Developing a personalized budget is a powerful tool utilized in my financial independence journey. I have tried several methods in the past and failed but I have finally a recipe one that works for me. I utilize mint.com for the broad categories listed below in combination with an excel spreadsheet which has each category itemized.

October 1, 2016 budget. www.mint.com

Budget Categories

  1. Bills and Utilities: This includes my rent, utilities, transportation, internet, cell phone, and television.
  2. Food and Dining: I prepare 99% of my meals at home which is why I am able to survive on such a small allocation. I am also able to achieve this by planning my meals every week before my trip to the grocery store.
  3. Personal Care: This category includes any expenses involved in beauty and grooming myself from head to toe.
  4. Miscellaneous Expenses: Anything not included in the above categories will be captured here. This can range anywhere from entertainment to small unexpected non-emergent expenses. This does not include any emergency expenses as I have a separate account with $1000 of emergency funds. I also have a separate savings account for my “someday expenses” which includes expenses for vacations/traveling, moving and big purchases.

My total living expenses is $1,600 1550 1500/month which is down from ~$3600/month from 1 year ago! I have to admit, this is a tight budget for me and will take a lot of discipline to maintain.

At the end of every month, I will post my monthly expenses/budget here on this page to track my successes and highlight areas for improvement.

Budget Updates ($1600/Month)

  • December 2016 (Spent 1549.70 [-$0.30])
  • November 2016 (Spent 1549.70 [-$0.30])
  • October 2016 (Spent $1565 [-$34])
  • September 2016 (Spent $1694 [+ $94])