Eh!? Bit early for a post on The Budget isn’t it!?
No silly, this is the TFS Household Budget we are talking about today!
Since I’ve now got a full years expenses locked and loaded into one of my spreadsheets I am hoping this years budget will be more accurate than last year, which wasn’t all that bad in the first place. There will be many life changes going on this and our income may be all over the place, but one thing that is fully in our control is what exits our wallets, so this is going to be a big part of whether we survive and thrive in 2016.
* Before we go into the budget a quick aside on the photo above, in case anyone was wondering about that. I decided it would be a fab idea to buy 20 Kilograms (yes, 20!!!) of Bicarb of soda to see if I could make some home made cleaning products, along with 20 Litres of white vinegar. A slight overestimation on what I needed! I do like buying things in bulk but maybe I took this one too far. I’ve very nearly got round to making some Dishwasher detergent but not quite done it yet, when I have done that and maybe got a few others under my belt I will certainly make a post and let you know how I got on!
As usual I’ve split our spend up into “The Fun Stuff” and the “The Boring Stuff”. The fun stuff means our elective spend (“wants”) and the boring stuff is what I think is our bare essentials budget, what we could get by on (whilst still living a very objectively comfortable life, it has to be said) without going out of our way to spend any other money.
I also like to break out any one off home improvement type stuff so have done that again. I know there will likely be some sort of home improvements every year, but these are going to be very variable and we’ll generally know what they are in advance for the coming year (barring emergencies!) so I think it’s OK to budget them in as and when they are planned like this. If an emergency house repair comes up and we blow the budget because of that, so be it!
As you can see we plan on doing up the kitchen a little bit, a few bits in the garden again no doubt, and I’ve left £600 on the table for any other random projects I might have time for. I fancy the idea of building a few shelving units for some more storage space. Our house is nice and big enough for us, but doesn’t make much use of the room for storage. This could be a sign we have too much stuff of course, which we probably do have, but neat storage solutions will always come in handy nonetheless so I’m going to look into it as it looks like a fun project (or two!).
You will also notice I have a Last Year column so you can see where my estimates have generally come from. As you can see the total spend is about £3K less than last year and if we hit that I will be very happy!
One thing probably worth mentioning is that once Mrs T goes down to statutory maternity pay, which is 6 weeks after she takes maternity leave, our core income will only be around £2500 after tax and other work related expenses. This is quite a scary thought because it means we will actually be running at a loss each month even against the total core budget I’ve laid out above. This means we’ll have to eat into our cash reserves or find other ways of making more money 😉
the boring stuff
Let’s cover the boring stuff first! This is really boring stuff such as:
- Food 🙂
OK so food can be quite exciting but you get the picture. It’s stuff we “need” in the modern world to survive, food, shelter, energy, transport and so on. This is how I’ve broken it down:
Points worth commenting on:
- Car maintenance is lower this year because we actually bought a new car last year, and it’s seeming quite reliable so far compared to the previous TFS Mobile. So I think we’d be hard pressed to spend another grand on maintaining the new one (that’s given that the kiss of death then!!!)
- I’ve slightly reduced our Grocery spend from £250 to £230. I will still be trying to hit £200 per month but there are always a few months where we go wildly over that (Christmas, for a start) so I reckon £230 average is a good target this year.
- Mobile phone bills should be lower as Mrs T went onto a much better contract towards the end of last year! (I get mine paid for free by work)
- I’d love to think we will smash the Petrol/Parking target, as Mrs T will not be driving to work any more once the baby comes along. But we might do more driving trips out with the baby, so it might balance itself out!
If there is anything you would like clarification on or are curious about just let me know in the comments section? Thanks! 🙂
the fun stuff
So this is the “wants” section.
I honestly don’t think there is too much to say on this section. I’ve clearly just used last year as a good guide and slightly modified up or down as I reckon our spending might be trending this year. But here are a few points:
- Going out is considerably lower (£800) but I can’t see us hitting the tiles with a newborn in tow, although I’ve slightly rebranded this category with a “Days Out” and “Eating Out” add on which will no doubt replace boozing sessions, although I still think we’ll be overall in the green on that substitution, we shall see whether my theory is correct!
- We are going on a few good ole British breakaways this year, mainly to the Isle of Wight and so I’ve budgeted £300 in each, plus another random £300 in case we have a few weekends away. They are all going to be cheap accommodation plus we’ll be fairly frugal whilst away, and any extra spending will likely just come out of the days out/eating out category.
- I’ve also added a Children section which is £100 per month. I would like to think this is a massive over budget but again we’ll find out!
- I decided to add a Miscellaneous section which I rather short sightedly left out last year! You can’t predict everything so building in some extra leg room seems wise.
Even with all the additions it seems (or at least I hope) our fun spending will be nearly £2K less than in 2015. Just gotta execute on the figures now! 🙂
What do you reckon folks? Will we sink in the swamp of unforeseen expenses or glide our way through the crystal clear financial waters?
Also have you set up a budget yet this year? If not then WHY THE HELL NOT YOU LAZY HEFALUMP!!!!?!
(Apologies… I’ve had a long day at work and am feeling a bit on edge 🙂 !)