I can’t make a savings or investments plan for 2015 yet since I don’t know what the new job’s benefits look like exactly, but I can plan on what my spending will look like!
My mortgage payment will continue along at the same amount, about $12,300 for the year. My boyfriend is going to pay the HOA dues, which will save me about $3,900 for the year! There is a small assessment though that we are splitting. My assessed value has gone up 20% for the 2015 tax year, so I’m estimating that property taxes will go up 20% from the 2014 amount. At least that means I can deduct more on my taxes, right? My portion of the internet bill is down to $400/year, which is about what I was paying before I increased the speed at the beginning of 2014 for much more internet since my boyfriend is paying half. My Ting referral credits have been conveniently paying my cell phone bill for quite a while now, so I’m budgeting $0 for my cell phone in 2015. I’ve estimated our 2015 electricity costs at $354 for my half, which is down $370 from 2014 since my boyfriend is paying half. (I did estimate the usage will go down a bit, which is partially offset by the increased rates.) Lastly, there is condo insurance and then household goods like toilet paper and cleaning supplies.
Total estimated housing costs for the year: $17,600
Transportation – This covers car insurance, umbrella insurance, vehicle tab renewal, renewing my driver’s license, fuel for my car, and car maintenance (oil changes and replacing the windshield wipers). My estimate for these costs in 2015 is: $2,500
Entertainment – This covers hanging out with friends and date nights with my boyfriend, as well as my LastPass and Pandora subscriptions. I switched from Dropbox to OneDrive, which should save me $99/year. Estimate: $2,200
Food – This includes lazy eating out, groceries, and work lunches. Estimate: $4,300 I’m targetting work lunches for a reduction in spending as a) its the sixth largest line item on my 2015 budget after: mortgage, travel, property taxes, groceries, and entertainment and b) it doesn’t provide much value in my life. Once I start the new job, my goal is to eat in the cafeteria every day for lunch and see how much that costs, then re-evaluate this line item.
Personal care – Monthly eyebrow waxes, toiletries, the occasional spa visit, and my annual hair cut. Estimate: $800.00
Recreation – In 2014, I spent about $1,000 in this category. I’m estimating $600 thanks to work benefits.
Shopping – There will also probably be some furniture purchases with my boyfriend moving in, though I have no idea how much those will add up to. I’m estimating $500.
Clothing – I’m never very good at predicting how much I’ll spend on clothing or holding myself to a dollar amount. I’m going to estimate this at $900.
Gifts and Donations – I will continue to donate 1% of my gross income. Once the mortgage is paid off, I plan to increase this amount to 2%. I will also continue to be generous with my immediate family’s Christmas presents and give nice presents for friends’ weddings. This should amount to around $2,300 in 2015.
Travel – Save the best for last, right? Between an overseas trip in Q1, two weddings to attend, Christmas flights, and renewing my passport, I’ve budgeted $7,100 for 2015, my largest line item after the mortgage.
Total estimate: $38,800
If you take out the mortgage and travel, my spending for 2015 would only be $19,400. That’s pretty good! My goal is to get my spending under $24,000 per year without the mortgage at some point. I’m about estimating to be about 10% above that in 2015, which is much better than previous years. *cough* 39% over that in 2014 *cough* We’ll see how this goes though considering that I forecasted spending $38,500 in 2014 and wound up spending $45,700, a 19% increase. Woops!