It’s that time kiddos. Time to crunch some numbers and see what the Ninja households’ life looks looks like through the eyes of an Excel Spreadsheet. This is my budget prior to marriage…
And now let’s take a gander at the prospective Married Budget of Pure Epic Gloryness…
Does the layout make sense to you? I know looking at other people’s budgets can be pretty confusing, so let me try and clear up any potential confusion.
This section is probably the most confusing. It includes the gross income from both my full time job and any side hustle income I can bring in. It doesn’t include any of Wife Ninja’s teaching money, not because her money doesn’t count, but I put her NET income at the bottom of the spreadsheet a long time ago and have never moved it up. As you all know, my side hustle includes tutoring and blogging. I make $40/hr tutoring high school math, usually about three hours a week. My blog income is much more inconsistent ranging between $0-$1,000 a month. I like to budget conservatively so I estimated $200/month for all my side income, but it in reality is closer to $500+.
We’ve decided on only two primary investment vehicles at this point, but will likely add a third soon. 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). That is all Wife Ninja and I will do for the remainder of 2010, but when 2011 comes around we will start up a Roth IRA for her as well. Pretty boring stuff if you ask me. This should make our total retirement investing somewhere between 15%-20% of our gross income.
Getting paid every two weeks makes budgeting 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 was after the typical two paycheck month ($3,100).
Again, pretty boring stuff. I include a 10% random category at the bottom of the expense category 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 decided to just keep all that miscellaneous spending at or under 10% of our net income. Do you budget every last purchase; beauty products, coffee, etc?
This is the most important part of the budget. As it stands right now, Girl Ninja and I are looking at having about $1,380 each month in discretionary income, for an annual savings potential of $16,500. But wait! It get’s better, remember, there are two months each year that I get an extra paycheck. That bring the annual savings potential up to about $19,500, but even more awesome than that… I only assumed $200/month in side income (which would only be $2,400/yr), but so far I’ve brought home a little more than $5,000 from my side gigs this year. If we buckle down, we could easily be saving $25,000 or more each year.
The stuff on the right side is just stuff I track for myself, annual savings goals, what bills have been paid, etc.
I personally believe our budget SHOULD NOT be a restrictive law, but simply a spending guideline. Some months we will spend more in categories than budgeted, just as there will be months where we are way under. Our life ebbs and flows, and our spending is no different. We have a great potential to do some serious wealth building and I’m excited for the journey ahead. I’ll keep ya’ll updated if there are any significant adjustments.
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 a estimate like in the Ninja house? What’s your preferred budgeting tool (Mint, Quicken, Excel, Paper/pencil)? Do you add any sections to your budget (like Goals, Payoff dates, etc)?