My astute friend, Danosaur, recently observed that I apparently have an obsession with money and what people do with it.
I will not try to dispute it. It’s totally true. Along with discovering obsessions for cooking and gardening, I’ve also come to be extremely interested in finances during the past two years–especially family finances. The everyday, the monthly pay checks, the grocery bills, the percent saved; that’s what really interests me.
I’ve figured out our own family finances down to the penny and I did that pretty quickly seeing as we don’t really have many of them. Convenient, that student poverty thing. Then, I turned my focus to other homes.
Anyway, I have noticed, to my chagrin, that discussing family finances isn’t really what is done, if you get my drift. You can be humming along at a nice clip talking about low-risk mutual funds, but as soon as I ask, “So, now, what percentage of your income do you spend on housing?” it shuts down pretty quick. A lot of vague vocabulary rather than dollars, to tell you the truth. “We’re doing alright.” “Oh, it works out.” Pish posh.
Americans–we’re weird like that.
Anyway, I just wanted to give a snapshot of my own family finances for anyone out there who may be as curious as I am about the whole thing. I find I’m noticeably less squeamish about “outing” myself. Meh. So it goes.
So far, in 2010, Atticus and I have an:
Income of approx. $25,000
And from our income, we’ve been spending:
27% on Tuition
22% on Auto expenses (We’ve been paying double/triple car payments each month to pay it off faster.)
21% on Rent
14% on Food
10% on Tithing/Donations
4% on Cell phone and utilities
2% on Misc.
As you can see, that last 2% is where our “disposable income” resides. Well, that’s not totally true. That 2% is where we pull our insurance from too. It’s also the only place we can save from. All other categories are “needs.” Yeup, we sail a tight ship around here.
Isn’t it interesting to think about though! I mean, maybe it’s the cultural historian in me, but a list like this says so much about the people it’s linked to. It says so much about a lifestyle and priorities and how people “made do.” It reminds me of the summer I got paid to analyze the tax records of a tiny village in 1800’s Pennsylvania. Best job ever.
This is the person I am. I’m crrrrazy.
So hey, here’s an offer. We’re all floating in the possible anonymity that is the internet right now. I want to hear about all your finances–and I won’t even have to know who the heck you are!
You can give me a fake name and a fake e-mail address. Totally cool. I just love seeing how others are managing their money, what they’re trying, what’s working, what isn’t…anything!
The only rule is–no vaguery allowed. We’re talking dollars and cents today.