This is 11th year we are keeping our family budget formally, recording every expense and trying to make sense of it all at the end of the year.Overall:
At glance, the past year has been not much different from the one before, with overall inflation of 2%. However, there had been some underlying currents which affected the overall family budget spent. Some increase is unavoidable.
For example, our real estate tax (so-called council tax) increased by almost 20%, cost of commuting went up (but I did less of it).
Detailed analysis of the family budget per category:
Home – I have fixed interest rate on our mortgage, there has been no change in that category. Very predictable
Cars – We reduced actual car insurance by more than 50% by shopping around. However this category includes all other expenses on the cars (except petrol aka gasoline). Our new car is an expensive brand, so after three years breaks replacement and tyres, with some minor windshield washer repair were additional 1,500.
Kids: Remain stable (still lower from the long term average as no more nursery fees, but overseas trips continue and contributed 1,500 alone). Kids also add to medical bills – braces and a chipped tooth.
Miscellaneous: We have been more diligent in writing those accidental expenses. There were some presents to close friends, relatives and we bought a puppy. My expectation is that there will be no change in this category next year (The dog’s food and insurance will be 800 alone).
Home: I had to replace my 8-year-old laptop. It cost 2,000 and some other equipment like a vacuum cleaner and kitchen radio – 400. I repainted my driveway to delay replacement and there was some gardening upkeep with new trees and trimming the tall bushes – 1,500. There some furniture for the kids - 850. I expect this to come down by about 2,500 next year.
Joy: instead of one holiday we had three adventures - skiing for 1,600; showing grandkids to the parents - 4,500. The three trips were 3,000 less expensive than one "proper" holiday a year before. There rest habits did not change match – 375 a month on eating out and driving to near by towns and villages.
Overall: Except any extraordinary expenses I would like to stay below 80,000 with a stretched target to be as low as 75,000. Next year potential savings of 6,000 (there should be no need for braces, new tyres and brakes or laptop).
For those who are prefer charts on financial independence family budget:
I invite to have a look at percentage per category comparison new location vs. old one. Real life example cost of living comparison Chicago (the USA) vs. Oxford (the UK) based on 11 years’ average (living expenses comparison between the USA and the UK):
This is not inflation adjusted but still should be representative, as presents percentage per category.