If you’d like more details regarding our monthly budget, please see my first 2015 Budget Post.
Welcome to the Mintly Budget Preview for August 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.
June Budget Breakdown Total: $5050
(This month I’m only giving explanations on the areas that have changed from the previous budgets I’ve shared.)
Debt Eradication: This is the amount of money we think we can afford out of our $5000 budget each month. It’s been a static number ($1206) for a while, but it used to be broken down into two payments – one directly to Navient (our student loan holder) and one to a Citibank card, where we had transferred some of our student loans. Now that the card is paid off, all of the funds go directly to Navient each month. (I generally send that extra payment the day after our automatic minimum payment goes through.)
Food & Dining: I’ve broken down our food budget into two components this time to see if that can help me keep on track. We have already spent more than I would have liked, but we had a family over for a spontaneous dinner and ended up needing to run out for a few more items.
Home Services: We did not get our bill from the lawn guys until the end of July. Sadly, they cut our grass three times in that month, which means we owe them quite a bit. Plus, there was another one from June that we didn’t pay them for, apparently? In any case, we sent them a check to catch up, and in the envelope we included a note very politely asking them to only cut the grass once in August (preferably the middle of the month). We simply can’t afford to pay for more than twice a month, and I’m SOOOO looking forward to fall/winter, when we don’t have to pay for that! August and September are so tough, because we’re paying for childcare on TOP of the summer-time-type expenses.
Bills & Utilities: Cell phone bill, Water, Electric, and Internet are included in this category. Last month we had a relatively low electric bill, so to make up for other expenses we will have this month, I lowered our budget by $100. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can keep it under this amount!
Kids Activities: L’s piano lessons start up (I don’t know exactly when) this month. Ballet will be paid for by the semester this year because we have been saving in the Sinking Fund. Over the course of the school year, this will save us at least a little bit of cash in our budget each month ($60) and be, overall, cheaper.
Babysitter & Daycare: L’s after-school care program should be lower than the usual monthly rate, but I left it at $150 since H will be working full-time again as of August 17th, so we will have additional childcare expenses. If we can’t keep the cost under $150, it will have to come out of the….
Slush Fund: This fund needs to cover L’s back-to-school items as well as any other random expenses this month, including extra child care needs. We’ve already gotten her stuff, so the rest has to last us until September.
July Extra Funds: $211.62 – This money went right into our Money Market account, where we house our Student Loan Debt Eradication Fund. This will be sent in addition to the $1206 budgeted for debt eradication.
I’ve been thinking that I may be stressing out about money too much. I’m wondering if I should lighten up on our debt eradication (that automatic $1206 that goes into our Debt Eradication fund as soon as we get paid) and give ourselves more of a cushion. I hate feeling stressed, and I think that a total of $1700+ going out each month to debt (minimum payments plus the extra payment) is pretty significant. On the other hand, I want that debt GONE. I just don’t know what’s better right now. Thoughts??? Any advice? Thanks!