Tuesday, August 3

Where is my Money??

Where is our money going?

Between my husband and I, we are spending over 3000$ a month. We don’t have any expensive hobbies or habits. We don’t eat out more than twice a week (the month is question is an exception). We pack our lunch every day. We do not buy packaged food and almost cook everything from scratch. So, what I found out on a recent budget experiment is freaking me out.

Row Labels Sum of Cost
Eat Out 527.96
Grocery 329.49
Household 21.7
Monthly Recurring Cost 1815.06
Yearly Recurring  Cost 378.94
One time Travel Expense 73.5
Grand Total 3146.65

For most of you reading this article, 3000$ a month might come across as a right amount to be spending. But keep in mind that we do not have any kids or pets. 3000$ a month adds up to a cool 36,000$ a year. and that is a salary of around 50,000$ pretax.  So how do a vast majority of Americans live on an income less than 50,000$ per family ?And the above does not include the commuter train pass and the health insurance premium that is deducted from paycheck every month. Nor does it include any purchases like clothes. It does however include a small trip to Charlotte but that should still not matter a lot in the grand scheme of things. We also did entertain a few friends at restaurants and maybe I should not be so hard on myself.

The realization that if only one of us were working, we wouldn’t be able to lead this lifestyle is getting on my nerves. Over the next few months, my aim is to get the Total Monthly expenditure to less than 2K a month. It will be some hard work but I am ready for a challenge and honestly believe that it can be done. Following is my Plan of action

  1. Reduce Eat Outs to 100$ or less per head so that the total jumps from 527 to 200. Saving us 300$ a month.
  2. My Monthly Recurring Charges are below. The Car is on a 0% Interest Loan and I am not sure paying it off at one go will solve my problems. I still have 4 years on that loan. The home is in a part of country from where we are trying to move. Changing the rent to mortage will not be helpful. 
    Row Labels Sum of Cost
    Car Loan Repayment and Phone 500
    Car Insurance Feb 100.34
    Netflix Feb 12.71
    Energy 23.4
    Internet Bill 42.66
    Rent + Utilities 1095.95
    Phone 30
    International Calling 10
    Grand Total 1815.06

    3. The monthly grocery bill usually does not add up to a number greater than 250$. So, an investigation is needed into what is making this jump high.

In the meantime, any suggestions are welcome on costs that could be avoided.




  • Why don’t you think about adding passive income sources to your family income, best is if you can convert your household expenses to an income source. In fact that is what we do, which allows us to keep the lifestyle we want and not cutting corners.
    Saving has never made anyone wealthy, but budgeting to invest and build assets have made people wealthy.

    • shalady

      Well, that’s the plan. We have our minds made on the investments which will generate the passive income. We are currently saving to invest.
      There are a few other dimensions when I think of Finance. I do not want an overtly consumer driven lifestyle and I am into the whole environment thingy (don’t wanna get started here). So maintaining my moderate lifestyle does not need a large income.
      And as for saving, a dollar saved is 1.3$ earned (thanks to the tax we pay Uncle Sam).
      Budgeting is a proved path to savings and investment is just the next step.

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