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Living Frugally So We Can Give Away More

July 6th, 2010
giving, money

Julia and I give away a good fraction of our income (for reasons pretty well introduced in famine, affluence, and morality). We are able to do this partly because we are lucky enough to live in a rich country, partly because we are lucky enough to have good jobs (with good benefits), and partly because we intentionally limit our spending on ourselves in order to be able to give more away. Our overall spending is:

ExpenseYearly expenditureNotes
living expenses$25K(see below)
taxes$20Kgiving away so much decreases our taxes some
donations$40K 
saving$10K 
This is on a joint income of about $95K.

These are monthly living expenses for the two of us for the six month period from 2010-01-01 through 2010-06-30, during which we have been living in a small apartment in Cambridge and working within public transitable distance.

Living Expenses Detail:
ExpenseMonthly expenditureNotes
housing$1,116.39Rent of $1075 plus unincluded utilities and other house expenses
food$164.44Was higher ($339.80) the first month (Nov 2009) when we first moved in and had to buy ingredients
allowance$305.00$38/week for each of us to spend as we please
transport$74.74$59/month for Julia's t-passes (jeff's are paid for by work) plus gas if we borrow someone's car etc
sundries$0.55we should probably delete this category
medical$283.70health ins premiums, co-pays, etc
total$2044.84$25K per year

The allowance portion of the budget is intended for anything where the amount we spend is up to us as individuals. Haircuts, clothing, contra dance admissions, musical instruments, eating out, most luxuries, etc.

Things that help keep our spending down are that we don't have a car, don't have AC, rarely eat out, make good use of the local library, and don't have kids.

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