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September Planned Budget


As I mentioned yesterday, August was a bit of a dud income-wise.

Everything said and done, we ended up earning (after taxes) $5728. To that figure, I’ve added the $589 we had leftover from last month. This brings us to a total income of $6317 to budget for the month of September.

Here’s the plan:

Place Amount
Rent 1055
Electricity 260
Water 65
Natural gas 20
Sprint (2 lines) 115
Cable/Internet 100
Car Insurance 104
Health Insurance 350
Trash 35
Debt 2009
Miscellaneous 300
Groceries 400
Baby Purchases 1200
Gasoline 100
Savings 445
. 6558


You may notice instantly that the amount planned ($6558) exceeds the amount we actually have to budget ($6317). I’m not quite sure how to handle this difference. I can strive to spend less in the miscellaneous and grocery categories, but its unlikely I’ll be able to save a full $200. Other options include putting less toward savings (which would solve the immediate problem, but causes a longer-term problem when we don’t have money to cover things like dental & vision or car maintenance expenses), or use some of our income from September on September purchases (instead of putting it all aside for October, since we’re living on last month’s income). We’re not talking about a huge difference here ($6558-$6317 = $241). I could try to cut back here and there and just wait to see how short we fall at the end of the month (hoping to make up the difference), and then use some September income to cover the difference only if needed.

What do you think? What would you do to make up the difference?


Texan at heart; Arizonan on paper. Lover of running, cheese, camping, and family (fur-family included!). Blogger, motivated to get out of debt YESTERDAY! Follow along with my journey!

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  • Reply Walnut |

    I vote for cutting back a little here and a little there. Perhaps this is a good month to inventory the pantry and freezer to cut a bit from the grocery budget. Or perhaps you aim to have 15 ‘no spend days’ to try to keep the miscellaneous spend under control. Do you have any clothes that you’ve been meaning to drop off at a consignment sale or maybe some DVDs that are collecting dust that could be bundled together and sold as a lot on Craigslist for $25?

    • Reply Ashley |

      I was thinking about trying to sell more baby things. I did a big purge a couple months ago and got rid of all the “big” items, but we still have a ton of old clothes and toys. It’s so hard, though, because clothes fetch almost nothing at consignment and I’ve had issues trying to sell stuff on Facebook garage sale groups. It’s worth a shot though to try to close the money gap!

  • Reply CanadianKate |

    In a situation like this, I’d look at what can be purchased later and put off that purchase.

    Doing that, you might be able to put off 5% of the food budget and 15% of miscellaneous. That adds up to $65.

    I can’t recall what is in baby purchases. Obviously, day care is a given but if that the whole amount, you should relabel the category. If it isn’t, what do you absolutely need for the next 30 days? Can you not do laundry a bit more often if they don’t have enough that fits, search out someone to swap clothing and toys with, use books and videos from the library, joining a toy library, or just good old playing with old magazines, tupperware and pots & pans (not to mention everything they already own.) All that should allow you to cut almost 100% of that budget amount that isn’t for daycare.

    If that doesn’t get you to where you need to be, then cut the savings amount (and make it up in October when you are living off September.)

    • Reply Ashley |

      The baby purchases is mostly daycare, but the other things that would fall into the category would be baby-related medical expenses (like doctor copays and prescription costs), diapers, and wipes so nothing that’s really expendable. That said, I don’t anticipate any doctors’ visits this month and we’re pretty stocked on diapers so I could try to shave a little money from this category. I’m kind of embarrassed to say, but I’m still not entirely sure how much their preschool costs (since they combine the cost of preschool + the JCC, and this is our first “real” month since last month also included all the initiation fee). I’m thinking it will be closer to $1100ish, but wanted to leave a little padding.

  • Reply Meghan |


    I guess the first question to ask yourself is what you would do if this were actually this month’s income and not last month’s? Would it come out of your food, savings, or restaurant budget? Would you try to skim a bit off of every variable category?

    I agree with scouring the pantry, the whole point of having it is for situations like this, you could also implement Meatless Monday’s, breakfast for dinner, lots of pasta nights and other low cost foods. If you already have most of the ingredients, you and your husband could have an at-home date night where you cook together to recreate items you would ordinarily order in a restaurant.

    Alternatively, I think it would be interesting to see what you could come up with as far as creating that extra $241,



    • Reply Ashley |

      That’s a good point (what if this were actually the only income we had)! If this were serious worst-case scenario and we had no extra money, it would probably have to come out of the money we planned to put toward savings. But I love your ideas about cheap meals. I LOVE breakfast for dinner and we do it so rarely! Plus pasta is a favorite, too. I need to do some meal planning now!

  • Reply Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore |

    Cut back here and there as you can and then apply some September income toward the difference at the end. You can’t be expected to adjust for HUGE income swings all at once. Just do your best and work with what you’ve got. 🙂

  • Reply AY |

    Ok not trying to go all “fan girl” here but I seriously appreciate yout style of communication on this blog. You always give feedback to comments and point out the best/most helpful in what people say, and you have a great attitude that makes it very rewarding for readers to read you and interact with you/give you feedback. Just wanted to say keep up the good work!

So, what do you think ?