YNAB’s my jam. My budget is based on the following principles:
- Last month’s pay is used for current month’s expenses.
- Even less frequent expenses (especially the larger ones, ie vacation/Christmas) get accounted for every month. So I started saving for Christmas in January, every month. (ie $100 every month so I have $1200 ready to spend for presents in December).
Sinking funds. Travel fund/ gift fund/ wedding fund/etc. Basically those huge one-time expenses that I save for throughout the year. Because my pay varies, I allot different amounts each pay cheque; as long as I save the entire target amount before it’s needed.
Slush fund. Discretionary expenses. Anything that is not related to my car, savings, travel, gifts, etc. I save a fixed amount every month (and consider it spent) and use on an as-needed basis.
I also always like to underestimate income and overestimate expenses.
2017 will be the first year the fiance and I will be completely joint in budgeting. Our accounts are still separate (for legal reasons) until the wedding but in theory, our budgets and spreadsheets are joint.
He is salaried which makes his part easy-peasy: the same amount each payday.
I get paid hourly, every 15th and 30th; so my pay varies significantly each period (so I just average it out).
Retirement: Will not be maxing limits this year to make way for the wedding fund. Otherwise, I prefer to have a savings rate of 25%.
Personal Debt: Time share and a store purchase. Both will be paid off by the end of the year. 0% interest.
Student Loan: Minimum payments all this year. Hoping to pay it off by 2019 though – approx $11500 in total.
30th: I plan to celebrate my 30th birthday in Europe in 2018! I am dedicating a new savings category for this, separate from my regular travel fund.
Wedding: Clearly our biggest expense of the year!
Parents: We both live at home. So I guess this is technically rent and etc.
Vehicles: Sadly both our highest expenses. This includes everything from car loans, insurance, gas, tolls, maintenance.
Discretionary: Everything else. Date nights, shopping, coffee, random splurges.
How does your 2017 outlook compare?