Our Budget – Then and Now

I was entering all of our expenses into our budget last month, and then decided to see how far back my Excel budgets actually went on my little flash drive.  I’ve been on a budget since I first started college in late 2001, but I only started saving them on my flash drive in April 2007, right before we bought our first home.  I thought it would be fun to take a look at our budget – then and now.

Our Monthly Budget – April 2007

  • Rent – $730
  • Car Payment – $300
  • Car Insurance – $150
  • Gasoline – $200
  • Electricity – $100
  • Water – $25
  • Restaurants – $400
  • Groceries – $100
  • Cell Phones – $110
  • Home Phone – $30
  • Medicines – $30
  • Cable – $120
  • Entertainment – $250
  • Cash – $300
  • Total = $2845

And we were making about $4250 per month after taxes and benefits from our day jobs (401k, health insurance, etc.).  We basically saved the extra $1400 a month so we could buy our first home.

Our Monthly Budget – April 2013

  • Home Mortgage – $990
  • Home Insurance/Property Taxes/HOA – $750
  • Rent House Home Insurance/Property Taxes – $275
  • Health Insurance – $275
  • Car Insurance – $55
  • Gasoline – $150
  • Life Insurance – $30
  • Electricity – $175
  • Water – $60
  • Natural Gas – $40
  • Restaurants – $250
  • Groceries – $250
  • Cell Phones – $150
  • Medicines – $20
  • Cable/Internet (DSL) – $120
  • Housekeeping – $175 (average over the year)
  • Lawn – $80 (average over the year)
  • Miscellaneous – $200
  • Entertainment – $200
  • Cash – $100
  • Total Expenses = $4345

And now we bring in about $6500 per month after taxes.  We use the extra $2150 a month to fund 2 Roth IRA’s, save for things like future vehicles, and to invest in stocks.


We spend more on housing now than we did when we were renting, BUT we also bring in rent now to help offset that difference.  We actually are living on nearly the same levels as before overall.  In both budgets, we had an excess of about 33% that we use to save and/or invest.  So we always seem to live on about 67% of what we make, except now our housing money is actually going to homes that we could sell for at least something at any point.  And we do have about $400 a month in easy wiggle room if it’s ever absolutely necessary.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with our current budget despite the lifestyle inflation.  The key for us is to actually stick to the budget as closely as possible.  🙂

How has your budget changed over the years?

10 thoughts on “Our Budget – Then and Now”

  1. Thomas

    Oh how time flies! Things have changed a lot for us as well. So I can certainly relate to the increase in expenses but also the increase in income and extra cash for other things. We spend a lot more on food in general but less eating out. Hopefully we will have our first real estate investment soon. That HOA is per month or year yearly?

  2. Michelle

    Our budget hasn’t really changed too much. Before we were living too close to paycheck to paycheck, whereas now we are just saving a ton more.

  3. Bryce @ Save and Conquer

    I see that you cut back on eating out and are spending more on groceries. I assume you are eating better. I like owning a home. We have equity and no shared walls.

  4. Christie

    You do a great job at keeping records!
    I really think that you need to look at your percentages. As long as you are not creating debt and are saving 30%, does it really matter what you spent the rest of it on?
    ~ Christie

  5. Jake Forest

    I’m just jealous you have housekeeping. 🙂
    This is interesting. It’s always good to periodically look back at your previous budgets and make sure your spending isn’t out of control.
    What mobile plan do you use?

  6. Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle

    Everything goes up in price. My pay cheque never changes.

    How much are HOA fees? Is it worth it? It seems that all the new housing has some sort of HOA. It must be what people want but I am not sure why.

  7. Travis

    That was a fun little flashback. The oldest information I can find is from 2004. That is a year before I built my house and I was still living in my little one-bedroom apartment. It looks like I was averaging about $1,450/mo in expenses back then, not including investments.

    Now I own my house free-and-clear and my expenses so far for the year have averaged about $1,380/mo. Note: I work from home, so my internet ($46/mo) and phone ($33/mo) are business expenses and not calculated as part of my household expenses.

  8. Julien @cashsnail

    Couldn’t you save on the Home Insurance/Property Taxes/HOA ?
    It’s nearly as much as the mortgage itself !

    Saving 33% is very good, especially that in some years you won’t have to pay mortage so your costs will decrease nicely. You could eventually save more, but it’s nice to enjoy life while being young 😉

  9. Taynia | The Fiscal Flamingo

    I don’t think (actually I know) I’ve never gone back and compared my budgets to prior years. What a great idea!!

  10. Crystal @ BFS

    @Thomas, that Home Ins/Prop Taxes/HOA category is monthly. 🙁 For our actual house, home insurance comes to about $90 a month, Prop Taxes are about $600 a month, and the HOA is about $60 a month. Property taxes in our area are about 3%.

    @Michelle, way to go!

    @Bryce, yeah, we are cooking way more at home and it is much healthier. 🙂 I like owning a home too – our kitchen is way more useful for one, lol.

    @Christie, I agree, it’s usually about percentages. That’s why I’m not beating myself up for the general lifestyle inflation. 🙂

    @Jake, don’t be jealous – get a biweekly housekeeper. 🙂 It helped our marriage a ton! And we are with Sprint – we have unlimited everything on two 4G lines (Samsung Galaxy S3’s).

    @Jane, the HOA part comes to about $60 a month, and no, I don’t think it’s worth it. But I try to make the best of it by enjoying our walking trails and feeding the ducks at one of the maintained “lakes” nearby. If you can find a place without an HOA, jump on it. Our last house doesn’t have an HOA and I loved it.

    @Travis, wow, you have really avoided lifestyle inflation!

    @Julien, nope, I have the home insurance on a $1100 a year plan, which is amazing for our area. The property taxes are about 3% and they valued our house at what it was built for since it is brand new. And the HOA is about $720 a year, and that is set. So, that’s as low as it can be right now. But that $990 payment will go away in about 9 more years or less – that’ll be nice. 🙂

    @Taynia, if you do and post about it, let me know and I’ll socially share it!

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