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Posts tagged with: glamping

It’s Good to Be Back

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I’m so excited to be writing here again. I was shocked when Ashley’s post mentioned we had been writing here for 3 1/2 years now (we started the same week.) I feel like I need to go back and re-read where I’ve been sometime soon to prove how far I’ve come. Just a recap of what comes to mind:

  • We lost our home and moved into a tiny apartment.

    Not sure what we would do without board games. Between work, gymnastics training and school, board games keep us sane!

  • We sold our giant van.
  • We lived survived and thrived living in 900 square feet with all five of us and our 4 animals.
  • I lost my primary source of income.
  • We spent 9 months ‘glamping’ when I could no longer afford our apartment. I’m grateful for the gift, it kept us from becoming truly homeless or spending a single night in a shelter.
  • We had to say good-bye to all our animals in one way or another, but enjoyed raising chickens while we were glamping.
  • We moved to another state earlier this year and in with my grandmother.
  • I got a great new job.
  • I continue to work 2 part time jobs and a variety of odd jobs.
  • We rented our very own home in Georgia, leaving one of the twins in Virginia, and now we each have our own bedroom after 3 years of tiny living.
  • For the first time in a LONG time, we are not living paycheck to paycheck.  But I still have a long way to go in learning to make better money choices and becoming truly debt free.
  • And this is where we begin today.

So much has happened during my life on BAD. I can’t wait to see where we go next. I write this as Irma rages outside. I was so grateful to be able to work from home today and tomorrow while she moves on through. We’ve had some limbs fall on the roof, one took out our backside neighbors brand new fence. We will wander out when it’s over and see the damage, but for now I’m just grateful for a cozy home.

I’ve made some terrible financial decisions lately. And it’s huge for me to be able to just say that. I even said as must out loud to a friend this past weekend when we went out for chips and dip. Thinking with my heart instead of my head. More on those coming soon. But I definitely recognize that I have a problem.


Budget Plan for Glamping

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Many of the recent comments have mentioned how I am not paying off debt at this point in my journey.  They are right.  With little steady income over the four months, not even enough to cover my my typical monthly obligations, not only am I not making regular debt payments, but I’m having to pay many bills late.  BUT all of that is about to change if I can just get through March and April, the tides are going to turn.

The financial windfall that having free housing for is going to be HUGE for us.  And debt payments (after I catch up with what I am behind on) will resume along with a savings plan.  So I am starting to think on that as you could see from my last post on my “plan” for living in a tinier space.

So for the first time in months…I am going to have a real budget and I’ve started putting some thought into it.  Here is my first draft with some notes below, would love some feedback and suggestions:

Glamping Budget (May - July, 2016)

CategoryMonthly
Budget
May
Actual
June
Actual
July
Actual
Total
Total$1596
Cell Phone$230
Car Gas$200
Entertainment$100
Food$800
Clothing$150
Savings
Debt Payments
Life Insurance$23
Storage$78
Auto/Renters Insurance$150

You will see that I am planning to take a note from Ashley and try to show my budget with the actual over these few short months.

You will also note that my total is missing a couple of numbers.  I am working on those as I figure my minimum obligations as well as set a reasonable goal for savings.

There are some changes to my categories and to my numbers, here is why:

  • Cell phone – up significantly.  I plan to add a bit more data to our current shared 3GB as we will be out a bit more and I will need it to work, I think.  I won’t add it until I’m prompted by going over and it’s something I can add or take away without any long term commitment, but my thought is that it will be higher.  (History Buff pays $30 of this every month for his smartphone plan.)
  • Car Gas – double the typical amount.  We are going from living within 3 miles of absolutely everything we do, to being 20 minutes away.  I will also be making at least 2 round trips every day into town based on the anticipated activity schedule (swim in the morning and gymnastics at night.)  So again anticipating a significant change due to the move.
  • Groceries – we have been living on a REALLY tight grocery budget for more than a year now, and frankly I just need a break from it, so I’m giving myself permission to flex a little bit.  This may change back, but for now…I’m going to myself some flexibility.   This will also incorporate any eating out.
  • Entertainment – new category for us.  While I am going to be working my butt off to revamp and relaunch my old business, I think this is going to be a very fun few months for us and want to plan for some fun money.  I think giving myself this permission and boundary will keep me from splurging or making rash decisions on fun activities.  We’ll see how it goes.
  • Clothing – new category for us. In the past, the little one’s dad paid for most all of their clothing and the older ones have been responsible for their own clothing for over a year now.  Unfortunately, as I write this, there is still no regular support from the little ones dad, and they will both need almost completely new wardrobes, they refuse to stop growing!  So I am anticipating and planning for that.  In addition, I have lost a good amount of weight, so will need a few new things as well.
  • Savings – need to save for a housing move, emergency fund, etc.  This will take precedence over debt payoff I think, but will see when I get a final plan together.
  • Debt – as soon as I catch up with payments I am behind, I will update this with the minimum payments needed each month.  Extra payments will have to be considered on a month to month basis as I work to add income.
  • Life Insurance – no change.
  • Auto/Renters Insurance – no change.  (History Buff pays for $72 of this for his car insurance.  I occasionally gift him by paying 1/2 for a month when I can.  I am so proud of him that words cannot express it.)

With no rent/mortgage, no utilities…I am so excited to see what could come over these months.  Have  I left anything out?