I have noticed quite a few people make fairly detailed budgets and post them on their web-sites. The expenses are very detailed and I admire them for being able to stick to them.
I have tried to keep a budget a couple of times before, but haven’t been able to stick to it for very long. For a couple of months last year I withdrew all the money I calculated I needed for the month, made up different envelopes to put money in for food, entertainment, gas, electricity etc. It worked for a little while, but sometimes found I ran out of money, wasn’t near home so had to withdraw out more money.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go out on spending sprees or throwing my money away. For me what I have found is that, since I am living in Japan, I try to send home an amount from $500 to $1000 every month to my bank account in Australia, which I then used to pay off my mortgage.
Everything in Japan is done monthly, so your salary is monthly, and you have to pay your rent, gas, phone, electricty, mobile and internet bills monthly. So it is pretty rare that you get any large bills for anything.
I live in central Tokyo, with a subway station literally at my door step. So, a car is almost unnecessary. Car parking in my area would probably cost around US$300-$400 a month. Reading other blogs about people’s car troubles, makes me glad I don’t live in the US. I use my bike as much as possible, as I like to avoid the crowded trains in the mornings, and it also gives me a bit of badly needed exercise.
My company takes my health insurance and pension out of my salary, so I don’t really too many bills. Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities to live in the world, but you can find economical ways to live, and often lower priced restaurants and shops are better value.