If you’d like more details regarding our monthly budget, please see my first 2015 Budget Post.
Welcome to the (slightly belated) Mintly Budget Preview for May 2015!
- We use a zero-sum budget.
- We get paid a little more than what I budget for – but I use that extra either to pay down unexpected expenses from the month before or I can snowflake it to Debt Eradication. Most month’s we’ve been able to stash it away in our Money Market account to build up before I send a lump payment to our Student Loans, and the same was true at the beginning of this month!
Note: This image is a screenshot from the Budget tab of my account on Mint.com.
May Budget Breakdown:
Debt Eradication: This category includes the budgeted money we send to our student loans on top of the minimum payments. I classify all of these transactions as “Transfers,” though, and not counted as “expenses,” so they don’t actually count as “spending” in the Mint.com world.
Sinking Funds: This is where we save money each month for known upcoming expenses. I have a spreadsheet with different line items to keep track of how much money each category has in it. (This transaction is also classified as a transfer, not spending, in Mint.)
Food & Dining: This month, I optimistically reduced our budget by $100 in order to focus more on our spending in this category. The $500 is broken down (in my mind, at least) as $400 on groceries and $100 on restaurants. There are a few problems already: my parents came for a spontaneous overnight stay this week (on their way to see other family) and we treated them to dinner ($50 for four people ain’t bad, but that’s half of our eating-out budget for the month), and I’d already splurged earlier in the month on taking out a newly-retired family friend for brunch as a celebration (that was another $40)…. You can see the problem. Another issue is that when we don’t do our grocery shopping properly, H doesn’t end up with any food to take for lunch and buys a sandwich (about $5 each time). That’s happened 3 times this month already, though it won’t be repeated! We’ve spent $143 on groceries so far this month and need to get more for the coming week, so the next three weeks will have to be around $85 each to stay under the $400 grocery budget limit! CAN IT BE DONE. (We’re already $12 over the $100 restaurant budget, nothing to be done about it now!)
Student Loan: This amount is our minimum payment for four separate student loans. (Debt Eradication funds are separate from these automatic payments.)
Bills & Utilities: Cell phone bill, Water, Electric, and Internet are included in this category.
Business Services: With only one business trip this month that was about 4 days long, I only budgeted $100 (which was, admittedly, optimistic!). It has now been determined that H will get a $25 per diem, which is great, and his gas will be covered, so all of that is under Business Services. Although it went over, I’m not too worried. It may mean it’s a bit tight at the end of the month, but I am hopeful that we will not use all of our Bills & Utilities allotment so can cover it ourselves! (Then the reimbursements are icing on the cake!)
Gas & Fuel: We’re keeping it this high since if we DON’T use the allotted amount, it’ll just get snowflaked to our Student Loan Debt Eradication fund anyway.
Kids Activities: L’s piano and ballet.
Slush Fund: I lowered this to $100 to account for the $100 that we set aside for paying for H’s business trip up front.
Babysitter & Daycare: L’s after-school care program.
Home Services: Mowing guy comes 2x a month (we only have an electric mower, and the cord doesn’t reach!). This also includes trash collection.
Entertainment: $9 for Netflix.
Fee: $1 for the credit union.
May Extra Funds: $210.96 – The money over $5000 from our paychecks went directly to our Student Loan Debt Eradication fund. (That will be reflected in our Snowflaking area of our May recap at the end of this month.)
Once summer hits “for real” next month, things are gonna be all crazy with this budget… L’s after-school program will only run for part of the month, then we have her enrolled in a week-long program while H is out of town on business (and I’m working), and we’ll see how the rest of our expenses shake out while H is not working for the summer months! I’m SO looking forward to June, when we will make our last Citibank payment and be able to send that $450 monthly payment to H’s interest-accumulating student loans instead!
Who else has already blown their budget for the month of May?