The monthly budget breakdown

The monthly budget breakdown

With just under 3 weeks until the move we have had several lengthy discussions about our new living budget. This is the first time that D and I have lived together, and even though we have often shared expenses such as food and petrol in the past, it hasn’t been pre-decided or agreed; it’s just been a case of one offering to fill up one of the cars with petrol for a weekend away or similar. This will be the first time that we have started living as ‘partners’, not just sharing our home together but also sharing our finances too (Jeez I feel grown up saying that!).  
It’s a well known fact that money is one of the biggest causes of arguments in relationships, with this in mind, and also witnessing other couples and family members facing such issues, our money matters is something we are taking very seriously and being extra careful about.
The one thing that is set is our overall savings target that we hope to hit within 12 months and we will begin the save on Janurary 1st 2014. We have decided to start in the new year because we need money we have now to pay for the move. We have worked out that the agency fees, the bond furniture and other things here and there will consume the equivalent of 2 months of saving.
 But how do we organise our fixed expenses and our personal money? The more we have chatted about it we have come to realise what a big decision the budget will be. So, we have agreed that household expenses, such as rent, council tax, ‘leccy, internet and food will be shared. But then what happens if I buy hair dye (yes, this is a necessity!) or sanity products? And what if D fancies a few beers one evening? Then who pays for the petrol to get to the shop? It started to get really complicated. Then on to of all that how do we make it fair for the both of us in terms of our income? D earns quite a bit more than me and I couldn’t physically pay half of all the bills, petrol, car upkeep and save. To keep it fair, D suggested that we split the expenses by percentage dependant upon our incomes after tax, and do the same for the savings account. This makes great sense, keeps it fair and ensures I can still save. 
However we soon figured that the odd box of hair dye and a few beers here at there will pretty much balance out and it wasn’t worth getting hung up over. Our new home is near as damn it bang in the middle between both of our workplaces and most other car trips were taken together so it also made sense to pool petrol money. But then that opened up another can of worms; what about the upkeep of the car? If we sharing petrol and taking it in turns to travel in each other’s cars for shopping tips and social trips then surely it would make sense to pool all car costs? All the choices and decisions caused our lil’ brains to frazzle.
What we are both certain of is that we want to have our own spending money that only ourselves are in control of.  Keeping some independence is very important for the both of us and I don’t want to have ring D to ask if I can but some new knickers when in Topshop- that would just be ridiculous. It would, however, makes sense to have a joint social budget for meals out (must cut down on theses!), buying presents, visiting friends etc.
So, to begin with, to keep it as simple as possible and to make sure we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves, we will stick to sharing the household bills, food, and petrol and have a joint social fund. Then in a couple of months we can decide whether we feel it would be beneficial to share other costs such as the upkeep of both cars.

The breakdown

So here it is. The budget we aim to stick to it for the first two months (November and December). After Christmas (when feeling extra poor) we will re-evaluate it ready for the 12 month saving spree! Eeeeeek!

For arguments sake the overall monthly budget will be:

(NB Pink text makes that amount of money look a little

The budget explained

  • The budget is based on a calendar month which means we need to allow/skimp a bit here and there depending on how many days fall in the month.
  • Rent is fixed for the term of our 6 months contract (hopefully it won’t go up after).
  • Council tax is spread over 10 months but we have divided the yearly cost into 12 to keep it simple.
  • Internet isn’t installed so the amount is based on prices we have looked up.
  • Food, I feel, is a bit low but a few friends have assured me £200 is doable.
  • Household items include cleaning products, shampoo, deodorant etc.
  • Electric is on a meter so we have put down a high cost just to be on the safe size. With the house being so small it should hopefully be a lot less. 
  • Petrol amount is based on £200 for commuting  and £60 for social.
  • Social fund may look rather high but we would rather reduce this in January than have to add on to it (keepin’ it positive!).
Jenni signature 

P.s I would love to hear how you budget for your 
household and as a couple or family.
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By Jenni Tulip

I'm a bright-haired, hill walking, magpie whispering, skull collecting, tree hugging, money saving, bird watching, happy campervanning, ferret fanatic, woodland dweller sharing my stories and passion for the outdoors to inspire you to immerse yourself in nature.

