Hi friends! As a follow up to my posts on financial freedom for women, here is a post about how I plan out my monthly expenses. As I’ve said before, the first step to controlling your money instead of being controlled by your money is to write down all your expenses and know exactly what’s happening to your money. That way, when you’re in need you won’t be in panic wondering what happened to your money and where did it all go to.
I started writing all my expenses down early 2019, and when my first husband died in mid 2019, followed by the pandemic and economic crisis in 2020 this habit really helped me keep things under control instead of derailing down financial ruin.
So here is how I plan out my monthly expenses:
- 25% : food
- 15% : insurance
- 15% : vacation budget
- 10% : investing
- 5% : health
- 5% : Kofie (our puppy)
- 5% : phone and internet
- 5% : chip in family needs
- 5% : books
- 5% : giving (donations)
- 5% : miscellaneous
Food can sometimes be a bit higher if I’m being lazy and don’t cook, but it can be easily balanced out with cooking more often. Insurance is non-negotiable. Vacation budget is a great way to make sure I keep my scuba diving hobbies in check because the temptation is too real! For my thoughts on investing, visit this post. Phone, internet bills, and chipping in with family needs are quite stable so they don’t fluctuate much. Books are a real big temptation, so I do have to exercise major self-control and discipline there. But there are a lot of ways to stick to the budget like rereading favorite books!
I absolutely believe in giving, and I think it’s a very important philosophy to practice because for me, it’s the only expense that makes me feel richer! I would highly recommend to practice giving even if it’s just a little bit – like so many things in life it’s not about the amount it’s about the habit. The miscellaneous budget is also a life saver, plus it gives a little wiggle room as the month unfolds which is always nice.
Keep in mind I do have a separate emergency fund which I highly recommend to start building ASAP. So that’s how I manage month to month and I hope this post helps you work out your expenses!
2 thoughts on “My Monthly Expenses”
I also write down when I visit an ATM and note about why I am taking the money out…and a running bank balance so there is no “oops.”
My father started us off when we were in SD class 3, so recording expenses has been a life-long habit.
Agree with your notion on “giving.” The nature of money is that it needs to circulate!
I would also add: buy locally! As much as you can, spend on .local goods and services–will make you happy to know you are supporting your own community, its families and businesses. Local products are often less expensive as well..
wonderful inputs! would you believe i almost never use cash anymore !