Budget – Fixed Monthly Costs

Since I’m oh-so bad at not racking up random late fees on things, here are my fixed costs
and what they should cost me each month:

$1050: Rent / Utilities
$71.33: Cable/ Internet
$48.33: Verizon Phone
$128: Health Insurance
$138: Car Insurance
$100: Gas
$27: Gym
——————————————
$1562.22

Total Set Monthly Income (actual, not dreamed)

$3700

Have to put 25% of that into taxes savings account…

$925 into savings account.

Leaving $2775 for monthly spending
MINUS
$1562.22 of fixed costs

——————————————–

That hypothetically leaves
$1212.78 for food, fun, investing, medical spending, extra gas, etc

A reasonable budget would be:

$400: Food
$100: Invest (roth IRA)
$100: Invest: ETF/Stocks
$200: HSA Account for Medical (Need to Set Up!)
$200: Clothes / Makeup
$100: Extra Gas
$112.78: Entertainment

What am I missing?

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12 comments

  1. HerEveryCentCounts says:

    Addy: Yes, I love Trader Joes. I sometimes shop there as well… I didn't last month, I guess. I buy tons of their frozen quiche! Their produce always seems less fresh to me, but their other food is cheaper. I should shop there more often.And I realized that about the HSA versus Roth thing. I was confused at first, but as I noted in another comment I figured out I'm wrong about that.

  2. Addy says:

    I live in your same area and spend maybe $150/month on groceries. The secret is Trader Joe's – if you're lazy, buy everything there. You'll save tons over the organic market (I assume you're talking about Whole Foods, but any one will do). If you're less lazy, you should look for sales on staples at both the "regular" supermarkets (Safeway, Lucky's) and your "organic" option. Stock up when things are on sale.As for the HSA, it is actually nothing like a Roth. A Roth is not pretax. You can withdraw contributions (but not earnings) from a Roth any time for any reason. You can withdraw both contributions AND earnings from a Roth at any time if it's for first home purchase, educational expenses, or medical expenses. So in the HSA vs. Roth debate, the only advantage HSA has is that it's pretax. Roth is MUCH more flexible with when and how you can withdraw.

  3. tejl says:

    Kacie – we budget a little less than $800 per month, but we don't always spend that. I think we have $400 for groceries and $378 for eating out. My husband eats lunch out at work almost every day (I have tried to get him to pack, and he does sometimes, sometimes even twice a week, but it's hard to break him of his eating-out habit). We live in suburban Detroit, so I don't think our food costs are exorbitant. Right now we are trying to spend very little money so we can pay off our HELC by June, so for January, we spent $412 on groceries and if I remember correctly, less than $275 on eating out (including my husband's lunches). I would love to get some tips on how to cut my grocery bills down to less than $100 per week!

  4. Kacie says:

    Whoa, Tejl. $800 to feed two? That's more than my rent!I know that prices will vary across the country, though.I used to spend $75-100+ per week on food before I started planning my menus and eliminating wasteful (and impulse) purchases.Now, my husband and I eat on $30-35/week total. So, it's less than $200 per month for both of us when you throw in an occasional meal out.

  5. HerEveryCentCounts says:

    Julie: You know what… I did a little more research and found out I'm wrong about what I said earlier. Basically, you get a 10 percent penalty for anything taken out of the account before you turn 65, and you'll get taxed on it. After 65, you just get taxed on it as if it were income. So basically it's a Roth, except you can take money out earlier for out-of-pocket medical expenses.

  6. Julie the Graduate says:

    That's good to take it into your own hands. I didn't realize that you were allowed to take money out of a HSA. I asked because I recently set up my health insurance with a $100 HSA, but it only takes about $8 a month from my paycheck, so $200 seemed extreme for a monthly amount. 🙂

  7. HerEveryCentCounts says:

    Julie: I haven't actually opened my HSA account yet, but I figure there's nothing wrong with having a lot of money in it. If I want to take the money out, then I just get taxed on it later. Otherwise I can keep it tax free and use it for medical costs. I don't trust my insurance to pay for anything, so it would be good to have a strong HSA account.

  8. Julie the Graduate says:

    Do you put $200 every month into your HSA or is that just a one-time thing? I'm just wondering because that seems like a lot!

  9. HerEveryCentCounts says:

    Thanks for the advice everyone! I don't eat out that much anymore. Last month, the $441 I noted was on grocery shopping alone (it didn't even count when I ate out!)I guess I need to start going to the cheapo grocery store and not the organic one.

  10. tejl says:

    Our monthly budget is broken down a little more specifically, but here's what we have: mortgage/HELC/association feesutilitiesvonagecell phonefood – groceriesfood – eating outgas (for car)car insurancecar paymentscar maintenancegiftsclothinghousehold expenses (laundry detergent etc)household furnishingsentertainmentsports eventsbooks/magazinesvacation I think those are the main categories. We don't spend in each category each month, but those are the categories we have budgeted in for each month. And we have almost $800 per month budgeted for food for two of us, so I don't think $400 for one person is excessive.

  11. Wanda says:

    How bout unexpected/once-a-while expenses such as car repair, travel/vacation, etc.?Maybe you can set aside $100 from the Cloth/Makeup category to provide for these expenses. Good luck!

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