Each day we are still learning and exploring new ways to save. Our budget is a constant work in progress, and although I strive to save at least 40% of our income, as you can see, sometimes we fall short. We do manage to average roughly between 35%-40%, but I hope to get closer to 50%.
We currently live in a high cost of living area, and that is clearly reflected in our housing expenses. We are moving this summer, and we expect our housing to drop from 24% to 14.6% as we transition to a lower cost of living area. Our transportation costs were a little higher than usual this month at 5%, largely due to a GPS update, and our seasonal tire swap. We will be doing a very long road trip this summer, and we needed to update our maps. Our recreation budget was also a lot higher than usual at 6%. We made a deposit for our family summer vacation. Our dogs were due for their annual vaccinations, which contributed to our medical expenses. Our gifts came in a little high this month at 4%. We are in the middle of moving, and decided to purchase a few gifts ahead of time for May. We had a total of 4 birthdays between April and May, including our daughter’s. Allowance, clothing, and monthly subscriptions like daily burn, all come out of our personal budget. As temperatures began to warm up a bit, I brought out our summer clothing. My son hit a growth spurt in the last 6 months, and none of his summer clothing fit. A large portion of our 4% personal expenses this month came from buying our son an entirely new summer wardrobe. We have reached a point in our budget where we have minimized and eliminated a lot of expenses so that when we do have unusual costs arise, our savings rate is still the largest percentage of our budget. Your percentages do not have to look like ours. Think about what’s important to you and your family. We choose to spend less on going out to eat, and more on our recreation budget, because traveling is important to us. You may have to sacrifice in one area of your budget, to give a little more in another area that’s important to you. Your savings rate can start smaller, and you can slowly work your way up. We started at just 15%. Are you working on increasing your savings rate? Let us know how it’s going.