Our budget is the result of decisions and struggling in the past to set us up to the point we can function more easily on a lower income. Like building up a stock pile of everyday items and food, buying presents yearly at after Christmas sales, living in a 1 bedroom apartment working overtime & taking an extra job to pay off $30k+ in debt in 1 year.
I'd like to start off explaining 4 things not in our monthly budget. Commission- which is very variable. A variabe 3-4k pretax a year we make teaching relationship & communication skills some weekends. The fact my husband claims 0 dependents on his taxes at work so that the maximum is taken out (for us the risks/interest lost is outweighed by saving more then we would) Lastly, I use 4 weeks pay for our monthly budget. Not the years salary divided by 12. So there are 2 months a year with an 'extra' pay period in them.
All four instances we take advantage of to save money. Any commission each month goes into a savings account and this is the money used when something comes up that we don't have budgeted money for (medical, cars, appliances, ect). In the past when we didn't have jobs with commission I budgeted a set amount each paycheck for this. This is one of the most helpful tips I have. Things always come up, however little you can put in will help to have that much less to try & find. For taxes all refunds goes to debt or into cds. We use this as a cushion for if something were to happen financially or if my husband were to lose his job. For the money we make teaching & the 'extra' pay periods twice a year that money is used to pay off immediate debt/bills if something has come up, or put into cds.
At this time we do not have any money from my husband's salary going into a 401k, however- his job automatically deposits the equivalent of 3% of his wage into his 401k, we are not required to match this for it to be applicable. Otherwise I would probably find some way to contribute something to it.
Our mortgage is only $320 a month. The reason for this is one, where we live this is actually not a extremely low mortgage/rent (the average around here is $500-$750). We made the choice to live outside of the city in exchange for a lower average mortgage. And two, we also made the choice to buy a foreclosed home. It is not our ideal home, if it were not for the price we never would have considered it. However we knew that we wanted me to be able to stay home while our children are young, and maybe longer if we decide to home school. So that was a sacrifice we choose to make in order to live off one income instead of two.
Lastly I round up on EVERYTHING on our budget to a dollar amount, and round the 4week pay down to a dollar amount. This just create a tiny bit of cushion room, granted it's literally a few bucks at the most, but when things happen even a few bucks extra wiggle room can help.
Here is the actual breakdown of our living budget:
Pre-Tax x 4weeks Breakdown $1752.60
- $138.32 Health Insurance
- $146.26 Federal Tax
- $91.46 OASDI
- $21.40 Medicare
- $40.00 Missouri Tax
- $1315.00 Living Budget
Post Tax x 4weeks Breakdown $1315.00
- $50 Mohela- Student Loans
- $20 Veolia- Waste Management (trash)
- $43 Centurytel- Home Phone & Internet
- $60 Cingular- Cell Phone
- $50 Progressive- Car Insurance
- $260 Boone Coop- Electric & Sewer
- $205 Anthem- Health Insurance
- $35 PWSD#1- Water
- $320 Callaway Bank- Mortgage
- $120 Gas Stations
- $152 Food/other
Now I know some of you look at $152 a month for food, household, clothes & ect.. and go that's not possible! But it honestly is and if you've read some of my other tips in this blog you have seen some of how I'm able to make that work.
We never lack for anything. We buy clothes second hand, stockpile lesser perishable food & non-perishables (this way we don't normally HAVE to buy certain items, normally we buy perishables and stock up on good prices). We garden and we hunt (no more organic meat in actuality or spirit then humanely killed born and grown up wild) or we buy organic meat from local farms as a group of friends/relatives to get a deep bulk discount and then split up the cost per lb per each family. We cloth diaper- no recurring disposable cost. Make all our cleaning supplies so that cost is also negligent. Make homemade soap to use personally and in cleaning, so again good natural products at a fraction of retail.
There are many other things we do, but I've rambled enough for tonight. I hope this breakdown, explaination, and tips helps out some of you who have been asking for a budget breakdown and budgeting tips!
Edited by kaymmiv - Thu, 26 Feb 2009 18:57:11 UTC