October Budget

Here’s our budget for October- a few extra things, but this looks pretty good!

Yucky Yucky Debt

  • $139,302 – I’m going to just celebrate the fact that we’re under $140k. Celebrate the wins, celebrate the wins…
  • Planned payments: $1215
  • Planned over-payment: at least $2800

This should be easily attainable. It’s a four-Friday month and we have very few extra expenses planned this month. I’m hoping to have more than $2800 left at the end of the month.

Necessities

  • Rent: $1300
  • Utilities: $280
  • Phone: $51
  • Groceries: $500- I know it’s only a four Friday month, but a Sam’s Club trip is in order, so I’m not sure we’ll make it with only $400.
  • Gas: $300- I may or may not be going on a trip later this month, so I’m making sure to budget a little extra for gas in case that pans out.  Plus, gas prices have gone up a bit so gas has been costing a bit more. Or maybe I’m driving more. Not sure.
  • Daycare: $996
  • B. Cash: $500- We’ll see if this covers it- as his return date approaches(!!!), he may need slightly more to start shipping some of his stuff home. We’ll see.

Other Items

  • Netflix: $11- So affordable.  So wonderful.
  • Restaurants: $100
  • Pet care: $500- The dog is badly in need of having his teeth cleaned (turns out that being bitten every time is a good way to avoid brushing teeth. Don’t do this- it costs so much more later, I didn’t even realize. Plus, he’s more at risk of infection now until they get cleaned up).  The vet doesn’t know exactly how much it’ll cost (see above: biting- so far, she hasn’t been able to accurately assess what needs done) so I’m hoping that $500 is the high side of things.
  •  Clothing: $75- We’re mostly set for winter (I think) so we shouldn’t need much this month for clothing. I think I need some new tights for cold weather (as mine conveniently waited until winter was over last year to develop holes), but otherwise, spending here should be minimal.
  • Sports and entertainment: $75- Gymnastics plus miscellaneous.
  • Miscellaneous: $200
  • Hair care/Cosmetics: $50
  • Fun money: $100
  • Doctor: $50
  • Maid: $200
  • Lawn service: $150- Why oh why is the grass still growing?? A very rainy and hot September has led to a lot of grass growth.  JUST QUIT. Summer is over. Stop growing.
  • F. Birthday present: $50- F’s birthday is coming up and I want to get her something for her birthday. I’m not sure whether I’m going to get her an actual present or instead use that money for a birthday day of adventures with her. Just mommy and F. 🙂  I asked her if she wanted a party or to just spend the day with mommy and she picked spending the day with me 🙂 So that’s what we’re doing for her birthday.
  • Tree/Bush Trimming: $250- We are the (un)proud renters of a house that has a TON of bushes, all of which need to be trimmed back each year (This, right here is what I hate bushes. Too much work. I hate yard work).  I’m not totally confident in my ability to handle the electric trimmer, plus time is at more of a premium right now, so we’re hiring someone to do this.
  • WOW subscription: $78 (yearly subscription)
  • Charity: $50- The Food Bank of Iowa sent me a thing in the mail asking for donations, so I’m donating. Direct mail works, people.

You may notice that I don’t have anything budgeted here for Halloween.  We generally forgo any Halloween “events,” largely because B., F. and I all hate crowds of people.  And Halloween events are always crowded.  We usually just go trick or treat around our neighborhood on Halloween- it’s a great way to meet your neighbors! Our candy purchases get folded into the grocery budget (eggs or candy? decisions, decisions…) and a costume for F. usually gets folded into the clothing budget.  Last year, she went as a Care Bear (wearing the delightful Goodwill-purchased Care Bear costume below) and this year decided she wanted to be a Care Bear again.  Done and done.

Fiona Care Bear
The cutest little care bear ever.

Total Planned Expenses

  • $5941
  • Percent of total income: 59% – Higher than I would like, but c’est la vie. Pets are expensive. So are bushes.
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Monthly Budget Roundup- September

It’s the beginning of a new month, so time to go through the budget I posted at the beginning of the month and see how I did.  For this post, you’ll get to see the amount I budgeted in black and the final amount I spent in red or green (depending on whether it’s over or under budget).

Yucky yucky debt

  • Planned: $1215 plus at least $2800 at the end of the month
  • Spent: $1215 plus $3500 at the end of the month
  • Total: $4715 ($715 over our $4000 target- YAY!)

