This week I found an old notebook with some previous budgeting records. I have always tracked my money on the fixed expense side of things, and it was quite interesting to see this old record from August 2011:
Circumstances in 2011 – I was single and living alone in an apartment I absolutely loved, right on the beach – the cost of rent not allowing me to save a lot. I am big on fitness and health and I recall at this time in my life I was doing several paid classes (not included in a gym membership) of boxing per week plus personal training. I was also trying to save for my South American backpacking adventure. My phone, laptop and whitegoods were all on rental contracts – which, in my mind, are debt.
Fortnightly budget 2011
My wage was $1677.00 per fortnight (actually $50 more per fortnight than I earn now)
- $44.00 laptop rental ($84 per month)
- $185.00 payment to credit cards
- $600.00 rental payment ($1200 per month)
- $50.00 phone (I was on a contract that went came to between $90 – $100 per month)
- $12.50 internet (pre paid, $25.00 per month)
- $75.00 personal loan – I was only making minimum repayments ($130.00 per month, at that stage my loan was smaller)
- $32.00 boxing classes ($64.00 per month)
- $40.00 personal training ($80.00 per month)
- $25.00 whitegood rental ($50.00 per month)
- $100.00 travel ($200.00 per month)
So that left me with $513.50 which is $256.7 per week for groceries, spending money and savings. I know I spent around $100 – $120 on groceries per week when I lived alone. So that would be about 136.00 for savings and spending. No wonder I found it difficult to save money during this time, although I constantly did feel like I was saving, but not large amounts.
I didn’t include electricity, or any buffer.
Circumstances for 2014
I live with my boyfriend, closer to my workplace (less travel) and split costs of rent, groceries and electricity. We have a small older apartment, which has been very very hot during the summer (no aircon) but I can see already from the summary below that our decision to rent a modest place has really impacted savings.
Fortnightly budget 2014
My wage is $1620.00 per fortnight
- Rent: $295.00 ($590.00 per month – $610.00 less than 2011)
- Travel: $45.00 ($90 per month – $110.00 less than 2011)
- Phone: $15.00 prepaid ($30 per month – $60.00 less than 2011 and no contract)
- Internet: $15.00 – On an internet plan for $30.00 per month – $5.00 more than 2011)
- Electricity: $20.00 – I had no inclusion of electricity in 2011 budget.
- Gym: $47.80 ($96.20 less than fitness costs 2011)
- Groceries: $250.00 ($5.00 more than 2011 per week – however, I’ve actually got this as an allowance in my budget now)
- Tithe / donation: $20.00 (didn’t have giving allocation in 2011 budget)
- Loan repayment: $160.00 – ($190.00 more than 2011. My minimum is higher at $173.00 but I am making addition payment of $73.50 per fortnight towards the loan)
- Buffer: $50.00 (didn’t have a buffer allocation in 2011 budget)
- Spending: $230.00 – Most weeks will leave me with $115.00 as spending / entertainment money.
- Savings: $490.00 from March 2014 – my 2011 savings were variable based on what I had left over, however I have built the amount of $490.00 into my budget for 2014. The start of this year has been variable due to NZ trip and 2 interstate trips.
So 2 main things have changed.
I have rid myself of most contracts and 2 credit cards and I include everything in my budget now, rather than just seeing what I have left to pay the variable amounts (spending, savings and groceries)
So it was interesting – and encouraging – to come across an old budget and see I have made progress. Slow progress, but I’ll take it as a win!