Our First Budget

To a point, this is our first budget.  In reality, we kind of had a budget before just nothing was written on paper.  While both of us see the importance of a budget (its nice to see where the money is actually going) we both are also pretty responsible and feel like we don’t need a piece of paper telling us where to put money.   Here is our budget, I will explain it and why some things are missing. 

click to enlarge

 After Tax Income: Pretty straight forward.  Both the wife and I get paid bi-weekly.  We took the average of her paycheck, and the average of my paycheck (from a couple raises ago) and this was the total.  The reason why I averaged my paycheck from a couple raises ago is because on our prior non-budget budget, we were putting the extra on the house payment or into savings.  Essentially acting like I never had gotten the raise.  We also do not count any overtime that either of us work, because we always use it to either pay down debt or to do something fun. 

Investments: I left this one blank because the totals change quite a bit.  Between what I put in and the match I get it equals 10% of my income.  The wifes equals 20% of her income.  The total number of our retirement accounts is in the END of 2011 column.  After our debt is gone (other than the home) I plan on contributing more, especially to my Roth IRA that I haven’t funded yet. 

Actual Take Home Income: Self explanatory.

Expenses:

The home mortgage.  This is something that we are working on changing with a refinance.  Hopefully this will be done for the next months budget and be at $760 instead of $1,033.  Part of the raise that I didn’t list in our take home pay goes towards paying an extra $100 on this.  So the real number is $1,133. 

The camper payment is one of our loans that we have a goal of paying off this year.  You can see the total owed on it in the Debt section.

Student Loan: This is what is left from the wifes student loans, this is another one of our goals to pay off this year.  Total is in the Debt section.  I luckily had no student loans due to my enlistment in the Army. 

Utilities include electric and our natgas payment.  This is about our average total bill for both

Car Insurance, Cell phones, Cable and Her car are all expenses that do not change at all, pretty much the same amount every month.  I should explain that she does not actually have a car payment.  She paid that off over a year ago and just continues to pay it to a separate part of her savings account for when we need to buy another vehicle.

Auto/gas changes every month, but this is the average.  This bill might be lower during the spring/summer/fall due to her driving my car instead of her gas guzzling SUV.  I only have to drive a mile everyday to get to my carpool, so it makes sense for her to drive the better gas mileage one when the roads are good.  I would rather pay the extra money in the winter and have her drive the 4×4. 

Totals: Our total Income-expenses leaves us with an extra $1,165 every month.  Of course this number changes because we do not budget for random stuff like eating out or going on dates.  The realistic number should be around $1k. 

End of 2011: This is our balances on Jan 1st, 2012. 

End of 2012 Goals: I really didn’t know what to put here.  I know we want about a $10k emergency fund, but we are going to pay off the camper and student loans first before we fully fund it.  Also after our home is refinanced we are going to be moving to one bank account (we are both on each others accounts already) but we would like to have everything in one so its easier to track. 

Assets and Debts: Both of these are self-explanatory. 

We chose to add a section here that includes our net worth.  As you can see, it is in the red right now.  $88,715.20 to be exact.  Our end of the year goal is to get this down to $55k or better.  I am hoping with our refinance and working some extra overtime we can blow this goal out of the water.  Why did we choose $55k, I have no idea.  It just seemed like a cool number to me at the time.  I will be updating this budget about once a month to track our progress of our goals.

Are our goals pretty reasonable and realistic?  Is there anything that you think I am missing on our budget that I need to add?  Is your budget just a rough guideline our do you stick to it religiously?

SIDE NOTE: Special thanks goes out to Ninja over at http://www.punchdebtintheface.com/ for hooking me up with the budget template.

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