current cashflow & budget

Since I have shared my long term goals, I think I need to explain why I think this is feasible by telling you about my current situation. Since this is anonymous and I intend on keeping it that way, I can share the details with you.

I earn $185k base and qualify up to 12% for bonus and receive 10% in profit sharing on salary + bonus each year. I contribute the full $18k a year to my 401k since that is a good practice and also to lower my tax rate. In all, I expect my employer to put ~$20k in my retirement account this year. I also have contributed $5,500 into my IRA, which is in the process of being converted to ROTH IRA.

After 401k contributions, employer sponsored benefits, and taxes, I take home ~$8650/month. I have withholdings set high enough that each year I receive a significant amount in tax refunds. While I can change the withholdings so that my paycheck is higher each month and I receive less in taxes, I would rather receive a lump sum than to risk owing.

From there, I break it up into various categories of spending.

Expenditures MONTHLY
Joint Spending  $1,750.00
Cell Phone  $80.00
Gas/Transportation  $75.00
Audible/Books  $20.00
Dog  $500.00
Spending Money + Food  $450.00
Work Related  $50.00
Student Loans – 0%  $200.00
Student Loans – Interest  $800.00
House Maintenance  $100.00
Travel  $400.00
Gym  $130.00
Gifts  $100.00
Investments  $4,000.00

My boyfriend (JA) and I live together at my condo. We have decided to create a joint expense account and items such as my mortgage, HOA, groceries, and house cleaner come out of that account. I debated whether it  was fair for JA for us to do it this way since the condo is building equity, but I have decided it is fine since renting is much more expense than my monthly mortgage + HOA.

The dog came with me so I am responsible for his expenses, although JA takes care of him as well. Because I can work crazy hours, I have a dog walker that comes 1x a day during weekdays and whenever we are out of town he gets boarded, hence the high dog cost.

As you can see, my only debt (aside from the mortgage) are my student loans. One is at 0% interest so I have no incentive to pay it off early, but the other is at 6.5% interest. I have more than enough cash on hand to pay it off but I stress out a lot about parting with that much money at once. I pay much more than the minimum amount and the goal is to knock this off in about 2 years while still hoarding cash.

Now you know the dirty details of my finances. Every couple of months I reassess my spending and try to lower the monthly spend allocation if possible. While I am sure this is more than what some people with families spend, everyone’s situation is different and this is what works for me. I am excited to hear any suggestions anyone may have to reduce the budget even further.


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