How We Spend Our Money

I thought it would be interesting (albeit somewhat awkward) to share where our money goes every month. Now, I won’t get into numbers or anything – but with the pie graphic you will be able to see where a lot of our income goes to (this is last month’s “allocation”). 


spending-13Allow me to make some observations – as there clearly is room for improvement here.

Housing

Obviously housing is going to be a big chunk of anyone’s budgets – especially if you own one. It’s generally advised that housing shouldn’t take up more than 28% of your gross income. One positive is that we do not own too much house.

Our housing includes things like: insurance and association dues.

Food

Yeah, this is a biggie for us. After my wife started having some health issues, we decided to invest more into health-related costs. We see eating healthy as a big part of that – and an investment towards better future health (Lord willing). And, eating healthy in America today is not cheap. Still, I think we can do better in this category.

Vehicle(s)

This should be plural. We own two cars (one is paid off) and the other is one we purchased after we got married and have just under a year (or less) left on the loan. I hate having vehicle payments – but am coming to understand the advantage of owning a newer vehicle. As a single guy, I spent thousands of dollars in yearly repair costs on old, beat-up “paid-off” vehicles. I sometimes think you’re gonna be paying something if you need a car – if it isn’t a car payment, it will be repairs or a monthly lease.

Charity

While this is only a month-snapshot – I think we can do better here.

Loan

My wife still has a school loan that we are paying on. Right now it is a secondary focus until we can snowball the vehicle payment into it.

Hair

No comment.

Life Insurance

I single this one out because I think it’s vital for most everyone to have. Especially if you have a family. The loss of income (if you are working) could be really devastating to your spouse and/or kids. You can get a 30-year term life policy for a very reasonable monthly cost.

Cell

This is for 3 of us and I’m not really thrilled with it – but I also see it as a “necessity” of the times we live in. I’m very interested in looking more closely at the Walmart Family Mobile plan that Charlie reviewed this summer.

So there you have it. I mainly did this for two reasons: 1. I’m visual person – I like to see graphically how we spend our funds from time to time and 2. I hope that it gives you some helpful reference for comparison OR at least provides some sort of entertainment value.

What does your pie look like? Or, what might it look like in percentages? (if you are so bold to share)

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22 comments

  1. Uumm…am curious, hair? For three right? :)
    My pie chart would almost look bland. I don’t have that many expenses.
    Huge chunk: Monthly Rent
    Next Huge Chunk: Food
    Lesser Huge chunk: Savings
    Next lesser huge chunk: Transportation
    Stores, Cell, Entertainment & Misc in that order.
    One area to improve on though…charity! I seem like such a tight-fist…lol

  2. Alicia @ Financial Diffraction says:

    Mine would look pretty boring as well, but I’ve still been thinking about doing this in the near future (I am up for a new job shortly, so I am waiting for that before I post it).

    Mine would be (as a function of my take-home pay):
    Rent: 26%
    Car (including car payment, gas, insurance): 14%
    Food: 9%
    Savings: 8%
    Debt Repayment: 25% (or 32% if you include car payment here rather than above)
    The Remaining 18% are small chunks here and there like internet/cell phone/etc.

    Oh, and I should say, I save 1% per month for HAIR, so that every three months or so I can get a cut, and MAYBE a highlight or two.

  3. Looks like you’re doing pretty well in general: your home, vehicle, and loan costs seem relatively low. Those, along with food, make up the majority of my budget.

    I was looking for a new phone plan over the summer, and last month, my wife and I decided to join my sisters’ family plan on TMobile. Officially, the phone lines for my wife and me cost about $13 each including taxes, but we pay about twice that to split the entire phone bill more evenly. Still, at $50 a month for two lines, we’re paying $45 less than we used to while getting unlimited everything. So, if you have any relatives with room in their family plan, it might be worth looking into.

  4. Portia says:

    Regarding the hair expense…for the last year and a half, my husband and I have had our hair cut at the local cosmetology school…$5 for a cut and style! The students, who work under the direction of a licensed cosmetologist, do a GREAT job — much better, in fact, than the high cost salons we had frequented in the past.

  5. dojo says:

    1. Business expenses / taxes
    2. Food / grocery – we do like to eat well (and healthy) and it’s not cheap here either
    3. health – I’m pregnant so many things go out off my ‘paycheck’
    4. baby related stuff – we’re getting ready for her
    5. car

    These are the biggest ones so far.
    We do save a big chunk too, fortunately :)

  6. Interesting Aaron. Thinking about it, I think my pie chart would look quite similar to yours. Right now we have 3 kids eating us out of house and home. My medical would be more though as I am a self employed and so the premiums are all out of pocket. I do cut my own hair and my son’s hair, so that would be less. :-)

  7. The percentage amounts look great to me, Aaron. And wise choice not commenting on the hair monies, as this is a serious issue with us women. I’ve made peace, finally, with the fact that I chose not to spend any money on my hair in 2013, but I’m still not happy about it. I’m seriously considering putting “highlights and a good haircut” into the “needs” category. :-)

  8. Jeff says:

    I love these charts. I did one on Excel a couple months ago and I geek out hard on the data. We have taken serious steps to ensure our “savings” portion dwarfs some of the others. We have eliminated expenses that previously dotted our pie chart. We have gone so far as to change our diet to save on our health and grocery expenses. It is truly amazing to see how the numbers compare in charts like these.

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