Each month I will post my income/expenses for the previous month. I track every dollar in and out, so what you see is exactly what I earned and spent (rounded to the nearest dollar).
Income from February 2011:
$160–Bonus and Spiffs
Expenses from February 2011:
$47–Fast Food and Pizza
$9–Mobile Phone (iCall VOIP)
*-The Everything Else category includes things I don’t have a regular budget for. In this case, it was the cost to do taxes on TurboTax ($37) and roses for Valentine’s Day ($13).
I managed to save 54.4% of net income. Total savings were $1,843. Of that money saved I contributed $1,200 towards investments. The rest went to my cash/short term positions. I am trying to build a separate emergency fund. I think $5,000 is appropriate for my income/expense levels. I am very close to that mark right now.
This budget was very close to my final tally from January 2011. The restaurant budget exceeded my normal expenditures due to an expensive meal out for Valentine’s Day. I don’t go out much, due to my frugal living doctrine, but my girlfriend would probably kill me had we not gone out to a really nice romantic meal for Feb. 14th. It was worth it and it was a nice night out. Also, the cost to do my taxes are not a usual budgeted item, but a necessary evil. Next month’s budget will actually include the cost to balance my taxes, as I owed the IRS a small sum.
I will post a real exact budget every month. Some thoughts for the future are I plan reducing rent by 30-40% once my lease is up in August. Until then, I have to deal with my past decision to sign up for a relatively expensive lease. I am also contemplating living car-free. That would free up a lot of funds every month with which to invest. This decision will revolve on where I live next and how close that location is to work/groceries etc. We will see.