Thank you so much for all of the fabulous tips and comments you left me on all of Monday’s posts. I always appreciate constructive criticism and love all of the ideas you have left in the comments – it gives me lots to think about.
Right now, I’m not making any big changes. I’ve decided to put off all non-essential purchases (including hair cut/color, dental work for my chipped tooth, vehicle maintenance, etc.). I think this month has really been tough financially and I just want to wait and see how the dust all settles before making any changes or spending any more money. All of these expenses are “necessary” (in that, yes, I need to have my chipped tooth looked at, we need to take care of our vehicle, etc.), but nothing is urgent so I’m just putting it all on hold for now.
Instead, I want to talk about what my hope is for the outcome of this month (calling them “hopes” instead of “goals” because I feel like, with 1 week left in the month, we’re a little late in the game for defined “goals”…though I will be updating our goals for the upcoming months in a post to come next week). Remember, with our variable income it’s always difficult to predict how a given month will go. That’s one of the reasons I’m so keen on starting to live on last month’s income!
Soooo, here are my hopes in order of importance (#1 being the most important hope, #2 the second most important, and so on).
- I hope we’ll have enough money leftover at the end of the month to do great things, as opposed to barely covering our expenses. Remember, we had some very pricey expenses this month (husband’s root canal, and my car maintenance). Currently, the “other” portion of my budget spreadsheet shows nearly $2,000 in expenditures (for reference, only $125/month is budgeted), so this is already a huge excess that will eat up a lot of our “extra” income. My first hope is that we’ll still have plenty extra even on top of this.
- I hope we’ll be able to put $2500 toward my “living on last month’s salary” savings. Last month we socked away $3200, so if I were able to add $2500 that would bring us to a total of $5700. That’s much lower than we’ve been earning the past few months (our income has been closer to $9,000ish), but it’s certainly a livable amount. Plus, it would only be one month with this somewhat lower income, because we’ll be stashing the full amount of all of our August paychecks for use in September. I’m very excited about living on last month’s income, so I have put this hope above #3.
- I hope to pay off the last of the license fees. I’m going to be honest and say….I don’t think we’ll be able to do this in full. We still owe a little over $4,000. Originally, I was thinking we’d be able to have that paid off by August (this is the bill we’re currently throwing our snowball at and our regular snowball payment is $1055/month). I don’t think we’ll have an extra $3,000 from July (on top of the $2500 going toward “living on last month’s income” and the $2000 already spent on car maintenance/dental care) in order to make this happen. But hopefully we’ll still be able to make somewhat of a dent.
Just to give a brief heads up about where our finances are sitting right now, today (with another week in the month to go), our expenses total roughly $7500, and our income is sitting at just under $9000…..so, yeah. It’s gonna be tough.
That being said, we shouldn’t have any other big expenses (knock on wood!) and husband still has another check coming his way so we’ll see how things all shake out. I guess this is what Dave Ramsey refers to as “more month left than money.” Ugh! I’m wishing August would just hurry up and get here already!!!! I can’t wait to give an updated budget, see where we stand with spending, and where we are in our debt payoff journey!
On a semi-related topic – we do have some extra cash in our regular checking/savings account. Remember that I like to keep a buffer of at least a couple thousand sitting there to cover bills (this is how I was able to pay all our expenses the first half of the month while we were waiting to get paid. I also talked about the buffer this post). Since we’ll be living on last month’s income…..could I eliminate this buffer and put that money toward these hopes??? Note, this isn’t an official “emergency savings” (I have that set up as a Capital One 360 account), and the money goes up and down depending on the time of the month, the bills that have gone through, when we’ve been paid, etc. But it occurs to me that if we fall short on some of this month’s hopes that maybe we can simply take money from here to try to make a larger dent in our debts (and/or make sure we have enough for living on last month’s income). Just so you have the full financial picture, we only have $1200 in our “emergency savings” account, but we have several sub-accounts for various things (car repairs, dental/vision, semi-annual expenses, vet expenses. A full list of our monthly savings can be found here.) and if something awful were to happen I could always tap into our money market mutual fund account (which has close to $6,000). So we don’t have a ton of liquid assets, but we do have enough that we may be “safe” to eliminate our buffer….