I have a few three paycheck months as well, so all said and done we could be adding about $32,000 to our savings account. I’m keeping my fingers crossed all goes according to plan
In the top right of the spreadsheet you will see a section for my annual financial goals. In 2013 I’m hoping our overall Net Worth will increase to about $217,000. This would be a $54,339 increase from our current position. I gotta say, it would be pretty awesome to shatter the $200k threshold this year. What’s crazy about all this is that I don’t really feel like Girl Ninja and I are frugal. I mean we both traveled so much last year we are MVP flyers (booya for free first class upgrades!). We dropped $20k cash on a new-t0-us car. And I funded a new business venture from our personal savings. For 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.
Do you budget like me? Anything I do with mine that you think is weird? What’s your preferred budgeting tool (Mint, Quicken, Excel, Paper/pencil)?
Obviously if we buy a house, all of these numbers are pretty much worthless since we have no clue what our future mortgage will be, how much we will put down (thus decreasing our cash reserves), etc. When we find the right house for us, I’ll make sure to do some revising.
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