I love seeing how other people budget, getting down to the nitty-gritty of their categories and numbers, but I don’t feel it is fair to gain value out of what others are contributing without contributing something ourselves. As promised, here is the third Budget Breakdown for the Enough Time Machine. This represents how much we budget per month, not necessarily how much we spend. This week we are looking at Transport.
$10. This amount is an estimate, because we use parking intermittently. We are lucky enough not to have to regularly pay for parking. Mr. ETT’s workplace covers his parking costs, while I catch the train to work to avoid parking fees (and total lack of parking – the stress just isn’t worth it!) The free 2 or 3 hour parking periods on offer locally allow us to accomplish our usual activities without having to pay. Occasionally, however, we may travel further afield where parking fees are worthwhile for the convenience. This is why we set aside a small amount each month.
$300. This is generally more than we spend each month. Yeah, this one hurts. We are running two cars and a motorcycle, and although Mr. ETT works locally, and I drive to the local train station, the petrol still adds up. This is also because we like to go on driving trips, and Mr. ETT takes long day trips on his motorbike. Mostly we stay under this amount, but we have had 2 months of this year where we have gone over. Also, I do fill up with 98 ultra premium petrol. In the past, I found that I get better mileage (kilometerage?) out of a full tank when I use the better petrol (although this is probably worth testing again, because it has been quite a few years now since I performed my experiment).
Goal 12: Run an experiment between 98 and regular unleaded to see which provides better value.
$150. This amount correlates to the actual monthly cost. This is just about the cost of my train fare. It was a little cheaper, however with the recent change to Opal card fees, I no longer get the 5th and subsequent days of travel for free – they are at half price. The extra few dollars saved each month will just sit there, waiting to be absorbed in the inevitable price rises that will occur. At least if I ever catch the train on the weekend, I can also travel for half price. This is a fairly rare occurrence, however.
$150/$150. This amount is still an estimate, because we haven’t been budgeting for a full year yet to have experienced actual cost. It seems that the greenslip estimate will be a little high, because we have spent $1,055.78 for a car and the motorbike so far this year. With $794.22 waiting in the category to be spent, it should be more than enough for the second car, which is due around Christmas. I should be able to reduce the monthly costs somewhat for 2017. It looks like the registration estimate is way too high, because for one car and the motorbike we have spent $618.54, and we still have $731.46 sitting in the category waiting for the last car. I might be able to bring this down to about $80/month next year. Also, shopping around for new Greenslip providers may reduce the costs even more (the RMS set registration costs, no discounts there).
Goal 13: Research whether we can get better prices for greenslips.
$20. This amount is an estimate, because we use tollways intermittently. We live on the outskirts of Sydney, so if we want to travel in by car, then there are tolls on nearly all direct routes. Sometimes it is worth taking non-toll roads, but often times we are travelling so far, it just adds needless complexity to the trip. We’ve spent $80 so far this year, so I could probably halve this as an ongoing occurrence.
$250. This amount correlates to the actual monthly cost. Yep, more expenses! Mr. ETT is very good at making sure we do preventative maintenance on our vehicles, because this will definitely save us money in the long run. Unfortunately, with the level of computerisation in cars these days, neither of us are willing to DIY on this front (although we recently replaced a light-bulb in my car ourselves, hooray!). I have just had to increase this category because we were hit with a service, brake replacement and a transmission service for one car at the one time. This is an unusual occurrence, but it needs to be covered. Also, the older our cars get, the more likely things are going to go wrong.
All up, transport represents 13% of our total budget. That’s the most expensive category so far – I had no idea! Watch and see how this graph changes as we investigate other Budget Categories.