  • Anonymous

    My budgeting is relatively easy at the moment because whilst I have a partner we don’t live together so all my budgeting is individual. We have plans, however, to move in together in the New Year so I will be following this with much interest to see how you get on!

    I really like the flexible approach you’re taking, in that you have a fixed maximum budget but can be flexible within the sub-categories. I bet these first few months will be settling into habits and working out what’s doable and important, so massive good luck! 🙂 x

  • Ahhh, budgeting, always fun! We've been living together for 15 years (eek!) and married for 13 now (double eek!) and have always worked things in roughly the same way – namely that all income goes into a central "pot" – the joint account, and personal spends are then transferred out of that for us to do what we want with. That way we both have "our own" money, but the joint account has sufficient in it to meet the outgoings each month. We also set aside money each month towards the upkeep of both cars, an annual holiday, and savings to overpay against the mortgage in due course.
    Great idea to see how your budget goes for a month or two and then re-evaluate, too. Good luck!

  • Hi thanks so much for wishing me luck with our new budget. The budget, as you have pointed out, allows room for movement which I like as I don't like the idea of being so strict on ourselves. As long as the bills are paid we can then alter the budget slightly month to month and roll over anything we haven't spent. This could mean we accumulate extra money due to under-spending over, say, 3 months we could then use this to go in the emergency money account (which we are also thinking about having).
    I hope my mistakes and successes help you when you move in together with your partner. I bet you are very excited 🙂 x

  • Hi Robyn. Thanks for sharing your budgeting ways with me! We shall be doing it the other way around- transferring our shares for the living budget from our personal accounts to the joint accounts. For now, we feel is the wisest option just in case anything goes wrong (we really don't think it will but we are just being safe) between us. Do you save money for the car, holiday etc in a different account? D earns a lot more than I so we shall be splitting the savings and monthly living budget percentage-wise to reflect our incomes after tax. Although it means I will have less spending money for myself than D has, it will at least be fair. This might not work but we can re-evaluate that in a couple of months too.
    Thanks for reading x

  • Eeek I must confess me and my boyfriend are forever arguing about money! He says we are fine – I say we are not! It's been a struggle plus our rent is so high and I only work part-time which sucks! Luckily we always make friends again over a cup of tea! I hope the move goes well and don't forget to enjoy life aswell – money is money but you have to make the most of your time! 🙂

  • We're with a Building Society, rather than a bank, and they helpfully let us open as many internet based savings accounts as we like as "satellites" of our current accounts – so the car, holiday, mortgage overpayments, my tax (I'm self employed) and a "household budget" account which stays topped up to £500, are all set aside into separate ones of those. Percentage-wise splitting is good – at first at least!

  • Thanks for the tip. We will check out some building societies as I haven't a clue what they are or what they do. The idea of having separate accounts as part of one overall account sounds ideal. That way we can easily see where we are under spending and overspending without having to go through each statement.

  • It must be a lot of pressure paying a high rent when only working part time. I did it for a while a few years ago and it was a struggle. I really hate arguing about money so jwe are ust ensuring we continue to communicate to avoid it. At least you know you will make up after 🙂 I agree with you totally about money not being everything. We aim to just be more mindful about our spending and be thrifty where we can but still continue to enjoy socializing and the odd treat. xx

  • Thansk for stopping by at thrifty families I love your appraich…its difficvult but well worth it after 10 year s me and my hubby finally seem at peace with outr budget!

  • Thanks Becky. 10 year seams so far away! Hope it doesn't take too long for us become comfortable even if the budget changes now and then 🙂

  • Popping over from Thrifty Families. I have been married for 18 years and we have one pot now. What is his is mine and that works for us, but I know it wouldn't for everyone. Money =trust for a lot of people. You just need to remember that nothing is set in stone and if it isn't working there is nothing wrong with making a change. That is not failure, it is embracing the future.

  • We split the house bills 50 50 then I try and spend as little as possible. All the time. Its all consuming. Even if I want stuff I find it hard to part with the cash. I have turned into my dad haha