ETT Budget Breakdown with YNAB – Transport

Piggy Banks in Space!

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.

YNAB Transport Category
YNAB Transport Category


$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.

Auto Maintenance

$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.

ETT Budget Breakdown Tableau Bubble Graph Transport
ETT Budget Breakdown Tableau Bubble Graph Transport

7 thoughts on “ETT Budget Breakdown with YNAB – Transport

  1. Luke@dollarwise says:

    Cars are expensive. We made the tough decision to go back to one car last year from two. I mostly work from home and the kids can walk to school. it’s meant a few headaches and some biking (the pedal kind!). Not everyone can do this, but you notice it on the bottom line. We also converted our big petrol guzzling people mover to gas a number of years back. That cut our fuel bill in half ever since. We budget about $160/m for gas and have spent way less than that despite quite a bit of use.We avoid tolls, park for free in our part of the city and spend about $100 on maintenance/month.

    • Mrs. ETT says:

      Thanks for this Luke – it’s really helpful to hear what other people are doing, and to get an idea of your costs. Of course, if we were forced to, we could move to one car, but I value the convenience too much. It’s a 5 minute drive to the station for me, compared to a 30 – 40 minute bus ride. That would be an extra hour every day that I’d be losing, so 2 car we stay for now.

  2. Martin - Get FIRE'd asap says:

    Having your own transport is always going to be one of those items that is going to cost whether you use it or not isn’t it. With rego and insurance alone, it all adds up. Looking through your expenses, it all looks pretty reasonable in the sense of what can you do. I’m guessing that you have already analysed why you need 2 cars and a motorbike and decided that losing one of the cars isn’t viable. And I’m guessing that the bike is Mr ETT’s toy and it is staying lol. As for your choice of petrol, my own research and experience says that 91 octane is more than sufficient for most modern cars and the best value. The higher octane may be necessary for higher performance engines but you do pay the premium price for it. Try it and let us know i you notice any difference.

    • Mrs. ETT says:

      You are so right – definitely his toy! I was dead against it at first, but I have to say that it’s opened up a whole new world for Mr. ETT, including an expanded social life, and getting to visit places he’s never been. We just need to work on getting me on the back… I think we actually need to do a post about this at some point.

  3. Dividends Down Under says:

    I’m finding it very interesting to see your prediction budget – we do much the same, except in an excel spreadsheet.

    Having one car definitely gives us a financial edge over the alternate universe 2 car version of ourselves. Paying for the train and the second car does put quite a dint in the budget! I’m very lucky that Tristan is happy to just have his public transport and no car for commuting.


  4. Adventures with Poopsie says:

    Hello Mrs. ETT, Poopsie here.

    I’m a massive ‘paralysis by analysis’ victim…so I thought I’d pop up and help out a bit.
    (first blog comment ever too)…

    Goal 12 –
    ‘The Checkout’ (which I love) have done a couple of articles about premium vs regular fuel. Here’s one of them:
    We use 95 in our car (because we have to, it’s a turbo, curses!) and get about ~900kms out of a tank.

    Goal 13 –
    There is also a NSW Govt website that compares all the CTP providers in one go. I used it every year and just picked the cheapest.

    Happy researching…

    • Mrs. ETT says:

      Hey Poopsie – blog posts and comments, you are a pro now! I keep holding you up to Mr. ETT as encouragement (“look, Poopsie did a post”), but so far, no luck. Thanks for both of these links, I appreciate it.

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