Budget for Better Living 2018

The spreadsheet says I am saving!
With the new year came a new budget.  I base my budget on 2 paychecks a month.  My current employer pays biweekly so I get a bonus 2 paychecks a year that go directly to savings.  This works in my favor not only because of those bonus paychecks but because it is helping me learn to live on less than I make.  That is always the way to a better life.  Live on less.

So what did I change in the budget?

2018.1 Budget

Still paying extra principle. 9 years to go
Still maxing out 401k and IRAs
Cell phone plan change
Cars are getting older so setting aside more cash
New category to save monthly for school fees when the kids start school.
No travel plans yet but still saving
That is on the gift side, still giving
Home Maintenance/
Less mulch/more hardscape
Less frozen/more homemade food
Less eating out
Less junk food
Budget was too high, based new on my average monthly spend
Most of the budget is for clothing for the ever growing children.  We still buy all clothing from clearance racks except for socks, etc.
Personal Care
Now include toiletries in this part of the budget
Only buying diapers/no more baby food.  This category will probably go away soon!
Everything Else
This is a new catch all for things like blog expenses and  broker/bank fees, etc.

Based on the new budget I will have a whopping $52 left over each month to put into my brokerage account.  I also keep a buffer in my checking account for bills that are quarterly and have separate savings accounts for travel and gifting.  If I go above the buffer threshold that money would also be transferred to my brokerage.

Taking into account only 2 paychecks a month and the new budget the DFG savings rate is forecasted to be 34% a month.  Not too bad and pretty much the same as last year.   Like I mentioned in my year end summary that rate won't get me to freedom until I am old and grey.  The goal was always to retire from the cubicle by 55.  More drastic changes are needed at the DFG household (and are in the works).

Do budgets really matter if your goal is to spend as little as possible each month?

For me they do.  I enjoy crunching the numbers and see how we are progressing to financial independence.  It also gives me a tool for talking about money with my spouse and kids.  While the conversations aren't always easy they are necessary for a good marriage and will teach my kids how to achieve what they want in life by saving a little dough.

What do you think about budgets?

Dividend Family Guy


  1. Question: In your Dividend page I don't see your 401(k) is that by choice? Are 401(k) and IRA contribution not treated as saving? Do you have an account with Robinhood? they provide free trades. You could invest $52 into a dividend paying ETF i.e. get diversification and dividends. I love budgets.

    1. I do need to include them (just haven't received any dividends yet from them.) I have my accounts with BoA and because of my balances I get 100 free trades a month! Thanks for stopping by DG


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