My Monthly Expenses Are High; How Can I Cut Down My Monthly Expenses?

So I decided to try out Flexo’s monthly expense template, and it isn’t looking too promising for me this month.  I’m doling out more than I am taking in this month.  Off the top, that sounds like it is bad, but really it isn’t TOO bad.  I figured my cash allowance was high this past month, so I had some room to spare since I have $6,000 in cash.  I’ll pay off the $4,300 on the credit card so as not to get a ridiculous fee charged for interest on it, but then I don’t get billed for anything for another 2 weeks.  So I’m alright there.

My expenses can certainly get a trimming though.  This is eye-opening to say the least though, as I KNOW that I’ve been right at breaking even for the past few months, especially after the trip to Australia that pretty much drained the rest of what I had from the sale of my house last year.  That’s ok though because my wife took home less because we bumped her 401k allocations to 10% matching mine, and I’m still contributing to my ROTH IRA at $200/month.  This pretty much smashed the urge to get the new car though – It’s certainly helpful to see everything out on paper to further the need to back away.  That’s maybe the allure piece grabbing me.

I’m probably going to start a new car fund though shortly because my 2001 burb isn’t going to cut it going forward.  I took it in last week to check out a “clunk” it was making and they quoted me at almost $1,900; 95% of that money was for upkeep, 60k lube and maintenance, a few leaky pipes, but ultimately I got out of it and fixed the clunking noise for $108.

So here is the first installment of my monthly expenses (click to expand):
Obviously I can cut down the Retail Store Purchases and Dining Out, and if everything goes as planned, I’m in the market for a raise in a few weeks; I’ll be certain to keep the post up on that one.  It’s pretty ridiculous what the ol’ government takes out each month, but it’s nice to actually see it out on [electronic] paper.  Daycare is a killer, but we get that back when we can write it off at the end of the year, but that takes a good monthly chunk, and we’ve got a GOOD rate!

My wife wants to have another in the next year and good grief that Daycare budget is only going to rise in time; add another kid and it is starting to get ridiculous…

Laying this information out has really been a beneficial exercise and I can get this info from my credit card each month.  I’m going to start doing this monthly from now on to get a better grasp on it so I can realize what we’re spending/saving.  I highly recommend doing this for anyone curious as to what they’re spending $ on.  Do you have a budget worksheet you can work off?

My wife has about $80 in Starbucks that I didn’t account for on here that I’m sure we can trim also!  Anyway, goal for next year is to get these numbers and stick to a budget more strictly going forward.  We’re making money off our investments, but we’re not getting the best bang for our buck because we’re leaking money in other areas when we could be putting it to better use.

Filed Under: adviceCompensationDebtEmergency fundHouseInsuranceInvestingNet WorthPassive IncomePortfolioReal EstateRetirementROTH IRATimeshareTraditional IRA