Necessities

  • Rent: $1300                                      $1300
  • Utilities: $280                                  $271
  • Phone: $51                                       $42
  • Groceries: $500                               $493
  • Gas: $200                                          $149
  • Daycare: $1245                               $1241
  • B. Cash: $500                                   $532

Other Items

  • Netflix: $11                                     $11
  • Restaurants: $100                         $96
  • Pet care: $20                                  $42
  • Clothing: $150                               $81
  • Sports & Entertainment: $100   $93
  • Miscellaneous: $200                    $193
  • Hair Care/Cosmetics: $100         $59
  • Her money: $100                         $72
  • Doctor: $50                                    $0
  • Maid: $200                                    $198
  • Lawn Service: $75                       $74
  • Thank you gift: $75                     $50
  • Soccer: $90                                   $90

Look at that, guys! After a rash of bad budget months, I think I might actually be under our planned spending for September!! This month has been great- I only ended up over on two categories.  The first is vet- the dog did need a prescription refill, but said prescription refill was more expensive because his dose needed adjusting.

Second is B., who had a few unexpected expenses this month (like a new laptop keyboard) that upped his spending.  I won’t give him too much grief though- he regularly stays within the $500 we budget. 🙂

And, as predicted, now that I remembered to budget money toward medical expenses, none occurred.  F. was sick, but Tricare pays for everything 100% while B. is deployed so we didn’t end up incurring any expenses.

Here’s hoping October continues the trend of good spending!

Final Spending Tally (excluding debt) 

  • Planned: $5157
  • Actual: $5087
  • Percent of total income: 50%

(For those of you following along with the math, that means that we put roughly 47% of our income toward student loans this month. UGH but yay?)

Tune in tomorrow for October’s budget.  How did your month go?

September Budget

Oy vey! I am not doing well at keeping up with things around here. It’s already September 7th and I’m just getting around to posting my budget for the month. Accountability fail. *sigh* Oh well. Here it is!

Yucky yucky debt

  • $143,464
  • Planned payments: $1215
  • Planned overpayment: at least $2800

It’s going to be tight- but I think it’ll work out.  September is a 5-Friday month, meaning five grocery trips instead of four and five daycare payments (blech). So things are a little tighter this month.

Necessities

  • Rent: $1300
  • Utilities: $280-  our gas/electric budget billing went up yet again. This is a constant struggle, because our house has extremely variable temperatures depending on location. The HVAC is inappropriately sized for the house, so I often have to set the thermostat higher/lower than I’d like in order to reach something approaching comfort. Or use space heaters. It’s a lose/lose either way.
  • Phone: $51
  • Groceries: $500- This is going to be tight, because I usually budget this much for a four week month and this month has five Fridays. We’ll see how I do!
  • Gas: $200- I haven’t been using this much, but I’m thinking about going to visit some of Brian’s family in September, which would require a little more gas.
  • Daycare: $1245- Five week month= five daycare payments.
  • B. Cash: $500

Other Items

  • Netflix: $11 – Good old Netflix. So much cheaper than cable.
  • Restaurants: $100
  • Pet care: $20- I anticipate having to replace one medication, but thankfully, the vet trips are done for awhile.
  • Clothing: $150- Higher this month because F. needs boots, hats and coats for winter. It’s starting to get cold in the air so I’m starting to think about getting our fall clothing rounded up. I need some a few new items as well, to replace some that gave out at the end of last winter.
  • Sports & Entertainment: $100- Gymnastics class and a tickets to a super fun nature event this month.
  • Miscellaneous: $200
  • Hair Care/Cosmetics: $100- Higher this month as well.  When my sister was in town, the two of us went to get pedicures, sans children.  I regret nothing. 🙂
  • Her money: $100
  • Doctor: $50- Now that I budgeted for it, I won’t need it this month. Right? Right?! (Please please please let my child stay healthy…)
  • Maid: $200
  • Lawn Service: $75
  • Thank you present for my mother: $75- Mom very nicely watched F. while I was in Chicago last month and also watched my (very annoying) dog for a week while my sister and brother-in-law were visiting. So I got her a Starbucks gift card as a thank-you.
  • Soccer: $90 – Daycare is offering an 8 week soccer lesson, so I signed F. up. Lord knows she needs every opportunity to run, plus this way she’ll get some extra outside time during the week.  Win/win and a bargain at $90.

