Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Budgeting (Part II)


Now that I’ve had a couple of months to track my spending I’m finally getting a sense of how much I will really need to finance my post-Plan life. This is definitely an improvement from my first preliminary budget. The process has been quite straightforward:

  1. Figure out what activities make me truly happy (as subjective and ephemeral as the term “happy” can be), and
  2. Draft a conservative, long-term budget that incorporates these activities

You guys can view the working draft here. A couple of thoughts:

*Anything highlighted in yellow represents fixed costs

*The Housing line-item is my pride and joy. I don’t think I want to ever pay more than $800 a month for housing ever again.

*While I already consider an annual budget of approximately $32,000 a real accomplishment for someone who somehow managed to live off a gross annual income of >$300,000 (or $190K post-taxes), there is still a ton of places where I can economize further.

*The Personal Spending, Clothing and Gear line-items are ripe for additional cuts, depending on where I am and what I am doing. You can imagine how these expenses will change and shift depending on whether I am backpacking in Vietnam, bicycling in Patagonia or teaching English in Bolivia.

*On the other hand, I have yet to include a bike expense category. Need to really think about how to incorporate my bike riding expenses into this budget. Would definitely appreciate people like Jill, Nancy, Chris or anyone else with some knowledge to weigh in on this, particularly as to how long-term bike travel adds to the budget.

Any other thoughts, comments, and suggestions very much welcome.

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