What proportion of your income/disposable income do you spend on non-essentials?

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  • What proportion of your income/disposable income do you spend on non-essentials?
  • I’m thinking of trying to keep a closer watch on my spending on non-essential stuff like bikes (arguable, I know), holidays, etc. Does anyone set themselves a limit based on their income, or income after rent/mortgage, etc. (i.e. disposable income)? Or just have a feel for what proportion they spend?

    I keep an eye on my bank balance so I know I don’t spend too much, but most of the time I just buy stuff without really thinking about whether I can justify it. I’m thinking of keeping a tighter rein on it by setting myself a limit – say 20% of my wages or whatever.

    Premier Icon scaled
    Subscriber

    with two kids I pretty much have a choice to make every month with my disposable income.

    A Chomp or a packet of space raiders.

    Seriously though, there’s a spreadsheet with everything on it, literally everything.
    Next years holiday is down as a monthly expense, car tax, insurance food etc all budgeted for into savings so can be paid in a lump sum every time and save a few bob.

    It’s a ball ache to set up but worth it in the long run

    fifeandy
    Member

    I have a pretty simple system.
    Pay mortgage, bills, essentials.
    Direct debit £250 into savings.
    Whatever’s left over is fair game for spending on bikes/holidays etc.

    buenfoxa
    Member

    Similar to yourself really although I have a semi informal expenses sheet I use. I also split my money into different accounts; fuel, main savings, birthday/Christmas savings etc which seems to work for me.

    I also set myself £200 a month ‘expenses’ for social bits, clothes, bike bits etc so realistically that’s 10% of monthly income.

    DrJ
    Member

    Define “non-essentials”.

    doris5000
    Member

    I have a pretty simple system.
    Pay mortgage, bills, essentials.
    Direct debit £250 into savings.
    Whatever’s left over is fair game for spending on bikes/holidays etc.

    This is exactly my system, give or take £50. Then about once a year wife suggests that we should spank the last few month’s worth of savings on a holiday. Patagonia next month then 😆

    fifeandy
    Member

    Define “non-essentials”

    That 4th gabba cos you don’t have all the colours yet 😀

    jonba
    Member

    Not sure on the numbers. But I pay off regular outgoings each month, put aside some into savings for irregular things (car breaks, house repairs etc.) the rest I save. I don’t buy things on credit so only spend my savings (I will buy things on the credit card but knowing I have the savings to pay off in full when required). I know roughly how much I save so this lets me book things like holidays before all the money is available but bikes I don’t buy unless I already have the cash.

    When I first started working I had a spreadsheet. It was the only way I could get a grip on things – now my situation is stable enough that I have a good idea what I can afford.

    MrSalmon
    Member

    I have a pretty simple system.
    Pay mortgage, bills, essentials.
    Direct debit £250 into savings.
    Whatever’s left over is fair game for spending on bikes/holidays etc.

    Same here, more or less.

    km79
    Member

    I spend pretty much all of my disposable income on non essentials.

    I have a pretty simple system.
    Pay mortgage, bills, essentials.
    Direct debit £250 into savings.
    Whatever’s left over is fair game for spending on bikes/holidays etc.

    That’s more or less what I do now, but I’m thinking of doing the spending and saving the other way around – i.e. put aside a set amount for spending and save the rest, in the hope that that way I’ll spend less and save more. May be looking to buy a house in the next few years.

    Define “non-essentials”.

    I’ll leave that up to you thanks. It’s tricky isn’t it. I try and split my spending by using the debit card for essentials and credit card (which I know I can pay off) for non-essentials but it’s not always obvious.

    LMT
    Member

    I have about 45% of my earnings left after bills, not including food as that changes week to week depending on shift work.

    I spend far too easy on, new trainers, jeans (yes over 30!!) lots of rubbish. This year the plan is to save, really save. I set up a save as you earn through work not much but a nominal amount which I can cash in for a new bike every 2 years that’s my biking sorted.

    Reason for saving? well we have an old house 1910, it needs work and if I and my OH keep spending the way we are, will never get the house how we want it. Don’t get me wrong its not bad, its more than liveable but we want the attic converted for storage, new bathroom etc.. so savings started this month. We spent all my savings last year on new windows, had the extension fully repointed as it was pretty bad, had the drains repointed as well as pretty sure water was coming under the house.

    How to stop? well told the OH no more shopping center trips on days off, we need to do stuff round the house, go for a bike ride or just a walk down the canals, cheap days out, proper together time rather than stupid shopping.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I have three kids and I work for a charity & mrs_oab part time. What is this ‘disposable’ and ‘non-essential’ you speak of?

    You took a huge chunk of your income and disposed of it on having kids? 😉

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    What is this ‘disposable’ income of which you speak?

    i seem to have some dim recollection of it in pre-kid days, but that seems like somebody else life, to be honest.

    I love the little buggers though.Honestly I do. And definitely wouldn’t have them working down a pit, if I could. Honest! 😀

    Premier Icon Ben_H
    Subscriber

    Another spreadsheet user here. I do a rolling 12-month plan, which takes all the predictable bills (insurances, servicing, holidays etc) into account and gives me a good idea about whether / when we can afford stuff. I’d estimate our non-essential spending to be something like 20%, excluding regular saving.

    Premier Icon huckleberryfatt
    Subscriber

    I limit myself to one orangery and a minstrel gallery per payday. Works for me.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Have a budget that’s got all my expenditure on it, from rent and DDs and a monthly equivalent for things like car servicing and tyres. It spits out a number at the end which is nominally “free cash”

    Because of the type of person I am, I half that, and that’s what I can go mad with (mine to spend regardless if the consequences)

    trail_rat
    Member

    Spreadsheets and different accounts set up for various expenses .

