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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
-How much do you spend (in dollars) for personal use per month?

-Do you give yourself a monthly allowance? If so, do you carry over your amounts each month if you do not spend it?

-What items are you buying or events/outings are you engaging in? *i.e., gifts, entertainment, travel, clothes, restaurants, electronics.. NOT essential needs such as food, or gas etc...*

I never gave myself a budget (yet) and am pondering the idea so that it would give me more flexibility. I'm use to just saving all of my earnings and buying as needed when necessary.

Thanks!
 

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My approach is to live on "left-overs," which is whatever's left over once I've paid all my bills and met my monthly targets for savings, RRSP, and paying down the mortgage. The problem with that approach is that as your income grows, the amount left over grows with it and you can fall into the habit of lifestyle inflation.

I have been experimenting with what I'm comfortable with (I like having a small cushion of cash for unexpected things so I don't have to dip into my emergency fund) and try to ratchet down the leftover amount periodically by increasing my savings or RRSP targets, or putting more toward the house.

I have a feeling I could ratchet down the leftover amount until it's quite small; I seem to be able to adapt my spending to whatever's available. Right now my leftovers amount to roughly 10% of my gross income, but my gross income's pretty high and I could knock that percentage down further without feeling too constrained. I'm still fine-tuning it. Note that my "personal use" of the leftovers includes staples like food, clothing, etc., in addition to fun and indulgence.
 

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My wife and I don't cap our personal spending, it ranges anywhere between 5-25% of our net income on a monthly basis. Never looked annually.

We are both pretty good and controlled with our spending, so if we spend lots one month, we'll cut back the next. I think it depends on how much control you have, there's no reason not to enjoy the fruits of your labor if its within your ability.

IMHO, a budget is very important, as is saving for bigger purchases.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm primarily looking for dollar amounts (if you feel comfortable sharing). I understand everyone's income varies, but regardless of income amount, I find those with high incomes (who are still frugal) will still spend typically as much as those with lower incomes, but will be able to save more.

Thanks for the responses so far.
 

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I tend to follow Brad's approach. After I've paid the bills and put money aside for savings and retirement I tend to live on the rest. Hopefully in the coming months I save more and spend less, though to be honest outside of one lifestyle expense, my weekly spending can shockingly low. I just have to learn not to contribute to the RRSPs of bartenders ;)

So, numbers wise I spend about $20 to $30 during the week...errr...more during the weekends.
 

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Ok...

'Personal spending' somewhere between $500-$1500 per month for both of us. Depends on what you consider 'personal use' though. See below, our savings (not including pensions) are a minimum 20% net, but can bump up to 30% if we haven't spent much.

Housing = 50%
Auto = 9%
Variable = 20%
Savings = 21%

Housing includes primary residence (with 47% monthly top-up) and rental (condo fees) - property taxes, home alarm (;) don't come knocking), utilities, phone and internet.

Auto is a loan and principle, insurance, gas, and upkeep (despite 1 yr old).

Variable is not only 'personal spending', but also includes: groceries, dining out, household (repairs, furnishing etc.), entertainment, and other.

Savings DO NOT include our pension amounts which are between 8-12%.

I think we fit your estimate of high income, high savings rate pretty well.
 

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It really depends what you consider personal spending. Here's what me and my wife (combined) have spent in an average month of 2009:
Fast food: $50
Restaurants: $120
Alcohol: $13
Haircuts & Salon: $62
Clothes & Tailoring: $75
Entertainment: $8 (too busy to do very much)
Gifts / Charity: $70

Those are the categories that someone might consider to be personal spending. This year most of our money has gone to buying a new house and landscaping its yard, so the amounts might not be very representitive. Our expense tracking from previous years did not have enough categories to be useful.
 

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Hi all, I am new at this forum.

My wife and I spend about $900 for variables (including food, entertainment, clothing, health care, gifts/donations, my electronic gadgets/toys).

We're trying the save 30% of our after-tax income for down payment for our first condo, so we're trying to save as much as we can... wish us luck! =)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It really depends what you consider personal spending. Here's what me and my wife (combined) have spent in an average month of 2009:
Fast food: $50
Restaurants: $120
Alcohol: $13
Haircuts & Salon: $62
Clothes & Tailoring: $75
Entertainment: $8 (too busy to do very much)
Gifts / Charity: $70

Those are the categories that someone might consider to be personal spending. This year most of our money has gone to buying a new house and landscaping its yard, so the amounts might not be very representitive. Our expense tracking from previous years did not have enough categories to be useful.

Thanks. This is what I considered personal spending - I should have been more specific.
 

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I have butt heads with my wife over finances as I tend to be the only breadwinner and am frugal while she is a stay at home mom and a bit of a shopaholic.

We decided that it would be best if she has a bank account to pay for her variable personal expenses (waxing, pedicures, manicures, lattes, etc.). I put in $600 for her at the start of every month. It is hers to do with as she pleases.
 

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I've budgetted the following for monthly personal spending:

Esthetics $20
Books $50
Toiletries $50
Food $50
Going Out $125
Clothing and Shoes $100
MISC $100

I don't always spend this much, and any extra gets rolled over into other months or is used to save for big purchases.
 
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