To keep track of how we’re doing financially and how we’re increasing our net worth, it only makes sense to list out our fixed expenses for the month. Last month, you saw we only brought in $1,885. If this keeps up, we will be broke before we know it (it won’t…we moved from Arizona to North Carolina at the end of August and my husband was out of work for the month of September).
Our fixed bills
- Apartment rent $1,305
- Car payment $336
- Cell phones $130
- Car insurance $88
- Internet $35
- Netflix $8
- Electric $100 (average, probably less in the winter)
- Water $50
Total monthly bills: $2,052
Our variable bills
I’m not going to list out our variable bills because, well, they vary each month and I don’t see the point. While my husband and I do tell our money where to go each month, I don’t like to use the term “budget.” I’ll do a post on this, but our philosophy is we buy what we need and anything else we think about and see if we can afford it. I’m not going to budget $80 a month towards entertainment, because most months I don’t want to spend that much on entertainment. I’m also not going to budget $100 for diapers, because if we need more diapers before the month is over…we’re buying them! Those are a need and we will get those no matter what.
Instead of budgeting $500 for food, why not meal plan, cook at home as often as possible, buy items on sale and use coupons?…all the time. That’s what I do and it works great. Some months I’m sure I spend a bit more and others a bit less, but overall it evens out. We also only buy what we want to eat within that week. I hate stocking up on food, because most likely it will just sit in the freezer for months before getting thrown out.
Assuming we need $3,000 per month to live, that means I would like our income to get to $4,500 a month to allow us to save and invest. Since John’s income goal for October is $3,000 and mine is $1,700, this is very realistic for us right now.
Readers: How much do your monthly fixed bills cost you?