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December Budget: “Half Month” Check In

Since we (I) managed to spend way too much this year, I’m starting a better way of holding myself accountable to sane fiscal living by posting a budget update twice a month. I know I need to get a handle on my spending, especially with baby on the way — and the hope to own a home one day. Here’s how December is looking thus far:

This only includes my spending for the month

Home: $1200 (rent – 50% of a 1 br)
Transport: $207 (mostly gas)
Bills: $109
Food: $415
Personal Care: $114 (hair cut)
Shopping: $47 (*includes a few returns)
Travel: $21
Gifts: $10
=================================

$2123

If I can spend under $3000 a month (for all of 2018) that would be ideal, but this is unlikely with baby on the way. I’m seeking to keep my expenditures to under $3k a month for the first 6 months of the year and to save $4.5k a month:

  • $1.5k 401k ($18k/yr)
  • $3k taxable investments ($36k / yr)

Spending $2123 in the first 1/2 of the month isn’t that bad, but I’d still like to focus on reducing food costs. We haven’t been out to eat that much this month (compared to our old eating out addiction) — we had two meals out when we went out of town for the weekend, and one was pricey, but otherwise we’ve been eating at home using our Blue Apron/ Hello Fresh / Martha and Marley Spoon / Sun Basket rotations. They aren’t cheap but they keep us from going out when we’re too lazy to figure out what to cook for dinner, and we’ve been pretty happy with the services thus far. They’ve really changed our lives for the better. At some point we plan to stop doing them and just use all the recipes we’ve learned to cook the meals on our own. Not sure if they’ll be cheaper that way, though, since sometimes you have to buy too many ingredients to get the amount you need.

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