Triple B on the set with a Triple W (Walk a While in my Wallet), a peek into our monthly budget. Within we will take a voyeuristic view into the mysteriously opulent epoch known as a Buy Boss’n Budget, wherein no cow is too sacred, no chicken is unpluckable, and no animal pun is too lowbrow.
A Cave of Wonders
Within we’ll spelunk, unhindered by the grotesque weight of Really, Really Ugly Debt, through the Energy Star pending, LED lit cave that casts its luminosity upon the greatest treasure of them all: A 60+% savings rate!!
Yes, that is the greatest treasure in the land! No, not your collection of Ninja Turtle action figures, though those are pretty cool. No, not even your Pulitzer Prize worthy post on Facebook last night is more desirable. For this is the mythical miracle of financing that puts retirement within our blue collared grasp.
So pull the shining sword of expense slashery from your scabbard , and hold it high. Grab your canary and lets see how many bills we can parry. Let’s go!
Feast your eyes upon the dusty moths fluttering about as Triple B sets his hands upon each end of his wallet, groaning with displeasure as it creaks open. What’s this! Why its every cent spent in November and December of the year 2019, carefully tabulated. Each budget entry visibly written with great relish in a flurry of ink and feather pen.
Certainly, as Triple B pedals gleefully through snow covered hills each day on his way to work, so will you kick up your heels with a pleasure of immeasurable voluminity, as your fingers frolic about on your $8 a month cellphone through this article, gleaning that which will soon earn you a place in the early retirement boxing ring, ready to Sting like a B.
Pick The Chart Apart
|Expense||November||December||Monthly Change||Non Boss'r Average¹||Notes|
|Auto Insurance||107||107||-||Looking to lower this soon.|
|Auto Payment||4087||3||(4084)||Sold two vehicles and paid off the other in Nov. Three dollars was left over for Dec.|
|Fuel||89||159||100||Fuel was high due to winter, plowing, company, and travel for hockey. Approx 900 kms on the E-bike helped keep this down.|
|Auto Parts||39||0||(39)||Parts to repair exhaust on vehicle for sale, and a light for my bike.|
|Transportation Total:||4322||299||(4023)||1101||73% more effective. Still an obscene amount. But it will get better!|
|Mortgage||1797||1786||(11)||Putting an extra $266 a month on mortgage. Includes HELOC. If interest rates rise will pay this down and increase cash flow.|
|Home Improvement||42||0||(42)||Two Low Flow Showerheads|
|Utilities (Elec)||295||274||(21)||Elec billing is 2 months behind so savings from Neurio not realized until Jan.|
|Housing Total:||2134||2060||(74)||2234||8% more effective. Lots of room to play with these numbers going forward.|
|Internet||29||58||29||November had a credit on account from cutting internet bill in half, in one phone call!|
|Cell Phone Plan||112||112||Hmm what to do?|
|Communications Total:||141||170||29||208||18% more effective. Room for improvement here!|
|Entertainment||121||70||(51)||Nov went to the ballet. Dec forgot to cancel Nintendo Online! Also went to Star Wars 9, so much better than 8! A good star wars likely lowered my alcohol expense going forward 🙂|
|Personal Care||40||70||30||4 massages total, because blogging. Benefits ran out in December thus higher cost, I will have to track this closer in 2020.|
|Clothing||27||0||(27)||Gloves for the kids.|
|Living Expenses Total:||188||140||(48)||755||71% more effective.|
|Alcohol||160||123||(16)||Made Homebrew Australian Pale Ale in Nov. Even with a ton of company during December was able to lower expense by $16.|
|Coffee Shops||14||0||(14)||Stopped at Tim Hortons, after doing some volunteer work.|
|Groceries||766||315||(405)||Also includes household items. Some extra purchases in Nov in preparation for a successful one week no spending challenge in Dec with friends!|
|Restaurants||28||85||56||Food twice from gas stations in Nov. Ate out 2 times in December due to company. Also took kids for ice cream because its December, of course.|
|Food Total:||968||523||(445)||868||40% more effective.|
|Blog Expenses||162||273||111||Domain name, hosting, other blog related start up expenses. Expecting to be cashflow positive in fiscal year 2094.|
|Bank Fees||(32)||15||47||Called bank in Nov to lower fees, they credited me 3 months fees as goodwill. In December they forgot to lower fee again Grrrr! Called them again in Jan.|
|Donations||20||184||Support payments are included in this for whatever reason. Still I can beat this!|
|Grand Totals:||7903||3334||(4569)||5715||42% more effective.|
|Excluding One-Time Items:||3816||3331||(485)||Excluding one-time vehicle payments.|
|Baseline||3249||2710||(539)||Excluding frivolous things like blog expenses, restaurants, massage, entertainment, alcohol, and home improvement.|
¹ Stats from Statscan 2017. Inflation of 2%/year added to bring to 2019 levels.
Triple B Patented Budget Roundhouse Kick Incoming!
Well, this was a bit of a shocker for me! October was when I officially began on this journey to radically improve my family’s life and happiness. As a result, the first few months resulted in increased expenditures in many areas as I worked to set the foundations of this grand palace of frugality, simplicity and contentment.
So, don’t be alarmed if you are actually spending more at the start. In fact, this may be an important healing time as you settle in for a life full of efficiency, a last hoorah of former spend-easy ways. Keep in mind these numbers are for a family of four.
Some thoughts on the above:
- Transportation Costs are one of the biggest detractors from financial independence. The money and time spent in pursuit of ways to move our bodies from place to place is terribly inefficient in our society. This is one the best places to optimize. I’m looking to cut this cost in half moving forward.
- Housing is a very interesting focal point, and worthy of many articles devoted to increasing its efficiency. The low interest world we live in distorts the traditional ideas and theories on this. It allows for certain efficiencies in the short term.
- Communication is seeing increasing competition. We can expect these costs to lower with the proper Buy Boss’r attitude.
- I’m interested to see which way Alcohol costs go in the future. Will blogging drive me to drink more? Will my obsession with improving my families life and happiness drive away some friends, leading to less social drinking? Or will it go the other way? Is there any correlation between alcohol , food and recreation costs and happiness or, vice-versa, unhappiness?
- Will the time and money spent blogging be a net positive in my life?
- The donations line is quite interesting. Some donations are not captured as I often do this through cash, and/or donations of time. But I would like to increase this to well above the average. If this blog becomes cash flow positive i would like to use the majority, if not all, the proceeds for this endeavor. To donate most effectively I have a lot to learn . Should this be done locally, close to home, or to other areas where the funds are needed more?
At December levels of spending this equates to an annual expense of $32,520. Using the 25 times your annual expenses rule this means $813,000 is needed to retire. I know I can get this considerable lower, and in the process take years off my working career.
Firstly, my goal will be to get each category of expenses down to 75% of the average household spending, while still feeling like I’m living a far better life than the average.
Secondly, I would like to decrease costs by $500 in January and another $500 for February. Any tips on how I can do that? Comment below and let me know your financial goals this year!