2nd Quarter Budget: 2016


We at Fi Big Sky decided that a monthly budget update was excessive and not doing budget updates doesn’t help anyone gain insight into how we spend and save. Before you is the compromise–in all it’s glorious-ness.

I stated in my end of year budget write-up that we looked forward to 2016 because our spending wouldn’t be as outrageous. So far, that has held true. The 2nd quarter was a little pricier but anticipated and spending should level off through the 3rd quarter.

We’re like a company reporting to our shareholders. Except your investment is emotional. The only thing you’ll lose here is your time and maybe that’s a bad thing. Or maybe it’s a very good thing. I guess if you keep reading this, you’ve decided it is good. So keep on, dear readers.


As always, savings rate is key to figuring out when you can retire early. With that said, let’s just dive into the budget. The left side shows my budget projections, the right is our spending so far. New to my exciting budget table is a percentage of “spend to date.” For instance, I budgeted $480 for gasoline and spent $244 to date; so 51% of $480. Some exceptions include car insurance and recycling, where I prepaid half a year’s worth. This chart is progressive and includes 1st and 2nd quarter.

2016 Budget
Expense 2016 Proj. YTD
Mortgage (incl. escrow) $13,680 $7639 (56%)
Home Improvement $300 $86 (29%)
Lawn & Garden $420 $287 (68%)
Home Supplies $240 $106 (44%)
Recycling $168 $84 (50%)
Water/Garbage $600 $278 (46%)
Heat (MDU) $480 $316 (66%)
Electric (NW) $480 $206 (43%)
Internet/Cable $480 $240 (50%)
Cell Phone $840 $320 (38%)
Auto Payment $0 $0
Car Insurance $480 $62 (13%)
Gas $480 $244 (51%)
Auto Maintenance + Services/Parts $600 $25 (4%)
Car Registration/Parking $115 $0
Bus Pass $264 $132 (50%)
Travel $1,200 $991 (83%)
Food $3,768 $2030 (54%)
Health Insurance $1,575 $757 (48%)
Health & Fitness $600 $1136 (189%)
Personal Care $360 $239 (66%)
Pets $840 $438 (52%)
Gifts & Donations $2,400 $1230 (51%)
Shopping $600 $356 (59%)
Education $300 $100 (33%)
Entertainment $300 $148 (49%)
Other $50 -$268
Total $31,620 $17,182 (54%)
  • Paychecks: $28,793 (after tax)
  • 401ks (Contributions + Match): $6,382
  • Savings Interest Income: $14
  • Car: $1600
  • Misc.: $362

Total: ~$37,151 (YTD)

  • Investments: $72,390 (IRAs, 401ks, Prosper, Fundrise)
  • Cash Accounts: $5,925

Total: ~$78,315

YTD Savings Rate: ~54% 

2016 Target Savings Rate: 60%

Unfortunately, our savings rate took a dip from 62% in the first quarter to 54% YTD. We did expect our savings rate to fall this quarter with lawn and gardening costs being heavier, Russell’s yearly checkup how we’re more active and traveling during these months. For instance, we drove down to Kansas back in May to visit my grandparents and that upped our travel costs.

But the biggest single purchase? Plane tickets to Europe! We are travelling for 2+ weeks through Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Austria England, Holland, and Belgium next April/May. Mrs. Fi studied abroad in Spain back in ’08 and she’s been itching to get back to Europe and I’ve never been, so off we go!

Is your 2016 budget off to a good start? Share yours with us!


  1. Fervent Finance

    Glad your first half of the year is going well and that trip to Europe sounds awesome! I planned to spend less than $30k this year but that was before I was sure I was going to be able to move out of Manhattan. So far in the first half of the year I’ve spent less than $15k, and if things go according to plan, the second half will be lower than that since my COL is lower out here in the Midwest.

    1. Post
      Mr. FI

      Yeah, we’re stoked for Europe. Only thing is I hate flying. So that part probably won’t be fun, but whatever. Nice job on your spending–and your spending should really drop going from Manhattan to the Midwest. Sans mortgage, we’d be spending about $22,000/year. You could probably get under that by yourself depending on your standard of living 😉

      I’ll have to check out your 2nd half progress!

Comments are closed.