If this is your first time making a budget, this guide is the straight forward breakdown that will leave you feeling refreshed. There’s a bunch of guides out there online as well as plenty of helpful books… but you won’t need any of those here. What I’m about to describe to you may sound extreme but it’s really not so crazy.
There’s a lot of categories to consider in when creating a budget and they have been debated over for ages but were going to keep this simple. I want you to focus on just the following areas: Housing, Utilities, Food, Transportation, Health, Insurance, Personal Expenses, and Savings.
Okay, that doesn’t seem so insane… but that’s not what I’m here to suggest. Or at least, the above budget should be your starting point for a far better extreme saving budget goal. I started with the above two years ago… and I realized that I could optimize it to put even more money away. This didn’t happen over night- it took time, patience and experimentation to find what worked best for me.
This might now work as well for you- or your needs may be different, You should adjust accordingly but keep your focus on maximizing the bottom column: SAVINGS.
This is my current breakdown:
Housing: It’s hard to optimize this number in Seattle… we are still years away from being able to afford a home- but that is our goal. Right now we pay roughly $24k in rent per year. As soon as we can get a house, we plan to put the difference to savings.
Utilities: We pay $40 dollars a month in the summer because 1) we don’t have AC and 2) we haven’t broke down and bought a portable AC because we’re cheap. >:) In the winter, the bill is at it’s highest $150- but we have found multiple ways to cut it down by bundling up in some warm blankets and watching Rick and Morty or The Path.
Food: We try to eat healthy, and keep cost low. We cook 95% of our meals at home and eat out maybe once a month.
Transportation: We walk places when we can, and mostly commute to work and to shop. We both have to drive to work, but we carpool together and that saves us money.
Health: I have some minor bills and my wife has some regular medical bills. Nothing serious.
Insurance: Car and Cheap health plans for myself, work plan for my wife.
Personal: We have some fun money 😉 But we usually allocate way more than we need. More often we just play Scrabble together.
Savings: This is the area that we seek to maximize. My next goal is to get to 80% income saved. I’m still years away from that. Hopefully I’ll be able to link back to this in the future. 🙂
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