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Feb 19, 2012

Our 2012 Budget

For 2012, I wanted to come up with a more accurate budget, seeing that our baby would be born this year and hopefully we’ll be able to control our spending without worrying too much about it. I figured if I budget better, then I’ll hopefully be less stressed about where our money is going. Of course, I’ve also decided I’m not going to be so darn hard on myself because I’ll have a baby and have no clue how that’s going to impact our budget. If it costs us more money than I anticipated, then it does, and I’ll adjust our budget accordingly.

Here’s our 2012 budget:

Mortgage- $793.19
Escrow- $215.00
Energy- $150.00
Car insurance- $88.00
Verizon- $40.00
Cable, phone, internet- $125.00
Food- $350.00
Retirement- $100.00
House Stuff- $50.00
Gas- $200.00

Some notes:

The mortgage is just principal and interest. I used to round the payment up to $800 or so, until I found out that the extra money that I was paying was being applied to the next month’s payment! Talk about annoying. To make additional principal payments, I have to mail a separate check to a certain address. What a pain.

We escrow our taxes and insurance ourselves. We refinanced our mortgage to a home equity loan a few years ago, and the bank will not escrow for us. We have a separate escrow account with ING.

The reason our energy category is a flat $150 each month is because we budget for irregular expenses by transferring that amount into a separate account each month.

The Verizon bill includes just my cell phone, as Mr. Money has a phone paid by work.

The car insurance went down a little since last year because the cars are older and so are we!

The cable, phone, and internet may get changed this year. It seems like that’s a high amount for that. I’m thinking about switching our phone to something like a Magic Jack since I really like having a home phone, and maybe dropping the cable.

I don’t know if the food budget is a reasonable amount our not. Guess we’ll see after a few months!

We’ll have to really start saving for retirement ourselves, as I won’t be participating in my 401k plan at work, and Mr. Money’s employer doesn’t offer any retirement savings plan. I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

The house stuff we’ll have to play it by ear with. We’ve done a lot of work to the house over the past five years, so we’re not anticipating any huge expenses like new flooring, etc. I would like new counter tops and flooring in my kitchen, but that’s not a necessity so we’ll have to see about that.

Gas will go down from our monthly expenses since I won’t be commuting to work and back every day. Yay! This might be too much budgeted, but who knows at this point!

Of course, I won’t know how this budget works for us until I’m actually staying at home with the baby. I’m just glad we’ve got a general idea of where we’d like our money to go. I feel like there are a few categories I’ve forgotten, but it’s a flexible budget, so that’s okay!

Have you budgeted for 2012?