January 2016 Expenses and Investments

This has been my first month using ‘You Need a Budget’ or YNAB software.

Before I just used the system of paying myself first, so essentially I saved what I thought was a reasonable amount and then I spent what was left over. I never really had a handle on my actual expenses. Hopefully YNAB will give me a better understanding of my spending habits and hopefully I can start to increase my savings. YNAB claims most users save an extra $200 a month when they use the software

To explain my budget a little – I pay most the bills and my partner gives me money each month for their share of the bills e.g groceries, mortgage and insurance.

So here is the nice little graph that YNAB generates. Keep in mind everything is in New Zealand dollars. (The link will give you some idea of the purchasing power of a NZ$ for those who are curious).

Jan 16 YNAB

Ooooooo pretty colours. I love graphs!

As you can see most of our spending is on the mortgage. Holiday spending was paying for a trip I am taking in March, I booked the accommodation now. I didn’t take it out of my vacation savings instead I just absorbed it into this months spending. Below is a more detailed break down.

Screenshot 2016-02-01 15.03.09

Saving and investing: $1,153 saved or invested for the month. Not bad! I’m also saving some spending money for an upcoming vacation.

Groceries: This is really high! However it’s for 2 people and we just started a “healthy” eating plan so while I was getting my head around all the different meals I think I spent way more than I needed to. I also pre-loaded a grocery credit card for spending in December (I get a 6% return on the money loaded onto this specific card during Jan and Feb).

Spending Money and Restaurants: So summer time vibes and “holiday” mode may have lead to a few extra treats. I do like to go out for meals occasionally with my partner but by being a bit more creative I think I can cut these categories down. The spending money went on some hairdressing scissors (worth it!) and a fancy bottle of wine (not worth it, sad face, lesson learned) plus a book and a lotto ticket (Argh curse you lotto, the tax on those bad at math, but its our combined workplace lotto ticket, I don’t want those bastards winning without me!)

Clothing: For $90.50 I got 2 pairs of shoes, 4 tops and a pair of shorts and jeans. Clearance sales for the win!

Household goods: A multifunction stick blender (heavily discounted $100 off!), bathroom organiser and air tight container for dry goods.

I don’t generally carry a credit card balance but YNAB seems to take your starting credit card balance as a debt that needs to be repaid.

Goals for next month: Increase savings, reduce grocery spending. Also I’m thinking of starting a sinking fund for house repairs and maintenance. How does everyone budget for this? Currently I would take the funds out of our general savings.

Also I may have to start paying a little extra into our property investment fund next month as I want to pay down the mortgages on those little faster and build up a buffer for any renovations and repairs.

What are your budget goals for the next month?

3 thoughts on “January 2016 Expenses and Investments”

  1. I’ll have to look into YNAB. I’ve heard of it, but have always thought my spending is pretty bare bones already, and didn’t think it could help. I guess there’s always room for improvement!

  2. That’s a great month! Saving over a grand gives you a lot of wiggle room to invest, pay down your mortgage a little more, or even better, donate. I love how you continue to donate and build that into your budget. This was my first time stopping by here. Looking forward to coming back and seeing how you continue to progress.

    Bert, One of the Dividend Diplomats.

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