What’s in MY budget? Part 2: Everyday

On Monday we looked at the five groups that make up my budget. Everyday, Monthly, Recurring, Debt, and Savings. Today, I’m going to pull back the curtains on the Everyday group, and we’ll take a look at what categories go into this group.

Before we do, my family uses YNAB for our budget. It is, in my opinion, the best budgeting software in the world (otherwise, why would we use it, right?) If you want to try it out, https://www.chriscookley.com/YNAB will give us both one free month. Pretty good, right? Ok, let’s look at my Everyday categories.

Everyday is a frequency of use group, and the categories in Everyday are for the things that we might buy on any day of the month. They aren’t bills, they aren’t loan payments, they’re just the categories we use to track our basic shopping and spending.

Everyday categories make up 20.07% of our total monthly budget.

These are the categories we use in Everyday:

  • Groceries
  • Gas
  • Restaurants
  • Medical
  • Misc
  • Soaps, Lotions, Pastes, Cleaners
  • Paper Products
  • Dogs
  • Clothes
  • Kids
  • Chris Guilt Free
  • Sarah Guilt Free

Most of these will be self explanatory, but I’ll walk through them all.

Groceries, Gas, and Restaurants I hope speak for themselves.

Medical is for things like co-pay’s, or medical supplies like bandages, gauze, whatever.

Misc is the black hole of our budget. When a purchase doesn’t fit anywhere else, it goes into Misc. I am forever fighting a battle to reduce how much we spend in Misc. I try not to spend money without knowing what we’re spending it on, so if I see a trend where we are consistently spending money on something and it doesn’t have it’s own category, it gets it’s own category and we reduce how much we budget into Misc.

Soaps, Lotions, Pastes, Cleaners, and Paper Products are two categories that grew out of Misc. We would regularly be putting toilet paper, shampoo, Windex, Lysol, etc., into Misc, rather than into a specific category. This caused a lot of tension in our house, and breaking these out has helped enormously. We tried a “Household Goods” category for a while, but that wasn’t specific enough for our needs.

Dogs is to cover most dog related expenses. Purchases like dog food get tracked in Dogs.

Clothes should be self explanatory.

Kids is a category we’re still feeling out, but it will be obvious to anyone who has kids that kids are not free. They have expenses of their own, and while stuff like food for the kids goes into Groceries (or Restaurants), and clothes can go into Clothes, there’s always something else that needs bought.

The Guilt Free categories are crucial to our marriage, and we each get one. For every other category in our budget, we try to have a justification for what we are buying. We shouldn’t buy $500 worth of toilet paper just because it’s on sale, we’ll never have that much in Paper Products. We work as a team to keep our household running and remain within our budget. Not so with Guilt Free.

As the name implies, these categories are for us each to spend as we see fit, no questions asked. It’s our play money, and it gives us some freedom to have fun. Without these categories, I don’t know that we’d be able to happily budget together, they’re that important.

This is what percentage of our income gets allocated to each of these categories within the Everyday group, and then how they fit within our overall budget.

Category% of Everyday% of Overall
Groceries32.54%6.53%
Gas8.88%1.78%
Restaurants5.92%1.19%
Medical5.33%1.07%
Misc20.71%4.16%
Soaps, Lotions, Pastes, Cleaners2.66%0.53%
Paper Products1.48%0.30%
Dogs2.37%0.47%
Clothes3.85%0.77%
Kids4.44%0.89%
Chris Guilt Free5.92%1.19%
Sarah Guilt Free5.92%1.19%

I hope that helps! In the next post we’ll be looking at my Monthly expenses.

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