2018 Annual Expense Goal: From $75k to $70k

Recently, I posted our $75k budget a year – which is our 2017 goal and a big deal and accomplishment for us given were we started.  We are on track(ish) to meet that, pending anything major happening between now and end of year. That said, we are already preparing for 2018, where we have a goal of cutting our expenses by a further $5k, to $70k.

Below is what that will look like vs 2017.  The biggest change is going from $12k on travel budget to around $8k.  In truth, this does not hurt too bad since we already prepaid a lot of our big 2018 travel to Asia in 2017, leaving decent room for a few other shorter family vacations in the budget next year. It may hurt for when we need to keep low expenses in 2019 though and have no room to pre-pay anything, but we will cross that bridge later (and rely even more on travel hacking!).

That said,  it is not all sad cuts, you will see a few categories have actually gone slightly up to better reflect my life goals to where we spend our time and money.

On the self-care front, I have added monthly facials and massages for myself and we do have a pet, so it is not like our standard of living is declining! I am also keeping our once a month cleaning service (unless we go down to one income then  most if not all of that will be cut temporarily, womp), which is an amazing luxury.

Category 2017 2018
Mortgage $1,600 $1,400
Utilities/cell phone $400 $440
Groceries $550 $550
Restaurants $250 $225
Personal /entertainment $600 $600
Gas/Car expenses $650 $700
Medical / Life $50 $150
Insurance $200 $0 (above)
Vacation/travel $1,000 $670
Kids $500 $800
Pet $250 $200
Other (replace/ donate) $200 $100
Total Monthly $6,250 $5,835
Yearly $75,000 $70,020

There is something strangely addictive and satisfying about cutting things in such way. But first things first – let’s focus on closing 2017 strong and start to make slow changes to get into the 2018 mode soon!

And yes I see that we are 20 bucks over overall, keep in mind however that our mortgage payment is around $1,365 so we are paying extra to principal to pay in 7 years and right now that counts as expense vs savings as we are hoping to rent in retirement and more or less assume we would spend that much so we are trying to train ourselves for that level.

Note that I changed the way we track insurance to make it a little more accurate.

What are your expense plans for 2018? Remaining the same? Cutting? Adding? (wha?) Tell me what hurts? Is your budget aligned with your life priorities?

Tell me more!

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