Today is the day that I’m going to start sharing our monthly finances with you. If all goes well, I’ll do this once a month. I’ve struggled with deciding how much of my personal finances I should share with you. On one hand I think it’s important to learn from others, but on the other hand, I don’t want to be judged for every little purchase I make.
One of my best friends once said that she wished her financially successful friends would talk about money more so that she could learn from them. She said she was interested in learning how her friends managed mortgages, retirement, and other finances.
At the risk of boring you to death, that’s what I’m doing this week. I’m sharing what we earned, and what we spent in the month of March. I mostly want to show you that you can put a large portion of your money towards debt or savings while enjoying life.
I feel like I need to preface this by saying that we are currently doing well financially. I’d say that Tom made a good decision to go to law school, even if it did land him in a bunch of debt.
If you’re new here, you may want to catch up by learning how we got into over $150,000 in debt. We made a goal to have it paid off by the end of 2017. So far, we are on track!
We aren’t rich by Naples, FL standards, but we are by no means living on the poverty line. I think part of me is afraid to share our finances because I’m afraid my super frugal friends and family will judge me for being able to save money.[bctt tweet=”For many people, saving money is a luxury”]
I realize that for many people, saving money is a luxury. Many people I know literally live paycheck to paycheck. While Tom and I don’t live that way (anymore), we have certainly been in that situation before. We’ve been so poor that all we could afford to eat was dried beans. Even so, we still did our best to put money towards debt (most notably by downsizing). I hope by sharing our personal finances, you’ll be able to see that you can go from living paycheck to paycheck to being able to save money. It only takes time. And a few lifestyle changes.
So, how did we do this month? Well, we kept a budget.
We brought in $6850.69
We spent $9674.02
You may be thinking that we went WAY over budget.
Don’t worry, we didn’t! We took money from savings this month to pay down Tom’s loans and to pay over $1,000 in HOA fees. Most months don’t look like this! I’m actually impressed because we are almost exactly $3,000 over, which is exactly what we took out to put towards loans and HOA fees.
Our savings account is looking pretty sad right now at $900. It’s okay though because we so much closer to paying off Tom’s loans!
Another thing I want to point out is that we pay off our credit card weekly if not daily. We don’t carry a balance. The only debt we have are loans and the house.
Here is the official breakdown:
We did actually put money in our emergency fund, but then we took it out to pay for HOA fees. So even though it says $0, we put in over $400. I had to take it out because technically I “cooked the books” by counting it twice: once for savings, then again towards loans. Whoops!
Officially, we spent 24% of our income this month on savings. I’m pretty proud of that.
I won’t bore you with the exact numbers. Percentages are much more fun:
49% towards our home. This includes the mortgage, upkeep, and HOA dues. They aren’t usually $1,000 a quarter. Our HOA redid some stuff in the neighborhood so we have an extra fee for a year. It’ll be back to ~$500 quarterly at the end of this year.
24% towards savings
10% towards groceries
The other 17% goes to entertainment, medical, dining out, personal items (clothing, etc.).
Obviously a big portion of our money goes towards our house. We aren’t even going to think about paying the mortgage down fast until we pay off the last of the student loans.
This has been such a long post that I’m skipping Food Waste Friday. We wasted food. The good news is that I have a compost bin on the way!!! Yay! I can’t wait to share more about food waste and composting soon.
The budget I used is the standard FREE one in Numbers on my MacBook. Don’t pay for budgeting software! Just don’t! It’s a waste of money. One day I’ll blog about how to keep a budget without paying for it.
What did you think of the first look at our personal finances? Love it? Hate it? I’d love to hear what you think. Is this actually useful to anyone? Anyone at all? Bueller?