I know exactly how much it takes for us to meet OUR recurring bills. We each transfer in a certain amount each month and pay everything directly out of that. There is a certain amount of leeway in that joint fund.
We went on a cruise in 2009 and stayed within the allotted amount, budgeted for and saved up for over 1 year. We bought a new mattress and cut back on other discretionary areas to achieve that.
Equlibrium has been achieved.
dh2b and I had a surplus of $1300 left in the OUR account on Dec 31, 2009. That paid for county property taxes due in Jan 2010.
My own personal savings account was fine, in fact I had a higher balance than year end 2008. I continued my DCA as planned in 2009 and see no problems for 2010.
dh2b is highly constrained in his ability to save due to divorce related court orders for support, so he rarely comes out ahead of the game. He recently increased his 401(k) contributions to 10%.
All in all, a good year.