I’m paid biweekly, I don’t count on a bonus, and it goes up at the end of the year after I max out my SS taxes, so my monthly income isn’t fixed. My spending isn’t fixed either. There’s always some random expenditure or maybe I make a big purchase that lasts for a few months (I do live next to a Costco). Let’s just average the income out to be about $8,300/month after taxes and other deductions. Also, I would average the spending to be:
$2100 for rent/utilities/phone;
$600 for gifts/charity;
$375 for food/drink;
$250 for personal care/clothing;
$150 for general shopping;
$200 for therapy;
$100 for transportation;
$100 for travel;
$500 for miscellaneous (apartment cleaning, entertainment, education, health and wellness, random expenses)
$3925 savings every month.
I spend about $4,375/month or $53k/year, so if I made about $75k gross, I could live paycheck to paycheck and have the same lifestyle. There’s quite a bit of bloat in there I guess, but if I took that salary cut, I would downgrade my apartment first. It’s a reasonable price to pay at my current salary but would be too large a percentage of my income at a lower salary.
It seems very much like I spend a lot of money and the numbers do look quite high. It seems to me that I live quite frugally but perhaps that’s just mindset and doesn’t really hold up to the facts. For my no-spend November, I’m hoping to cut deeply into my budgets for food, miscellaneous and general shopping but many of the other categories are non-negotiables for me. I’m not quite sure it’s lifestyle inflation because it’s stuff that I find really valuable in my life.
What do other people spend in a month?