If you’d like more details regarding our monthly budget, please see my first 2015 Budget Post.
Welcome to the Mintly Budget Preview for October 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.
October Budget Breakdown Total: $4901
(I only give explanations on the areas that have changed from the previous budgets I’ve shared.)
Debt Eradication: News about H’s job has… um, inspired us to spend some time analyzing how big an emergency fund we need. We have decided to put more into our savings, so we have no designated Debt Eradication amount in the budget this month. Instead, we are allotting $800 to pad our Money Market account. More on this soon.
The $99 left (we usually budget up to $5000 and use whatever we made in our paychecks over that amount for Debt Eradication) was set aside to help cover some of last month’s credit card bills. We still didn’t have to carry a balance, but we can do better in our spending so that we can put that overage towards debt (or savings) instead of our credit card bills! Ugh.
Home Services: I’m simply not sure what our costs will be on this – the grass isn’t growing like it was over the summer, but I don’t know how many times we need to pay the mowers for (I need to do better about that!). We’re waiting for an invoice.
Bills & Utilities: Based on our bills from this time last year, I upped this to $300 again – I really don’t want any surprises!
Home Insurance: We decided to pay this in one lump sum after I determined that we were losing money by paying it by the month. This is our payment for the entire year, and I had hoped to have money saved up for it, but that just didn’t happen. Because of this expense, other budget lines are taking a hit this month, especially the slush fund and Savings (which has temporarily replaced our Debt Eradication line).
Kids Activities: This is L’s piano lessons and our newest extra-curricular: Girl Scouts! It’s $10 a month, and we’ll see whether we stick with it for more than a year. Another change from last year is that we’re no longer paying monthly for L’s ballet lessons – I saved up in our Sinking Fund and we were able to pay for her Fall “tuition” that way. (We’ll have to save up again for the Spring, too….) It was slightly cheaper to pay upfront. My mom then sent us some money to help cover part of the cost (not the entire cost, though), and we were able to just put it entirely towards debt last month.
Slush Fund: This is supposed to cover gifts for a going-away party, a pumpkin-carving party (that we’re hosting later in the month), and any extra fun fall activities we decide to do! I’m worried that it won’t quite cover everything, but I didn’t have much choice.
Charity: We are going to give $50 to a charity this month.
October 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. Again.
I’m disappointed that we aren’t sending a huge chunk of money to our student loan debt this month, but I’m consoling myself by remembering that our net worth will still increase. Our goals may be slightly delayed, but I think it’s worth it for the peace of mind of having a nice nest egg stored away.