You’ll see from my budget, that I give myself an allowance of a little less than $500/mon. This amount has slowly been trimmed since I started My Early Retirement Journey. The amount is direct deposited from my paycheck to the American Express Bluebird card, a prepaid debit card. It’s the simplest way I have found to budget and track my spending. I can’t go over and it’s nice to see when I have money left over. The Insights feature provides a simple illustration of how the money is spent:
Total Expenses ($678): Higher than the budgeted ~ $500/mon due to travel for my surgery, which included, hotel, gas, and eating out.
Transportation ($352): expenses were higher than the expected $50/mon because my hotel stay was categorized as transportation. This was for my surgery which was out of state.
Food: ($284): Higher than the budgeted $200/mon due to being sick for two weeks and eating convenience foods and take-out.
Future Areas of Improvement:
Trim down Food Expenses (to include groceries and take-out) in general. I didn’t dig too deeply into the other categories listed. As I said, as of now I don’t track my allowance too closely as I’ve used historical spending to determine the average monthly spending. It’s been roughly the same since probably before graduate school. I’m still early in the The Journey and as a blogger so I’m trying different things until I find a groove to reconcile the two.