Budgets are cool and all, but I’m not a huge fan of ’em. Most of you probably budget weekly or monthly. In the Ninja household we are budget rebels and only tweak the thing once a year. Apparently it’s time to do just that. 2012 Ninja budget meet my readers, readers meet my budget….
Like I said before, I’m not a big fan of budgeting and therefore my spreadsheet might seem a little confusing. Let’s see if I can help you make some sense of it…
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.
Below my gross income, I have a section called “Side Hustle”. This pretty much accounts for my blogging income, now that I don’t do much housesitting or tutoring. I like to keep it conservative here by estimating only $500/month in side hustle income. I’ve already made $2,000 this month from PDITF, so I’m hoping I can blow that projection out of the water (Can someone remind me why I get paid for writing this silly blog?).
I use to contribute 5% of my gross income to my 401K, but I decided to step things up a bit by kicking it up to 8% for 2012. With the 5% match my employer provides, I’ll have 13% of my gross income going to my 401K plan this year. I’ve also been lucky enough to max out my Roth IRA every year since I graduated college in 2007. Ultimately we want to have about 15-ish% of our gross income going towards retirement. Girl Ninja also has a 401K plan, but she’s asleep so I can’t ask her how much she contributes. This is why I left it off.
Pretty self-explanatory. I include a 10% “random” category at the bottom of the expenses as it seems like 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 we just try to keep all those miscellaneous expenses less than 10% of our net income. We also tithe/donate to charity every month, but I have removed that section from our expenses as we consider that a private matter.
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 have the potential to add about $36,000 to our savings account this year. I don’t know how realistic this number actually is, seeing that the $36K estimate doesn’t account for our charitable gifts, but I’m hoping some extra blog income will help offset the loss.
In the top right of the spreadsheet you will see a section for my annual financial goals. We have always reached our goals — often earlier than planned — so this year I really decided to shoot for the moon. We are gonna work our butts off to try and reach $100,000 in savings by years end, but as you can tell from our “left over” section, we aren’t suppose to be able to. Maybe I can convince Girl Ninja to start selling drugs? Know anyone that needs some Tylenol PM or Vicks VapoRub?
Do you budget every week, month, or year? Does your budget dictate every dollar you spend like the envelope system would, or is it more of an estimate for what the future might hold? 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?
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