Here is a breakdown of everything our family budgets and spends in a typical month as a minimalist home in San Diego, California.
It’s crucial for everybody to have a rainy day fund. Life doesn’t usually go as planned. We are allocating $2,000 a month for our emergency fund. Our goal for this year is $30,000. We calculated the emergency fund based on our monthly expenses for a total of 6 months. We believe we can make it even around $20,000 but we wanted to stretch it to $30,000 so we feel much more comfortable. As of the end of February 2020, we are able to save around $5,500 for the emergency fund.
We pay $1,875 a month for a studio apartment in La Jolla, CA. The price of our apartment without the concession is $1,975. Included in our rent is a parking spot, access to a gym and pool. It's a challenging space for a family of 3 especially with a toddler but we are planning to purchase a house at the end of the year.
Health is wealth. This is the only category we allow ourselves to splurge on. Whenever possible we source organic, non-GMO and local food. We spend about $600 a month on groceries and $200 on eating out at restaurants but as much as possible we want to prepare and cook our food at home.
We pay $1,600 for our toddler's preschool, that is from 7:30 am - 5:00 pm Monday - Friday. On holidays and weekends, we have to set a budget for our toddler's nanny, we pay her $24/hour. That is an additional of around $400-$500 per month or it could be more or less than that depending on the hours she worked.
For our Car & House Insurance, we pay $280 per month.
The following come straight out of our paycheck every month: Health Insurance $95; Health Savings Account $400; Dental and Vision insurance paid by employer; Legal Insurance $16.32; Supplemental Life Insurance $10.28; Dependent Life Insurance $8.74; Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance $8.50; Short-term Disability $28.54 and Long-term disability $10.70.
Our family has 2 vehicles. I drive a Chevrolet Equinox while my husband drives a Mini Cooper. We spend $200 a month for gas.
Our family is on an unlimited-data family plan which we pay $106 a month.
We have 3 credit cards. Two have no annual fee while the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card comes with a $95 annual fee. As we speak, we have $2,900 on our credit card debt since we recently purchased airline tickets for our summer holiday but we will be paying the entire amount at the end of the month. We always use our credit card in bigger purchases to bank on the points.
We make a donation at our church every Sunday. We do not have a consistent amount for the donation but we set aside a portion of what we earn.
My husband spends $114 annually for his website (https://www.appsitemakemoney.com)
I spent almost $300 for my website (https://www.harvestandgather.com) which is good for 2 years already.
Utilities and Apartment Fees
Every month we pay: Gas and Electricity $120; Internet $50 and Water bill $90
For our Netflix subscription, we share it with my sister so it's free. Our Disney + subscription is also free from Verizon. We are only paying for PicMonkey which is $72 annually.
We are sharing our monthly budgeting and spending activity to give everyone an idea of how it is to live in a city like San Diego. Our goal is to continuously improve in this aspect. Feel free to leave your comments on how we could improve as well as you can also share your family monthly budgeting and spending habits.