Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How often do you review your budget/spending?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How often do you review your budget/spending?

    My wife and I have been budgeting/saving for retirement for around 10 years. Over the past few years we have seen significant growth in our salaries and investments. As a result, I have been spending less and less time reviewing our budget (used to be on at least a bi-weekly basis), and less concerned about our spending.

    However, over the last year we have been slipping on our budget. We still invest a significant amount of our income, but I feel like we are heading down a slippery slope and don't want to get into bad habits.

    Do you stay on a strict budget? How often do you review and when is it time to re-calibrate?

  • #2
    I wish I could say I did keep a budget, but I don't. I do have rough estimates for various fixed expenses and then a large pile for "miscellaneous". I allow $2500 a month for that. Sound crazy? Well in May I busted out $2500 for wisdom teeth and $900 for a new radiator. Month before it was $2200 worth of cavities. Yada yada yada.
    How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

    Comment


    • #3
      Um...try raising your overall level of life optimization.

      I recommend checking out Brendan Burchard's "High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way".

      My thinking in making the recommendation is that it can help optimize all different areas of your life, not just your financial lives.
      james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
      202.468.6043

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by james.hendrickson View Post
        Um...try raising your overall level of life optimization.

        I recommend checking out Brendan Burchard's "High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way".

        My thinking in making the recommendation is that it can help optimize all different areas of your life, not just your financial lives.
        Extraordinary? Hell at this point I'll settle for ordinary.
        How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

        Comment


        • #5
          I recommend the book, its got some good advice.
          james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
          202.468.6043

          Comment


          • #6
            Save first, spend what is left

            the very simple way is max out a 401k or similar at 19k and a IRA/Roth at 6k. Times two if possible.

            Otherwise, I think you need to save at least 15% of gross to be on target.

            Comment


            • #7
              We don't really have a budget in the sense that we don't say we're only going to spend a certain amount on groceries or travel or entertainment. I do, however, track our spending on a regular, ongoing basis. I update our spending report throughout the month as bills come in. If I start to see an upward trend, I pay attention to if it was due to a one-time expense like a car repair or vacation or if it is more of a generalized issue that needs attention. As long as we stay within an acceptable range of spending month to month, I really don't care which expense or category was higher or lower in any given month.
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have a loose budget that I look at monthly.

                Assets, Liabilities, spending are the 3 things that I look at and will adjust accordingly if need be.
                Brian

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not so much focus on spending habits as much as I should. Technically I have a budget in regards to keeping minimum balance each month to pay off needs in full. But the main goal or priority is to make sure I'm saving up front 33% of my monthly gross income. Right now I'm at 36% for 401K (not including match), Roth, HSA, and short term savings. So after that, I spend basically whatever I have left over on needs/wants.
                  "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't budget. I decide how much we need in savings and then go from there. I occasionally review our spending and adjust our savings rate. For example, we paid over $12,000 last year in vet bills, so now I add and extra $50 a month towards vet bills instead of having to take it out of our "real" savings account. I would have added more, but we are down to just 2 cats now and they usually don't cost as much as a dog. We adjusted our FSA and our savings when we realized that our daughter would be needing braces. But other than that, if it is in the checking account, I spend it without feeling bad about it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My monthly budget--bills, expenses--is set every month and reviewed every weekend to make sure I haven't gotten off anywhere. This doesn't prevent me from overspending on things occasionally, but ensures that whatever needs to get paid does.

                      My investing budget is generally once a month--what I planned to save/invest, and add in anything left over at the end of the month.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi, Earings, Savings & investing comes the end of the month. So plan yourself according to earnings and spend on what you need like groceries, bills, and health. Then save for yourself.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Let me start off by saying, I still think its a good idea to track expenses, I just no longer do it. I used to track my expenses in quicken...but I abandoned that around 1.5 years ago. The way I looked at it, it no longer mattered. We both have good habits when it comes to finances...investing, spending, saving, etc etc. We save/invest around $70k/year, thats around 40% of what we make.

                          Even for the 5 or 6 years I tracked expenses, I never really did anything with it. I rarely ever reviewed it, or changed anything about our spending.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            rennigade, I agree. I didnít track for the longest time. I only started recently because I honestly had no idea what our monthly spending was. Now that I know (about 7K) I really have no reason to keep tracking.
                            Steve

                            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by yugugelizer View Post
                              My wife and I have been budgeting/saving for retirement for around 10 years. Over the past few years we have seen significant growth in our salaries and investments. As a result, I have been spending less and less time reviewing our budget (used to be on at least a bi-weekly basis), and less concerned about our spending.

                              However, over the last year we have been slipping on our budget. We still invest a significant amount of our income, but I feel like we are heading down a slippery slope and don't want to get into bad habits.

                              Do you stay on a strict budget? How often do you review and when is it time to re-calibrate?
                              Those bad habits are how we got deep in CC debt. Thus, I strictly keep to a non-miserly budget (which is not the same thing as keeping a strict -- aka miserly -- budget).

                              Since my income is steady, and I have generous budget lines for things like Miscellaneous Spending, I don't obsess over most spending. What I do obsess over is ensuring that I never spend more for each line item. (I do this for the Electric bill by paying extra in the off-season so that there's a surplus at the beginning of the hot season.)

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X