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Ever since I refinanced into a 15-year fixed mortgage, I wanted to start tracking my expenses. My new mortgage will save me a lot of money in the long run, but it comes with a higher monthly payment. I decided to begin tracking my expenses to make sure I wasn’t over spending and still had enough free money to meet my financial goals.
A lot of people use budgets, which requires a good deal of planning. I dont’ want to spend that much time, but I do want to track my spending. I’m going to tally up all of my expenses every month except unique purchases like furniture or airfare, etc. The goal is to get an idea as to how much free money I have spend on furniture, airfare, savings and generally any other wants I have.
My expenses for September are as follows:
- Home (68.9%/52.9%) – consists of my mortgage payment, association fees (water, trash removal, heat, gas, etc), electricity, cable/internet and condo insurance. There isn’t really too much I can do to reduce these expenses. I just have to remember that a lot of it is going towards principal on my condo.
- Car (16.1%/12.3%) – consists of my car payment, auto insurance and gas. I have less than a year remaining of car payments. When I complete my car payments this category will drop by more than half. I’d also like to change my car insurance and drop that payment.
- Food (11.4%/8.8%) – consists of groceries and going out to lunch during work. I’m not looking to reduce this category, but it will be interesting to see how much it fluctuates.
- Luxuries (0.7%/0.6%) – consists of my netflix and zune subscriptions. I enjoy movies and tv shows both streaming and through the mail to cancel my netflix subscription. I’ve actually been thinking about upgrading to the two at a time plan.
- Phone (2.8%/2.2%) – consists of my cell phone. Self-explanatory, although it also acts as my buzzer for my condo. If I didn’t have a cell phone I’d have to get a land line.
- Free Money – I’m relieved to see that I have almost $1,000 to spend how I wish after all of my expenses are taken out. This amounts to 23% of my income, which is much more than I thought I had available. Now I have to increase my income and decrease my monthly expenses.
It’s interesting to note that if you remove my car payment and mortgage payment I would only have barely over $1,000 in expenses. If only I could pay those both off, I could nearly retire.
Posted in Monthly Expenses.
– October 19, 2009