    Cars – every month we make a deposit and all car costs come from there as and when.

    House – joint account – runs a surplus for doing repairs and maintainance

    A big think i think helps is that i carry cash for day to day . Lunches/sandwiches etc (i try to take my own ) and if i break notes to pay for something i put the change into a tin at end of day so the amount going out my wallet is higher , makes me think do i really need this as you notice a whole tenner from your wallet going missing as oppose to a couple quid from the debit card.

    P-Jay
    Member

    “All of it”

    I get paid, a staggering lump of it goes off to the household account to keep a roof over our head and the rest is ‘mine’ – I just have to remember to keep enough to feed us, or they get really mad with me.

    In theory I get to keep about 40% of it as my pocket money, in reality the kids always need something, clothes, shoes, furniture (we’ve just moved) trips, extra childcare because school is off for half-term. In our budget they’re listed as “one offs” which is becoming a bit of oxymoron as they rarely are – there are a few months when the planets seem to align and there are no “one offs” but that’s typically when Christmas or Summer Hol raises it’s ugly head.

    Typically I spend £100 a month on something nice for myself, bit for the bike or a tool or something usually and the same on walking around money.

    If there’s £5 left in my current account at the end of the month, I’ve done well.

    wilburt
    Member

    I have a pretty simple system.
    Pay mortgage, bills, essentials.
    Direct debit £250 into savings.
    Whatever’s left over is fair game for spending on bikes/holidays etc.

    Works for me

    My mental balance sheet also deducts £20 per day ‘walking around money’ from anything available to fritter. (edit; little fritter money remaining for the record)

    I genuinely don’t know.

    I have people for that sort of thing.

    Premier Icon Sundayjumper
    Subscriber

    My wife laughs at me for running a spreadsheet, but mine is nothing like as complex as some of the answers above !

    Money comes in, a set amount goes out to the joint account to cover mortgage, bills, everyday food. Enough to “live” basically. The rest is mine. I don’t habitually spend on non-essentials so there’s usually a surplus that goes into savings and that covers anything extra “one-offs”. I’ve been trying to make a dent in the mortgage over the last year or so, so savings have been cleared into mortgage at the end of each quarter.

    My wife gets paid, a set amount goes out to the joint account, and through the month she spends money without keeping track of where it’s going. Amazingly, she almost never goes overdrawn. I’d be permanently on the verge of a panic attack if I did that.

    zanelad
    Member

    With no mortgage and kids having left home around 70% of my income could be considered disposable. Especially by my daughter who still treats me like a cash point despite having a home and kids of her own.

    If I want something I buy it. Having said that I do tend to spend time considering if I really need it should it be at the more expensive end of the spectrum. It’s amazing how many things I end up not buying by delaying the purchase by a few days.

    Always buy Mrs Z a nice piece of jewelry if I’ve gone overboard on a purchase though.

    johndoh
    Member

    Rather than a spreadsheet I have an app (Free Budget) on my phone.

    As I have kids I am another with very little free budget after gymnastics subs, horse riding, singing clubs, music lessons, Brownies etc etc.

    Ohh, and I also use Money Dashboard on my PC which aggregates all my accounts (bank accounts, credit card etc) into one place and that gives a very detailed overview of how money is being spent.

    As of today I have spent 43% of January’s budget.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Ohh, and I also use Money Dashboard on my PC which aggregates all my accounts (bank accounts, credit card etc) into one place and that gives a very detailed overview of how money is being spent.

    hae uk banking practice relented on the ruling that said anyone using such programs forfeited their rights to assured security as they had given a third party access to their accounts ?

    i knew it was being worked on.

    if so that would be nice.

    petec
    Member

    we pay for everything out of my salary. My wife is on my credit card; not even sure she has one in her name. If I’m lucky, I don’t pay for my birthday presents.

    Hers mostly gets saved, or helps me out at Xmas, or when she’s put 6 AirBNB properties on the credit card in the same month 😯

    This means I generally have no money. This is good; I would spend it on rubbish.

    It’s also good for tax; she pays less than me, so obviously pays less on interest.

    She’s also the one who does the spreadsheet, and knows [virtually] instantly how much we spent on piano lessons in 2014.

    Her father was a bank manager. 😀

    I have money dashboard but find it a bit annoying TBH as it doesn’t appear to remember much of my categorisations and there are too many transaction to do manually.
    If you don’t need a week to week study I found exporting a years worth of transaction out of online banking and putting them in to excel. It’s then quite easy to identify where money is going.

    Isn’t the very definition of disposable income for non-essentials?!

    Just played a blinder, no I have to cycle to work everyday (14 year wait for carpark pass…!) we’ve just agreed as I don’t use petrol I can have a chain/cassette/lube allowance every month from the ‘essentials’ fund!

    prawny
    Member

    MrSalmon – Member
    I have a pretty simple system.
    Pay mortgage, bills, essentials.
    Direct debit £250 into savings.
    Whatever’s left over is fair game for spending on bikes/holidays etc.
    Same here, more or less.

    Same here but less 😆

    Me and the wife have £60 per month each to buy clothes, go out, get bikes etc. £75 standing order to the savings, then gets transferred to the current account when the credit card bill comes.

    Need to get a better paid job.

    johndoh
    Member

    hae uk banking practice relented on the ruling that said anyone using such programs forfeited their rights to assured security as they had given a third party access to their accounts ?

    It is a very grey area and banks are now moving towards accepting that Open Access is going to happen either with or without them anyway…

    Gary_M
    Member

    Just checked the spreadsheet 27% of my monthly income is spent on bills, the rest is for saving & spending. In the next few months that will drop to 13% going on bills.

Viewing 34 posts - 1 through 34 (of 34 total)

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