:::: MENU ::::

Going Hardcore – New Temporary Budget


It’s time to put the pedal to the metal!  As you know, I am on a mission to pay off all debt by the mid year mark of July 1st.  I have lots of motivation for this, the primary one is getting out of this apartment and back into a home!  So as we are winding down the school year and looking forward to the summer, I have been doing some number crunching.

Essentially I sat down and looked at my typical, required monthly bills and balanced those with my typical income.  And in this fantasy land where I never spent more than budgeted (in the required line items) and didn’t have any debt payments…in 6 months, I would have about $15,000 saved towards whatever comes next.  $15,000…I’ve never had that much money at one time.

So with those number running around in my head and encouraging my motivation, we have decided as a family to go hardcore on our budget…temporarily.  I know we can’t sustain this forever, but I think we can through this summer and into the beginning of the school year.  So without further ado…our new monthly budget:

DescriptionMonthly Goal
Rent + Water + Storage$1,344
Life Insurance$25
Car Expenses$100
Car & Renter's Insurance$100
Monthly Total$2,899
To compare, here is my current budget. So the bottom line is about a $1000 difference each month towards debt. I am stoked at what this addition money toward debt for the next months will do to the long run!

New budget takes affect…April 1.

How It’s Going to Work
I kind of hinted to this move in my last post about going cash…so here’s how this is going to work. On the first of every month, I will take $1000 out of my bank account. That will be all the money we have to use that month…groceries, gas, fun, necessities. When it’s gone, it’s gone. And we as a family will be well aware of that as there will be nothing left in the envelope.

What I’m Counting On
So there are a couple of things I’m counting on to make this work:

  1. We will make use of the pool here at our apartment complex, the neighboring playground and board games for entertainment.  (Although the kids may choose to use some of our monthly money to keep Netflix.)
  2. The summer bills ie electric don’t vary much from the winter here in the apartment.
  3. All of us can learn to compromise on our needs and wants with our spending money.

Really looking forward to seeing how this plays out!


  • Reply Kili |

    Just an idea: Maybe instead of getting the whole 1000 at the beginning of the month, split it up in smaller amounts (3 times a month maybe?) to have more control over it?

    • Reply Hope |

      I thought of that…but I think we are going to start this way even if it is just to teach the kids how quickly that money will go. And may revisit this suggestion after a month or two of being broke the last week or two.

  • Reply Walnut |

    Can you get the kids excited about no spend days? It definitely helps eliminate little expenses and encourages planning ahead.

    • Reply Walnut |

      My other thought because you’re going “hardcore” this month would be to look really hard at that cell phone bill. Is there any service that can be suspended for a few months to save some cash? Do you need service for the iPad or can you get by on just using wi fi hotspots?

      • Reply Hope |

        Believe me, I have thought about that…definitely something to put on my to do list this month to clear as much monthly overhead for the time being, thanks for the suggestion!

    • Reply Hope |

      We have had some NO SPEND weeks this winter with being stuck in the house and they were FABULOUS! I definitely think we will be able to get excited about those. And there is going to be some motivation for that, as I will write about soon.

  • Reply Mary |

    A few comments/questions….please break out your rent, water and storage. In your original budget they totaled $1364 and you list it here at $1344. Can you clarify when you say 1000 dollars a month for groceries and fun etc., what does that include? In your former budget you had $600 dollars for groceries and $ 300 dollars for misc expenses which totals $900 dollars so where is the other $100 coming from? Also in the old budget there was $700 dollars for kids and I didn’t see that in the current budget.
    Has this been reduced to $100 to make your $1000 and is the rest going towards debt payoff now? In the new budget, I didn’t see the debt payoff amount listed. Thanks.

    • Reply Hope |

      I clumped them all together as they all go to the same place and come in on the same bill. The break down is this…$1284 is my rent and storage ($70 per month for the onsite storage units) and then the remaining $60 for water. I’ve taken a average of the last 6 months to get that number. Granted I haven’t lived here over a spring and summer, but hoping it won’t fluctuate much.
      The kids budget has been eliminated in its entirety for the time being…this is a temporary budget. (Typically what is not used in a month is saved towards the bi-annual tuition for our homeschool co op. I am planning to teach next year enough to eliminate that tuition completely, so am not as worried about saving it this summer.) While little Gymnast does train over the summer, I have bartered for that monthly expense, and competition season is over so no regular expenses again until the Fall. Any other activities will have to come out of our $300 month MISC fund.

  • Reply Cathy D |

    Hope, this is such a great goal and I want to encourage you 100% because you can do this! One suggestion which you may already thought of would be to divide the money into the envelope system. If you have an envelope for Groceries week #1, Groceries week #2, Gas week #1, etc. you may feel like you have more control. Cash can slip through your hands quicker than water! Best of luck with your new plan!

    • Reply Hope |

      That’s an idea I hadn’t thought of. I think for the first month we are just going to go the democratic method…vote for every dollar spent/allocated. I think this experience will teach the kids several things: 1) how quickly money can disappear if you are not watching, 2) to plan ahead for upcoming events, 3) to compromise and hopefully 4) to be grateful for all we do have.

  • Reply Theresa |

    I second the envelope system. I mean you aren’t really going to literally let the kids starve if they make poor choices in the beginning of the month. are you? Are we going to get a debt update soon?

  • Reply Theresa |

    I forgot to say I am excite for you to have a consumer debt free goal of July! That is super!

  • Reply Stephanie |

    Definitely check out Ting or Republic wireless for phone service. Even if the kids have phones your bill should drop.

  • Reply joe |

    Why on earth would you pay so much for your phone? Use ting or republic wireless or prepaid. You are literally wasting thousands recurring charges add up fast.

So, what do you think ?