A Breakdown of Our Monthly Budget
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I’m about to put it ALL out there, and that makes me so nervous. When I started this blog, I promised myself I’d be completely transparent with my readers, so that’s what I’m doing today. My fear is that we will be judged for what we spend our money on or someone will try to “correct” us based on what they think should be priorities for us. I also fear putting our income out there because talking about your income is so taboo. I don’t think it should be that way, but still, it’s nerve-racking to tell people how much money you make.
So before I get started, I want to say that we have looked at our budget hundreds (literally) of times, and we feel that right now this is the best budget for us in the stage of life we are in with our four young children and desire to become debt free.
Side note: I’d love to hear suggestions about lowering our food budget if you have any. We shop at Aldi for most of our food, so that saves us a ton, but I think we still need help in that area.
So here goes…
Our Monthly Budget Breakdown
Expenses and Debt
Tithe - $640+ based on income (this is nonnegotiable)
Credit Card - $130.00
Braces - $219.00
Dance Tuition - $205.00
Blog Expenses - $53.98
Food and Household Necessities - $1000.00
Fuel - $160.00
School lunches - $80.00
Christmas Savings - $160.00
Total = $2647.98
Mortgage - $942.24
Electric - $109.30
Water - $95.00
Gas - $31.86
Cell phones - $211.54
Hulu Plus- $5.99
Netflix - $12.99
Car Ins. - $114.66
Alarm monitoring - $25.00
Internet - $65.99
Life ins. - $70.85
Total = $1685.42
Our total spending per month, if we stick to our budget 100%, is $4333.40.
Our fixed monthly income is $4988.00. With my business and my husband’s side business, our monthly income can be as much as $7500.00 or more, depending on the month. So that leaves us with an extra $654.60 to $3166.60. Business has been pretty slow (nonexistent) for Bryce over the summer, but he has some big projects planned for September. I’ve cut my proofreading clients down to just one in order to focus on this blog, so my income has gone down quite a bit.
Our goal has been to put every last dollar towards debt, but as you can see from my debt-payoff summaries in other posts, we are only putting about $400 a month towards debt. Despite our strong desire to become debt free, we haven’t got that gazelle intensity Dave talks about.
That’s where we lack, and that’s where we need the most improvement. We know we have these money goals, but we don’t prioritize them like we know we should. My personal goal is to get fired up about being debt free again, and hopefully in a few months I can come back here and tell you guys what a great job we did at paying down debt. I’m using this post as my personal accountability.
What We Can Improve On
We are currently not saving monthly for clothing, date nights, or a few other things that we probably should. My husband gets a quarterly bonus from his full-time job, so we usually use that for those things, especially back-to-school shopping. We’ve been doing fine using that strategy, but if we saved monthly for those items, we could use the bonuses for vacations and other savings goals. We are going to start doing that now.
We have also started saving $65 a week for our Disney vacation we are planning for next summer. I didn’t take that into account above. That’s an extra $260 a month that we will be putting aside until next May. That will fully fund our Disney vacation. I also know that we really shouldn’t be taking a vacation until we’re debt free, but we made a promise to our kids last year, and we plan on keeping that promise.
Another area we could improve on is the school lunch budget. We are spending about $80 a month in the school cafeteria. We could drastically minimize that budget if we packed lunches every day.
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Like I mentioned earlier, we could use some help in the area of our food budget. We have a family of six. I’ve searched for ways to lower our food budget, and I’ve tried MANY online menu plans from other blogs claiming they only spend $50-$75 a week on food, but none of them seemed to work that way for us. If you have any insight on this, please share in the comments below!
Until next time,
I’m Kari, founder of Mom For More. Do you often lie awake at night dreaming about what it would be like if your family was debt-free? What if you could make that dream come true with a business that allowed you to stay home and be fully present with your babies? Mom for More teaches moms that they can start a home business, become debt-free, and gain more overall peace in motherhood. It equips moms with the tools they need to succeed in their finances, home businesses, and daily lives. You don't have to put your life on hold when you become a mother. It's okay to dream. It's okay to believe that you were made for more. I’d love for you to subscribe and follow along with me!