Back in 2008, I wrote my initial post about our monthly expenses. It’s always interesting going back in time to see what the circumstances were. Back then, the update was compiled just before we had our first child, and we had a mortgage on our principal residence (a new build). Our annual recurring outlay was around $50k (not including RRSP, savings etc).
Five years later in 2013, I wrote an updated post with quite a different life story. By that point we had two young children and we managed to pay off our mortgage a few years prior. Even though the mortgage payments were eliminated, the kids tied up the extra cash flow and more! At that time, child care/pre-school costs were high at around $12,000 per year (spouse working part-time). Our total annual recurring expenses back then were around $52k (not including RRSP, RESP, TFSA contributions etc).
Fast forward a few more years and at this point, my oldest child is in grade school, and my youngest in pre-school about to start kindergarten in the fall. Although one child is out of daycare/pre-school, there are still summer camps and activities that really add up.
As we funnel our spending through a credit card (where possible), I use mint.com to organize transactions into categories where I pulled most of the numbers below.
Here are the numbers;
Housing Expenses: $9,180 ($765/month)
- Mortgage: $0
- Property tax: $3,500
- Maintenance/Furnishings/Upgrades: $2,000
- Utilities: $3,000
- Home Supplies: $680
Car Expenses (2 vehicles): $3,475 ($289.58/month)
- Car payments: $0
- Gasoline: $2,250
- Maintenance: $900
- Registration: $325
Home Essentials: $1,609 ($134.08/month)
- TV/Internet/Landline phone: $1,509
- Cell phones: $100 (one phone on prepaid plan)
Food and Booze: $12,360 ($1,030/month)
- Groceries: $11,000
- Entertainment/Eating Out: $1,360
Insurance: $5,130 ($427.50/month)
- Home: $800
- 2 x Automobiles (for 2 people): $1,650 (how we save money on auto insurance)
- Life: $420
- Disability insurance (for 2 people): $2,260
Children: $11,700 ($975/month)
- Preschool: $5,700
- Activities/summer camp: $6,000
Spending: $4,500 ($375/month)
- Shopping/clothing/hair/gym/misc: $4,500
Other Expenses: $5,160 ($430/month)
- Charity: $2,360
- Gifts: $2,000
- Health care (prescriptions, eyecare, dentist): $800
Total Annual Expense: $53,114 ($4,426.17/month)
Since 2013, our recurring annual expenses have increased about 1.7%, or very little. Even though we try save money whenever possible, there is still work to be done. Specifically, the grocery line item. Even with a big improvement over 2014 where our grocery costs were over $1,100/month, having an average grocery bill of over $900/month for a family of four is still on the high side. We tend to eat a lot of fresh veggies and protein sources, which is not easy on the wallet especially where our produce tends to be a bit pricier in NL than other areas in Canada.
While the ideal situation would have all of our costs included in the $53k annual number, unfortunately, that is not true. It does not include a family vacation, or savings via TFSA, RRSP, RESP. So realistically, our annual expense number is much higher.
So what does your budget look like compared to mine?