What's your top 3 budget expenses?

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What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by jacob » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:14 pm

Inspired by viewtopic.php?p=192369#p192369 and triggered by viewtopic.php?p=192684#p192684 maybe it would be enlightening to compare and contrast relative sizing of the biggest budget list items. Of course people have different priorities. I would not expect a single dweller of a high rise to have the same list order as a multigenerational family in a rural homestead, but nevertheless, it might be interesting given enough datapoints.

Here's mine:

ERE HQ, ~1000sqft residence, 2 adults, 1 old/ailing pug, spending $7298/person/year.

1) RE taxes: 32%
2) Insurances: 25% (home, umbrella, car, health)
3) Utilities: 14% (internet, phone, water, sewerage, gas, electric)

The top 3 are mostly fixed costs---number 4 is food which is variable and we are, therefore, increasing our efforts in our "victory-garden". Thus lowering the fixed costs requires a move west of the Mississippi (RE taxes), selectively going w/o insurance, or living further away from the city (going off-grid doesn't make economic sense given our usage---most of the cost is taxes and fees). Alternatively, completely changing the systems design from suburban home-owner to something else.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:42 pm

Divorced with two adult children.
Current residence: Shared bed and small dresser plus two large backpacks in corner of paramour's very nice apartment in suburban area. Tent, cot, camp stove, etc. in trunk of 1999 Honda Accord. Garden with trellised shade room on vacant lots in city- co-owned with former paramour.

Spending since kids became independent= approximately last 5 years = approximately $800/month=$9600/year.

Top 3 budget expenses last 30 days (hard to clump into categories):

1) $2500 towards daughter's upcoming wedding. One time expense I always expected to contribute towards.

2) $174 for online course fees and assorted textbooks. I don't usually spend this much on study materials, but I am doing data science immersion, so I need lots of new-new stuff. I might have to break down and get a new laptop too, since the keyboard for my current one is being held in place with packing tape and the battery will no longer hold a charge, etc. planned obsolescence.

3) $89 for a new tent.

I actually haven't been tracking my spending much lately, because EARNING is more my problem towards saving and/or lifestyle improvement.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by bigato » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:34 pm

7w5: I'd call your categories Social, Learning and Housing. Considering a 800/month average, discarding the outlier here, we could reconstruct your expenses this month approximately like this:
1) Social (83.7%), 2) Learning (5.3%), 3) Housing (2.7%), 4) Other (16.3%) (other being 800-174-89=537). Total 3300, which by chance is a nice round number thus making me positive that it can't possibly be wrong (and there you have your data science lesson for today).
Your top 3 represent 91.7% of all expenses for the month, and the fact that Social is over 80% is so representative of you :)

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by Jean » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:39 pm

Live in a owned garage (100sqft)

1)50 %food around 300.- per month (i stoped caring, i just buy in the village from the butcher or the cheesestore)
2)33 %leisure 200.-per month
3) 13%health insurance 80.- per month
number 4 would probably video games over the last months, or maybe the taxes inherent with having an address in switzerland, around 50.- each)

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by Cheepnis » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:03 pm

Living in ~700sqft apt rented from family in MCOL city. Projected yearly spending at $12,262*.

1) Transportation - 29%. This includes gas, maintenance on/parts for car, uber or other mass transport, and plane tickets. Just bought 2 round trip tickets to Dublin the other week which is 3/5ths of this category.

2) Housing - 24.5%

3) Groceries, including various household items - 10%

*This is the number my spreadsheet is currently spitting out, but it is artificially high due to the plane tickets mentioned in #1. Projected expenses without trip costs was hovering right around $9,000/y or avg $750/m. Another 5 months at that spending level will to finish off the year will of course pull the average projection down a little.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by Colibri » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:31 am

Single, no kids, no pets ( I am considering getting a pet rabbit). Living in 650sft owned house. Located in Northern Canada = high cost of living.
Spending $14,000/year

1) Housing (property taxes) 36%
2) Food 15%
3) Transportation 12.5% (gas, maintenance, insurance)
4) Home insurance 7%
5) Communication (internet and phone) 6%

Heating cost doesn't make the top 5 which I am very proud of. People are spending absurd amount on heating their place up here.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:33 am

$550 - my half of a 1 bedroom apartment which includes all utilities, wifi, and use of a large backyard in which we garden and lounge/work from home in. HCOL area with below market rent (here 6 years)

$300 - cost of car (depreciation, maintenance, insurance, gas, registration, etc)

$125 - groceries (mostly Aldi)

ETA - TTM expenses = ~$17,400
Last edited by 2Birds1Stone on Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:40 am

One bedroom sublet apartment, shared with girlfriend. Approx 500sq feet. MCOL small city/college town in Midwest. Total 12 mo rolling spend $17,645. Net top three which are rounded for ease.

1)Hobbies/Travel/Entertainment- 30% about $450 mo
2)Housing/utilities- 25% about $375 mo (soon to drop a bit)
3)Food/Personal Care/Household- 24% About $350 mo

My spending is rounded off with #4 transportation and #5 healthcare, both nearly equal at just under 10%. Clothing <$100 annual. I don't separate utilities from housing because I have moved often and sometimes heat, electric, or internet are included in rent. The third category is broad because I often purchase things like soap or light bulbs at the same place I get groceries, it's not worth the work to separate it, but that category is >90% food. Restaurants would be entertainment, they are for ambiance or social reasons only.

