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My Laughable Budget

August 25th, 2006 at 12:45 pm

I know in order to get our finances under control that I have to have a budget. But it's just so depressing! I know that having (and sticking to) a budget does help, I've done it before. So, to help motivate myself I'm going to post my budget-in-progress here.

DH's Paychecks...............$1,600.00
Babysitting Income..............170.00
Total Income..................$1,770.00

I only counted my DH's and mine base pay. Normally he's able to get over-time, so our monthly income should be higher. I'm working on ways to increase our income. I'm going to try and find another kid to babysit, so that should help. I also read about a lady that does "drop-in" daycare and I think that might be a good idea. I was going to get another part-time job in the evenings when school started, but when DH and I discussed it we decided that would actually cost us money since that would limit his over-time. So I'm searching for ways to make money from home.

House Payment..............$827.00
Electric Bill........................95.00
Truck Payment................211.00
Credit Card #1.................15.00
Credit Card #2...................15.00
Car/House Insurance.........189.00
Gas Bill.............................55.00
Trash Pickup.....................16.00
Total Bills....................$1,520.00

Our bills are not very negotionable. I'm reading up on ways to reduce them any way I can. I'm looking into a different trash pickup that is cheaper and learning the little things that will lower our gas & electric bills.

Car Gas..........................$80.00
Household Expenses..........23.50
Total Expenses.............$230.00

Now I know the first thing here that'll get comment on I'm sure is the $120 for bowling. Let me say now that it covers my DH and my 2 older DS to bowl in a league for 7 months (less for my DS). And that it takes place of any entertainment, eating out & extras. Plus my DH has said many times that maby he shouldn't bowl since it's going to really tighten our budget, but I'm insisting he does because it's the only time he takes to himself. Besides, my DH has a record of winning side pots and placing first in his league, winning more money back than he spends the entire league.

Asides from the bowling money- I'm hoping that I overestimated our gas needs and will be able to redirect some of that money elsewhere. I'm also lucky enough that I have an EBT card to pay for groceries for us and I'm a wickedly-good coupon shopper. I'm also hoping to have my parents cover at least one of my DS bowling as a Christmast present, as that would save me $32+ a month.

Emergency Fund.........$20.00

I know to many this measly $20 to an EF would seem ridiculously small. But I'm extremely proud because we have never been good savers, we've never had an EF at all before. Everytime I tried it would get pulled for other stuff. Now I've taken advantage of the Emigrant Direct bonus here and started an account with them. I'm thinking since it's not linked to our checking account (and therefore not too easily transferrable) that we'll actually save money for once. My current goal is just $500, with a $1,000 goal for the future.

So that's my laughable budget. But, hey- it's something to work with! It's gotta be better than the non-tracking floundering we was doing before, right?

5 Responses to “My Laughable Budget”

  1. LuxLiving Says:

    Good on you for working it out here!!

    At first glance I would say that your mortgage is way more expensive than you can afford. Yes, I can easily say that but I also don't know what part of the country you live in or what housing costs are where you guys are located but if twere me I'd be calling my realtor and putting that puppy on the market! It is easy to fall in love with a house. It isn't always easy to pay for it!!

    I'm not laughing...I'm pulling for you. I'm sure ya'll were excited when you got your house, so I'm not dissing on you for that. It just seems like someone lent you more money than what payments ya'll could easily make on current income. What chances are there for future income increases in ya'lls life?

    Can you start setting aside some money for car repairs and house repairs? They will come whether we prepare for them or not. What about holidays?

    I don't see a water bill on your list.

    What's an EBT card?

    You do look like you are making it rather tightly. What's the cost of living in your area? I can sympathize!!

  2. faeanne Says:

    Sorry for the delay in replying! I'm new to these blogs and didn't realize people could leave comments! To sum it up quickly- we made many stupid decisions in our lives. One of the biggest was to trust Household Beneficial. We thought they would help us, but in the end they have really killed us. You're right- they overextended us and there's nothing we can do about it now. We're stuck. I'm posting the long version in my blog if you want to read it in detail.

    Thanks for the support- heaven knows we need it! I'm setting aside as much money as I can (which isn't hardly any) into a ET to cover home & car repairs if needed. Holidays are harder times. I'm an excellent bargain shopper though, so I don't worry much there. We get what we can & don't fret over what we can't. Besides- family spoils our boys too much anyways!

    We don't have a separate water bill- it's included with our electric bill. An EBT card is basically a debit card version of food stamps. Cost of living in this area isn't too bad I don't think. I've never actually compared it to other places. Thanks again for commenting!

  3. ummabdullah Says:

    I am also struggling to find other ways to make more money. Or me and the hubby will never own more than a 2 bed we live in.. with 2 kids..and prolly more on the way someday.

    I think your doing brilliantly. Keep up the good work.. All these years of struggling will soon become easier. Especially when the kids start school

    Kind regards

  4. Saving in So Cal Says:

    Considering your income, I think you are doing pretty well and I don't see a lot of extravagence. Where I live, you could not rent an apartment for what you're paying for your mortgage. Another poster in another part of the website mentioned a site called livingonadime.com. The person who runs that site has a similar income. Maybe you can find some cost-cutting suggestions there.

    Also, I think it is wise that you built your budget around what you know is actually coming in and did not include OT, prize money, etc. However, you should also establish some guidelines for what to do with unexpected money. For instance, maybe 10% for splurge, 40% for EF, and 50% for debt. That's really the only way that I can see for you to make a significant dent in your bills if selling your house is off the table.

  5. faeanne Says:

    I've been brainstorming all sorts of ways I can make some extra money. I already babyist a few hours/days a week. Thanks for sympathizing- sometimes just hearing that there are others out there like me is what I need to strenghten my resolve.

    Saving in So Cal~
    Thanks! Sometimes just hearing things like that is what I need to strengthen my resolve. We do have a couple things that we could cut out of our budget if we absolutely needed too, but so far I'm not willing to sacrifice them. (I'm selfish about my DSL- I will fully admit it.) But the way I look at it is we forgo many other things so we're entitled to a teeny bit of "extra". I will also definitely check out the website you mentioned- I'm very interested in any new cost-cutting suggestions. I think your idea for "guidelines" for the extra income is a great idea. I'm going to have to sit down and figure that out. Thanks so much!

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