Created my 2020 Budget

Near the end of the year, I create a budget for the next year. I start with what I actually spent this year (using the average monthly spend for December) and decide if the categories I used are still useful, and if I need to decrease or increase the budget from what I spent this year. The categories

I'm increasing:

Rent (My lease is up in June. They may or may not increase my rent, but I want to be prepared for it if they do.)

Internet/Phone (Spectrum raised their rates and I shopped around for cheaper plans - they don't exist after adding fees and taxes. I wish Google Fiber was an option!)

Alcohol (I increased my budget for this a little bit, but I might not use it. I plan to drink more wine than beer, and wine is often more expensive than beer per serving.)

Shopping (I severely underestimated what I would be shopping for - I bought a Halloween costume, accessories for my piano and gadgets for my kitchen, some clothes and board games and card games and flute books and Christmas presents.)

Car Repair (I expect to replace my brakes in 2020 after them starting to show signs of needing to be replaced.)

Travel (I'm increasing this category because the girls were interested in flying elsewhere for the Girls' trip instead of driving to somewhere near NW Ohio.)

Other (I'm increasing this budget so I don't feel like I can't go to events around town. Also in this category are annual fees for credit cards, property tax, haircuts and hobby expenditures.)

I'm adding:

Gym (I now go to a gym, and it costs money.)

I'm decreasing:

Electric (I spent $130 less than my budget this year, so I'm decreasing it by $100. Of course, if the weather in 2020 is ridiculously hot, I might go over.)

Heat (I spent less on heat as well this year. Decreasing the budget there as well.)

Car Insurance (My car insurance continues to go down, so I'll continue to decrease this budget.)

I'm eliminating:

Divorce (My divorce has been granted and there are no other financial items to spend on or split. Everything is finished, so this category is going away.)

Overall, my budget is 12% bigger than this year's but I'm looking at this year's spending to go on for next year. This year was the first full year for me to live on my own without unusual large expenditures like paying a divorce lawyer or furnishing a new home. I'm looking forward to travelling more and doing more things in my own town, as well as learning more through my 30 day challenges.


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