Total Planned Expenses

  • $5157
  • Percent of total income: 55%

High, but not bad. We’ll see how the end of the month shakes out. Maybe I’ll make my goal of spending less than I’d planned…

August Budget

download (1)

DEBT OWED: $146,869 (roughly)

August Budget

Yucky yucky debt

  • Minimum payment: $1300
  • Planned overpayment: at least $2000 in addition to the $1300 budgeted

Necessities

  • Rent: $1300
  • Utilities: $260
  • Cell Phone: $50
  • Groceries: $600- This is higher this month because I know I need a bunch of things at Sam’s Club and that’s never an inexpensive trip. Also, the freezer is out of meat. I gratefully accepted a bunch of pork and beef from my dad, but I’m thinking I need to stock up on some chicken if it goes on sale.
  • Gas: $200
  • Car insurance: $350- Because we drive 15 and 12 year old cars, respectively, our car insurance is pretty affordable. Also, living in a safe are doesn’t hurt either. Because it’s so affordable, we prefer to just take the hit twice a year and pay the whole bill, rather than saving a little toward it each month. We used to do that, it was confusing, this is easier.
  • Daycare: $980
  • Vet: $300- Our dog is due for his yearly check-up, a whole bunch of shots, a medication refill and a bath/toenail cut (I pay someone to do this because I dislike being bitten repeatedly)
  • B.: $500- B. is in charge of managing his own money while deployed. He gets $500, he can spend it any way he wants.

Other expenses

  • Maid: $250- Covering three visits instead of two because the month worked out weird
  • Lawn Care: $150- I think this is high, considering that most of my grass appears to be dead, but we’ll see. I only pay if they actually mow the lawn, so I won’t be paying for it if they don’t need to mow.
  • Clothing: $100
  • Gymnastics: $48
  • Restaurants: $100
  • Netflix: $11
  • Hair/Cosmetics: $50
  • Fun money: $100
  • Miscellaneous: $200
  • Charity: $65- We tend to do most of our charity spending right around the end of the year, but will occasionally spend during the year as opportunities arise. This month’s purchase was $65 worth of school supplies to donate to our local community for students and teachers in need.
  • Vacation: $300- I’m going on vacation in August! Just me, sans toddler- I’m really looking forward to it.

Total planned expenses (excluding debt): $5914

% of projected monthly income: 63%– This is a little higher than I prefer, but we have quite a few extra expenses this month, both necessary (vet, car insurance) and frivolous (vacation).  Oh well. I think September will look better.

We set our budget every month using Every Dollar. The free version is pretty good, but the paid version allows you to link up your bank accounts and any credit cards you may have. It also has a mobile app and both are incredibly easy to use. 

July Budget

Our budget for July

download (1)

DEBT OWED: $153,000 (roughly) 

July Budget

Yucky yucky debt

  • Minimum payment: $1400
  • Planned extra payment: no less than $2500 (this is above and beyond the $1400 we would normally pay, so a grand total of roughly $4000 toward debt)

Necessities

  • Rent: $1300
  • Utilities: $260
  • Cell Phone: $50
  • Groceries: $500
  • Gas: $200
  • Daycare: $980
  • Maid: $206 (Trust me, with a deployed husband and a two year old, this is a necessity at the moment. Sanity and sleep allow me to make better choices in budget areas we usually suck at. Like eating out. Oh McDonalds, why are you so close to my house and on the way home from work??)
  • Lawn care: $150 (again, deployed husband + two year old. I feel really grateful that we can afford these small luxuries while Brian is away.)
  • Brian: $500 (Brian is in charge of managing his own money while he’s deployed. I just give him a chunk of money to work with. How he spends it is his own business.)

Other expenses

  • Clothing: $200- This is high this month. I realized that I have exactly zero pairs of shorts (note to self- clothing purging CAN be taken too far) and it’s hot.  Plus F (my rambunctious two-year old) WILL NOT STOP GROWING and has about grown out of the 3T wardrobe I purchased for her approximately two months ago.  So new (to us) clothes it is.
  • Gymnastics: $48
  • Restaurants: $100 (eating out has really declined as taking the toddler out to eat alone is a mildly terrifying prospect)
  • Netflix: $10 (because it’s cheaper than cable, but not by a lot because our Internet is freaking expensive)
  • Hair Care/Cosmetics: $100 (higher this month because I had a rare morning where I didn’t have to work but F had daycare and I got a pedicure! For the first time since…hmmm… I think my best friend’s wedding like 7 years ago. It was glorious. See you again in 7 years, oh great and relaxing pedicure chair)
  • Fun money: $100 (Mine to do whatever I want with over the course of a month. Lunch out? Afternoon coffee date? All coming out of this fund)
  • Miscellaneous: $200 (Because I’m terrible at budgeting (STILL!), I need a “slush fund” to catch random things that come up during the month.  It’s always capped at $200 because otherwise, I could probably find a lot of things I “need”)

Total planned expenditures (excluding debt payments): $4704

% of projected monthly income: about 50% (which is what we like to see!) 

We set our budget every month using Every Dollar. I love this software- it’s linked to both our bank account and our one credit card (that we never ever use except right now because it has lower international fees for my husband).