Well after the last 90 days I can officially say I have cut my spending immensely this year and surpassed my annual goal. I’ve had so much of a boost that I paid off “one” of my student loans two years earlier than I ever planned. *Warning: Upcoming TMI; cost of living with actual numbers!*

Here’s the Summary

Necessities: $1,100 a month ($13,200 a year).
Debt: $795 a month ($9,540 a year).
Charges: $433.33 a month ($5,200 a year).

Total: $2,328.33 a month ($27,939.96 a year).

That’s $13.43 an hour on a 40 hour weekly salary.
Basically $3.19 every single hour of the day all year long.

Savings and Tithing not included because I don’t want to know the yearly on those since I know I’ll stop if I see them. I don’t have any non-work related investments.


Here’s the TMI Portion I Warned You About

My original goal for the year was simply to cut my budget for food, entertainment, incidentals, and automotive to $100 a week. However, my secondary goal relating to dietary and fitness progression allowed me to annihilate that projection. For the last 90 days my actual total spending in those four categories has been averaging $58 a week (or $3,016 a year ideally). That’s without me observing my spending for the last 30 days. I’m conditioned!


Because of the savings, I’ve been able to move my utilities and membership charges into my regular budget. In other words, $251.33 a month [($58 a week * 52 weeks a year) / 12 months] covers:

  • Food: Restaurants (take out/sit down), Groceries, Drink
  • Entertainment: Books, Movies, Games, Music, Activities, Events
  • Incidentals: Grooming, Toiletries, Cleaners, Containers, etc.
  • Automotive: Maintenance, Cleaning, and Fuel

While the remaining $182 a month [($100 a week * 52 weeks) / 12 months] - ($251.33 a month) covers:

  • Utilities: Electricity, Gas, Water, Sewer, Trash
  • Fees: Gym Membership, Subscriptions, Service Charges

Necessities would be Housing, all Insurances, Phone, and anything thati need to have that requires a monthly payment but it doesn’t go towards paying anything off. Those are $1,100 a month which would be $13,200 a year.


As far as debt goes the required payments amount to $795 a month ($9,540 a year). That would be my other student loan ($3,748.90 remaining), all the vehicles that are still financed ($28,215.35 remaining), and the unsecured loan I took out in order to pay off my credit cards coming out of college ($3,728.38 remaining). So a total of $35,692.63 in remaining debt since graduating 3 years ago. That means I’m still 45 months from everything being paid off if I were to make the minimum required loan payments. Thankfully I’ve kept to the snowball method so the student loan will be paid off next year at the same time as the unsecured loan I mentioned. I just need to avoid additional large debt for the next 18 months (hence why I didn’t buy that $20k Acura NSX back in December. No regerts?).

This is written more for myself, but I need extra eyes just to keep me honest and feeling obligated to continue moving forward. I want to have a handle on things before an emergency comes up or I end up with a mail order family or something. I always say, “You can only have two carry-ons when boarding a flight, it helps everyone on board when your personal baggage is small enough not to need the overhead bin space.”*


*Note: Only occasion I have ever said that.