It’s time for all you creepy budget stalkers to get excited, cause it’s time I share with you the 2011 Ninja Household Budget. Are you stoked or what?! Today you get a glimpse in to our financial picture, where our money goes, and how we do things. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments below (I’ll do my best to respond to each one). Readers meet my spreadsheet, spreadsheet meet my readers….
I know looking at other people’s budgets can get pretty confusing. Let me see if I can help you decipher it.
I don’t know why I even track my gross income. All it really does, is remind me how much of my money I don’t get to keep. Sad day. I’ve only included my gross income in this section because I’m too lazy to include Girl Ninja’s. You’ll see below my gross income, I have a section called “Side Hustle”. As you all know, my side hustles include tutoring, blogging, and housesitting. This income can vary widely. Some months being near $1,000, while other months nothing. I conservatively budgeted for $200/mo, when in fact it will be closer to $500/mo.
I contribute 5% of my gross income to my 401K as that gets fully matched by my employer (for a total 401K contribution of 10% of my gross income). I’ve also made a habit of maxing out my Roth IRA each year ($5,000/yr). This year we will look to open up a Roth IRA for Girl Ninja. I don’t have it budgeted for in the spreadsheet, but it’s most likely going to happen. The goal would be to have a total of 15-ish% (of our gross income) going in to retirement each month.
Getting paid every two weeks makes this budgeting thing a bit more difficult. We’ve decided to plan our budget around only two paychecks a month, even though twice a year, I have a three paycheck month. I basically manipulate my tax number to reflect what my actual net pay is on a regular two paycheck month. We pretend like the three paycheck months don’t exist.
Pretty self explanatory. I include a 10% “random” category at the bottom of the expenses as it seems like most months have unexpected and non-budgeted things come up. Instead of make random guesses how much we spend on cleaning products, clothes, etc each month, we’ve just try keep all those miscellaneous expenses as close to 10% as possible. Do you budget every last purchase; beauty products, coffee, carpet cleaner, etc?
This is the most important part of the budget, as it really gives us a look in to our financial future. According to the spreadsheet, we will save about $28,500 if we stick to our budget. But wait, you’ll also notice the section titled “Additional $$$”, this is where I can account for money I know we will save/earn that doesn’t really fit anywhere else in the budget (like one time lump sum payments). If everything goes as planned, it looks like GN and I should be able to increase our savings by about $40,000 this year. And that doesn’t even include the $12,000+ we will be putting to retirement.
Who knows if we will actually be able to make this happen, but you bet your sweet bottom we are gonna try! Remember, our budget is not a LAW by which we must abide, but simply a tentative game plan based off of what we think we know/want. A big job promotion, or a crazy emergency, could totally change things around. As long as we manage to save something, I’ll be a happy camper.
How serious is the budget in your house? Does it dictate every dollar you spend like the envelope system would, or is it more of an estimate or your spending patterns? What’s your preferred budgeting tool (Mint, Quicken, Excel, Paper/pencil)? Do you add any additional sections to your budget (like Goals, Payoff dates, etc) that I should consider adding?