How My Monthly Budget Looks in 2011

In I kept track of every time I spent money and then used the numbers to come up with an estimate of my current yearly spending. I was a little alarmed at how the numbers came out, but attributed this largely to some exceptional expenses partially due to my recent move to a new home.

As a way of testing this, I decided to keep my obsessive record-keeping going for to see how the numbers turned out this time. Here is my comparison:

Category daily expense daily expense
Total$56.49$40.67
Rent$21.67$21.67
Food (groceries)$11.69$8.66
Miscellany$5.55$1.73
Cat stuff$5.01$0.29
Homebrewing$4.34$1.72
Transportation$2.96$1.26
Food (eating out)$1.44$2.13
Commercial beer/wine$1.18$2.13
Utilities & internet$1.02$.87
Coffee$0.88$0.67
California sales tax$0.75$0.17

So, yeah. That’s a big difference. (As before, these expenses do not include things I can deduct from my taxable income, like business expenses, retirement savings, or my health insurance premium.)

monthly totals
Category
average
Monthly total$1,055.79$1,719.56$1,238.00
Yearly total$12,670$20,635$14,856
Rent$470.06$650.00$650.00
Food (groceries)$159.60$355.84$263.61
Food (eating out)$33.73$43.83$64.84
Coffee/tea/beer/wine$88.25$194.82$137.59
Utilities$52.43$10.00$1.09
Transportation$63.20$90.10$38.35
Internet fees$15.47$20.98$26.00
Miscellany$173.05$344.27$69.18

Here’s how I think I’m going to deal with this. In each category, if the larger amount is less than twice the smaller amount, I’ll average the two amounts to find my estimated burn rate. If the larger amount is more than twice the smaller amount, I’ll take the smaller amount and amortize the difference between the two over the year to get my estimated burn rate, chalking up the larger amount to large one-time expenses:

CategoryEstimated daily expense
Total$43.32
Rent$21.67
Food (groceries)$10.18
Miscellany$2.05
Cat stuff$0.68
Homebrewing$1.94
Transportation$1.40
Food (eating out)$1.79
Commercial beer/wine$1.66
Utilities & internet$0.95
Coffee$0.78
California sales tax$0.22
monthly totals
Category
average

estimate
Monthly total$1,055.79$1,318.66
Yearly total$12,670$15,824
Rent$470.06$650.00
Food (groceries)$159.60$309.88
Food (eating out)$33.73$54.48
Coffee/tea/beer/wine$88.25$133.32
Transportation$63.20$42.62
Utilities & internet$67.90$28.92
Miscellany$173.05$89.80

A lot of rounding errors crept in over the course of all of that averaging and summing, but I think these are good ballpark figures. My janky estimation method is more of a dart-throw than a science, but ought at least to get me in the neighborhood of a good estimate.

If accurate, this leaves me a little less than $1,000 in wiggle room below my $16,750 adjusted gross income cut-off. Not too bad.

browse«»
Find Out More!

For more information on the topic or topics below (organized as “topic → subtopic → sub-subtopic”), click on any of the ♦ symbols to see other pages on this site that cover the topic. Or browse the site’s topic index at the “Outline” page.