Budgeting for 2014

budgeting 2014I’ve recently been discussing our budget with a few people.  We live a pretty frugal life, and it’s the way we want it to be.  We budget pretty firmly, but have cash to splurge when we feel the need (like the holiday to Hawaii, where I took the above photo).

These are the steps we took to working out a great budget that suits us.

1. Add up 12 months of bills, we didn’t include big one off payments; such as car insurance, registration, etc.  Don’t forget anything.  For us this was:

  • Rent
  • Internet
  • 2 phone bills
  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Gas

Our total was: $22156.39

We then divided it by 26, as we get paid fortnightly, and I find it easier to do all bills, shopping etc. each fortnight.

Our fortnightly bills are: $852.20

2. Work out how much you need for groceries each fortnight.  We spend a total of $200 per fortnight on groceries.

  • Aldi – about $70 (Basics – tins, pasta, dried fruit, dried biscuits etc.)
  • Butcher – about $50
  • Farmers Market – about $50 (we do this shop weekly if needed, and usually spend between $20 and $30 each week).
  • Miscellaneous – $30 (10kg bags of flour, Joney’s milk, etc.)

Total fortnightly grocery shop: $200

3. We give ourselves a fortnightly allowance; this allows us each to have some financial independence, and a spot of privacy (coffees, lunches, gifts, etc.)

Allowance is $200 each: $400

The total comes to $1452.20, so we rounded it to $1500.

Each fortnight this amount goes into what we call our ‘bills account’.  This allows us to accumulate finances throughout bill-less fortnights, and pay for a lot when we happened to get 5 at once (isn’t it always the way).

We have also been paying for our petrol from this account, which means that we don’t have to do that out of our ‘allowance’, and are therefore less possessive of the kilometres that our cars do.  When we started this budget, about 6 months ago, the petrol was an afterthought and by writing this post, I have become aware that we in fact don’t have a lot of ‘spare’ money after bills etc, so it is something that we will need to keep an eye on.

We are also very lucky that we collect our eggs from the backyard; we grow what vegetables we have and have a very reasonably priced farmers market nearby.

Do you have a strict budget? I’d love to hear your tips/tricks!

14 thoughts on “Budgeting for 2014

  1. Your budgeting plan sounds very sound. And growing some of your own food definitely helps with the food portion of the budget.

    We budget a little differently. We take our fortnightly salaries and divide them into three: a third goes into a joint savings account (the nest egg and large purchases eg.holidays, furniture), a third goes to joint bills (food, rent, petrol, Internet) and a third goes to ourselves (personal spending money/savings, personal mobiles). It works since both of us are working at the moment.

    1. I like your thirds idea. Our budgetting started when we were both working casually, so some weeks we only got the $1500, and now I don’t have any salary at all. I love that each person/couple can work out a way that works for them!

  2. I envy your ability to make and stick to a budget. I really need to start doing this and get a handle on what we spend on food. $200 a fortnight for food could never happen for us – I must be more frugal. Great post!

    1. Thanks Maureen. We’re pretty lucky to have a great cheap farmers market near by, and we just eat what we have if we run out.

    1. Janet, it’d be lovely to be in your position and hopefully with us getting into a budgeting rhythm now, it’ll help us in the future!

  3. I’m the finance person of the household, in that I’m slightly less hopeless with money than my hubby. I don’t have a budget, however I do know approximately how much I can spend on each thing each week.
    Your method sounds pretty great – I’m going to give it a shot. I love the idea of a separate bills-only account.
    My aim this year is to increase both our emergency fund and our savings – and hopefully we can have a holiday too!

    1. I think everyone has a way that works for them. We’re not too strict, and since this post have changed gas and electricity providers, so things may change again. Great to have some financial goals!

  4. I would love to be able to work out where all our money goes but it seems that a lot of our expenses come out of the blue. I took our little guy to the dentist and was told he now needs to see an orthodontist. Two days later he chipped a tooth and I had to take him back for an emergency appointment. The very next day Archie had shocking toothache so he also had an emergency appointment and long story short, all four wisdom teeth are coming out in a few weeks time. I think you’re on your way to financial success and well done! xx

    1. Oh Charlie, I imagine that everything will be different once kids are added to the mix! But for the mean time, I think it’s a good idea to stick as much into savings as we can.

  5. Great post. I’ve been avoiding my finances (I’m a student and only work part-time) but this post has motivated me to get stuck into them for 2014. I like that you added everything up as a total and then worked backwards from there!

  6. This is pretty similar to what I do. Although I don’t have rent/water/electricity etc (living with my parents) I do have car rego/insurance, health insurance etc etc that needs to be paid. I worked out what I needed to put away weekly, and do that. This way, I know the money is there when I need it 🙂 Another important thing is I include mandatory savings in my budget, as I’m saving for a house 🙂

    1. Sounds like you’re absolutely on the right track. We’re also saving for a house, so any extra from our pay account goes to house saving.

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