Interestingly, the links @jacob provided have been in my thoughts recently. I, very obviously, neglected my now number one expense from web-of-goals.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by wizards » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:39 am

wizards HQ: 1250 sq feet, 2 adult, 2 kids (5 and 3), spending 2018 pr person $9,395

1) Housing 41.1% (55% of this is mortgage)
2) Food/Personal Care/Household 19.6%
3) Transportation 13.9% (1 car + train tickets)
4) Travel/vacations 10.5%
5) Kids 9.6%

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by slowtraveler » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:42 am

Living abroad in studio shared with gf. Room is just $130/month including utilities. Trailing 1 month expense about $1450 for 2 people. Includes 1-off costs like a trip while still renting my home, visa fees, and bike maintenance.

1)Food 30% (About $400)
2)Living 28%(Rent $130 including utilities, room for week of travel, visa fees since 3 month visa fees just came by)
3) Transportation 20% (bike maintenance, flights for trip, taxi on trip, gas)

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by Nomad » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:53 am

My top expenses are:

1) Housing in addition to bills of about £250, the capitol tied up purchasing the house would otherwise generate more than £320 per month
2) Entertainment. I go out a lot an spend quite a bit on drinks, food, TAXIs. I need to lower this. No exact figure on this. Also, it is almost festival season.
3) Food. Probably in excess of £200 per month.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by Lemur » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:01 am

Renting a 1048sqft rambler, 3 adults (Myself/Spouse + Sister), 1 toddler. Rent + Utilities are split down the middle between myself and my sister.

1.) Rent - $850.00
2.) Transportation Costs - $659.88 ($150 to park at work, $91 car insurance, + "True cost of commuting @ $0.34 cents a mile assumes depreciation, gas, maintenance, upkeep, oil, etc." I commute to work roughly 1,232 miles per month...so that would be $418.88.)
3.) Food - $400.00 - This is about average. I personally eat at about $150. Spouse/Toddler roughly about $250. Mainly because my wife eats more meat and ethnic foods.

[Edit: Total Top 3 = $1,909.88 a month or $22,918.56 annually. This represents ~30% of my after-tax income. Because my savings rate is about 43%...all other expenses amount to 27%...these comprise of clothing, utilities, kid activities, travel/entertainment, gifts and helping out family, etc.]

My biggest obstacle is transportation and living far from work (90 minute commute each way). Normally it would make sense to move close to work but I would also see a large cost of living increase due to housing in the DC / Northern VA area. Should my sister decide to move out, spouse and I would go ahead and move and rent would increase from $850 to $2,000 (a $1,150 increase); however, my transportation costs would drop substantially and I wouldn't have to pay for parking at work if I got close enough. Other non-financial reasons are also keeping this situation intact.

Overall been at a 43% savings rate since February when I saw my gross income increase from $65k to $90k.
Last edited by Lemur on Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by fiby41 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:43 am

Education, shelter, food.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by wolf » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:50 am

~750sqft apartment, 1 adult, spending 5135$ p.a.

1) housing/utilities ~50% (including RE taxes, internet)
2) food/personal care/household/mobile phone ~30%
3) hobbies/entertainment/books ~15%
4) transportation ~5% (public transportation, bike)

(health insurance is payed directly from my salary)

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by IlliniDave » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:27 am

Single, grown kids, one deaf dog, and paramour-free.

2,000 sq ft house in a neighborhood that's the love child of Stepford and Southern Home, plus end-of-the-road cabin.

1) Federal Income Tax (significantly > all other spending combined and usually I don't count it when talking about expenses).
2) Car Payment (playing the differential interest game), 15-20% of all spending excluding income tax.
3-4) Property tax and food, each about 8% of total spending excluding income tax.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by fuyu » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:37 am

1150 Sq Ft apartment, 2 adults (me and brother), my average 2019 monthly spending $1,727

1) Rent ≈ 71% (Monthly = $1,225, Annualized = $14,700)
2) Food ≈15% (Monthly = $258, Annualized = $3,093) = Groceries 10% (Monthly = $172) + Takeout 5% (Monthly = $86)
3) Teeth Cleaning* ≈ 4.6% (Monthly = $80, Annualized = $962)

* Utterly terrified of going to the dentist, so I go all the way back to NYC to see my old dentist instead of trying to go a nearer one. Otherwise, this amount would be 50% without the plane ticket.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by unemployable » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:22 pm

Housing 65-70% (zero in winter)
Food 15-20%
Leisure, including basically all transportation, most of the rest

Percentages may exceed 100% due to excessive leisure
fuyu wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:37 am
* Utterly terrified of going to the dentist, so I go all the way back to NYC to see my old dentist instead of trying to go a nearer one. Otherwise, this amount would be 50% without the plane ticket.
I can do you one better. I go to Chicago to get my hair cut.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by bigato » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:50 pm

Single, living in a 11.4 sq meters room with a sink plus a small bathroom, within 2 miles of work, in the central area of the capital of Brazil.

Code: Select all

1 rent+water	54%
2 food 	30%
3 electricity	 5%
July was the transition month from a more expensive place and now food is at the center of my focus, so June should show different absolute values but the percentages may end up being similar.

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by Bankai » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:25 pm

Mortgage 25%
Utilities 20%
Food 20%

Looks like a third of my expenses are wants...

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Re: What's your top 3 budget expenses?

Post by Seppia » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:32 pm

1 Rent 40%
2 Food 15%
3 Travel 10%

Percentages more or less approximated, I could be off by a couple points.
This is an average of the last 5 years (since I’ve been keeping detailed track), but I would imagine it being roughly the same before.
Looking back it is impressive how consistent this ranking has been, with a couple of exceptions (when I bought a motorcycle in cash in 2008, or when I bought a couple rolexes in 2014).
It will change in the future as I now own a small apartment and the related costs will probably lower the percentages of the top three a bit.

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