A New Way to Look at Your Budget

Asset Protection Group | Jan 14, 2020

Changes to budgeting and saving are common New Year’s resolutions. If you’ve decided to take a closer look at your spending this year, you might feel a bit overwhelmed at the task.

Helpfully, GoBankingRates has compiled a list of 25 common household expenditures. Then they combed data to determine the average amount spent annually on these items. If you’re trying to decide which areas of your budget could use some work, comparing your own spending to the average in each of these areas might be a good place to start.

  • Mortgage payments – $18,792
  • Rent – $12,696
  • Vehicle insurance – $976
  • Vehicle maintenance and repairs – $890
  • Public transportation – $818
  • Gas – $2,109
  • Retirement account contributions – $6,831
  • Utilities – $4,049
  • Health insurance – $3,405
  • Health and fitness – $1,860
  • Groceries – $4,464
  • Coffee – $1,100
  • Alcohol – $583
  • Restaurant meals – $3,459
  • Childcare – $9,006
  • Cell phone service – $1,188
  • Subscription services – $237.33
  • Clothing – $1,866
  • Pets – $662
  • Entertainment (fees and admission) – $766
  • Education – $1,407
  • Charitable donations – $1,888
  • Holiday food and decorations – $227
  • Holiday gifts – $659
  • Miscellaneous – $933

These items might also provide a good starting point for conversations, if you’re having trouble broaching the subject with your spouse.

Your own spending won’t necessarily fall in line with the average amounts listed here. For example, in some areas public transportation is more important than owning your own vehicle (or vice versa). Obviously, a family of six will spend more on groceries than a family of three.

But in many areas, trying to reduce your spending so that it falls at or below the average can be a wise choice. At the very least, this list might help you to identify areas in which you need to attempt some comparison shopping, or reevaluate your lifestyle habits.

Once you’ve made these adjustments, what will you do with that extra cash? Saving for retirement and paying down debts are two great options. If you’d like to discuss these ideas in more detail, schedule an appointment with us so that together we can decide how to revamp your budget.