Money Matters

How much do you "live off of" after monthly bills are paid?

After you have paid all the normal recurring monthly bills (rent/mortgage, utilities, cell phone, car payment/insurance, etc.) how much do you use to "live on" (gas, food, entertainment, fun money, etc.)? I know this answer will vary greatly based on location, lifestyle, total income, etc., but I'm curious.

A bit of backstory - H and I have paid off all of our CC debt (a HUGE undertaking - and big thanks to you ladies - I learned a lot from all my lurking) and I'm really overhauling our budget. We are trying to live off my income and save H's income.

When I crunch the numbers, I'm a bit concerned that the amount of money that is left after all of our normal monthly bills might be too little to really "live off of."  We may have to use a bit of H's income and factor that into our normal monthly budget.

Still, I've learned that we MUST have a set number and stick to it. So, if we are going to use $300 per month from H's income and save the rest, we can't go beyond it. If I just assume "we'll take what we need and save the rest," we will probably spend a heck of a lot more of his income and save much less. I've learned lessons from the past, and now we've turned over a new leaf and have aggressively kicked up the savings.

Sorry so long - thanks for your input. Just curious to see what the general numbers are. TIA!

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Re: How much do you "live off of" after monthly bills are paid?

  • I usually have about $150-$200 after I pay my bills each pay cycle to pay for gas, food and the occasional dinner out. 

    ETA:  That is how much I kind of budget for those things but I usually still have a minimum amount I like to have in my account to not feel nervous, even though I guess if worse comes to worse I can always pull out of my emergency fund for things that may pop up. 

  • I try to spend $1000 for food, entertainment, gas and things that pop up (examples of things that pop up are birth control rx every 3 months or the occasional dog groom, etc.)

    Edit: that is for the month.

  • We have nothing leftover, because we budget every single dollar that we make, and every single dollar that we spend.

    Sometimes we'll have a small surplus, because the gas bill was less than expected, or maybe we didn't eat out as much as we budgeted. We then put that surplus into one of our savings accounts, that are all earmarked for various purposes, like new car, vacation, etc.

    Consequently, unexpected monthly expenses that arise after the month's budget has been written come out of one of those savings accts. There's one for gifts, one for clothes shopping, and emergency fund for emergency dental, medical or vet visits.

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  • DH and I both have 150 fun money but we both have another cushion built in for 75 dollars each and 200 in our joint.  So total for us is 550.

     

    we have funds for vacation, house, my dd, and a few others that are built into the monthly budget which we count as bills (same with savings and investing as that is a bill to ourselves)

     

  • Including the groceries, for the two of us its about $1600 a month.
  • I didn't consider that my car is paid off next month! My plan was to continue to pay that into an acct. for a future car, but if we are saving ALL of DH's income, we can certainly allot some of that to a "new car fund." Beginning in August, we should have about $600 leftover for the month - certainly doable, right??
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  • image derdiggity:
    I didn't consider that my car is paid off next month! My plan was to continue to pay that into an acct. for a future car, but if we are saving ALL of DH's income, we can certainly allot some of that to a "new car fund." Beginning in August, we should have about $600 leftover for the month - certainly doable, right??

    Definitely doable!

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  • We are trying to do the same thing live off my income save DH's. So far we are close, but things like gifts and traveling/vacation, home improvements and our fun money/entertainment have to come out of his pay.

    I have  $375/paycheck of his income deposited into our accounts so $750/month the rest is automatically deposited into savings.

    After our bills I would say we spend around $1200/month after our fixed expenses and we save about  $1100/month. After we get rid of our cc debt we will be able to save his entire salary.

     

  • We did our budget kind of backwards.  We listed out all of the bills and the amounts we put aside into savings for specific purposes (insurance, heating oil, vacation, baby, etc).  We squirrel away just about everything we take in - either to savings or bills.  It's like we force ourselves to live  paycheck-to-paycheck, even though we're not really.


  • I get $150/week for extras and DH has about $200 but we both try to spend as little as possible and put the rest in savings. I usually end up putting about $50 of that into savings and Dh puts about a $100 as well.

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  • Right now, we're doing $400 a month for groceries, about $120 a month for gas, and $1000 a month for fun money (which is all of our dining out, entertainment, and "random crap" shopping). So $1500-1600 a month.
  • Generally it's about $1100-$1200 but there are variances in months where we have gift giving expenses... that amount is not predictable especially given the number of 2009-10 weddings and babies that are popping up amongst our friends
  • After bills, we budget about $1000 for groceries, gas, dinners out, fun money, etc. Lately we have been way over that, but have still been meeting our minimum savings goals plus some, so I am not terribly worried about it, although after this weekend we are going to get more strict about things.
    So it goes.
  • After mortgage, utilities, etc, we budget $1100 to include groceries, gas, restaurants/entertainment, and minimal fun money ($200/person).  Everything else gets swept into savings/investments. 
  • I spend about $400/month on food, clothes, entertainment, etc. Sometimes a little more, rarely less. This $400 includes anything that is not tuition, books, rent, car insurance, cell phone, utilities, or major (to me) expenses like $500 car repairs.
  • $1400/month for everything that's not a bill - Groceries, eating out, gas, Rxs, doctor's visits, clothes, booze, etc.
  • jasnemjasnem
    Eighth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    member
    We spend $400 on groceries/pet care, $300 on entertainment including dinners out and personal money, and $250 on gas (we both have long commutes).  So around $950, although it normally ends up being $1000 because we usually have a present or two to buy in the month.
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