If you’d like more details regarding our monthly budget, please see my first 2015 Budget Post.
Welcome to the Mintly Budget Preview for September 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 months 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, but that wasn’t the case this time.
Note: This image is a screenshot from the Budget tab of my account on Mint.com.
September Budget Breakdown Total: $4900
(I only give 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 I needed to use some of that money for other places in the budget that needed help this time around.
The $100 left was set aside into our Sinking Fund (I did it as a separate transaction, so that’s why the Sinking Fund transaction is the same amount as usual) for Christmas gifts for our nieces and nephews. That’s right! Christmas! But here’s an end-of-September spoiler: I used Chase reward points to purchase the Amazon gift cards (we have 2 nieces and 3 nephews, and they each get a $20 gift card), so I just moved that $100 over to our Debt Eradication fund. Woohoo!
Food & Dining: I’m keeping the food separated out as groceries and restaurants – we are going to be spending more than usual because our friends are visiting us over Labor Day weekend (wait, by the time this post goes live, we’ll be hanging with them!), and that will be more expensive.
Home Services: This accounts for the one time the guys cut our grass in August, the two times they’ll do it in September, and the monthly payment for our trash and recycling pick up.
Bills & Utilities: Cell phone bill, Water, Electric, and Internet are included in this category. Last month was higher than usual, but this is back to normal.
Kids Activities: L’s piano lessons are back for the fall!
Babysitter & Daycare: L’s after-school care program has raised their rates by $10 a month now… joy.
Slush Fund: This fund will cover the $15 fee we just paid for L to join Girl Scouts (I know that this should come from our L’s Extra Stuff sinking fund, but I know that’s going to be cleaned out when her ballet school actually finally charges my card…), and, of course, it will cover whatever else comes up…
Fees: We got hit with the $95 credit card fee for having the Chase Sapphire Card. (We got it last year so we could rack up points and go to France for less, which was awesome!) We want to hold onto this card, so we’re going to suck this up and deal with it. I don’t know yet how we’ll cover this cost yet (use Slush Funds? use Sinking Funds?).
September Extra Funds: $0 – We had no extra funds this month, since we over-spent last month. The money over the total $5,000 that we earned in our paychecks all went to evening up what we spent last month. Ew.
I’m looking forward to fall! We plan to take our friends apple-picking this weekend… YES.