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Budget Plan for Glamping


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)

Cell Phone$230
Car Gas$200
Debt Payments
Life Insurance$23
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?


  • Reply Susan |

    Health insurance? I don’t recall from previous posts what you do for that.

    • Reply Hope |

      Currently, we are all on Medicaid, since my job loss. The twins always have insurance since they are a special needs adoption from the US foster care system and it’s a standard benefit provided by the state. The little ones and I only applied after my job loss. At this point, I will stay on it until I reach the financial threshold which is right around $32,000 annually. A little pressure off for the time being.

  • Reply Kili |

    Hi Hope,
    kudos to you for keeping (mostly) calm throughout those recent difficult months.
    I think you’re doing a good job not to let things spiral out of control.
    It would be so easy to accumulte plenty of further debt at the moment by just simply giving up – so good for you that you’re trying you’re best to stay on top of things.
    You’re fortunate to have supporting people in your life.
    Good luck with getting the business back on track and the glamping adventure.

    I’ll surely stick around reading your inspirational posts 🙂

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you for the supportive words. You are right about the calm (mostly) even this morning I just broke out in random tears as the tasks ahead seemed so overwhelming.
      These months have definitely been a trial…but as the song or quote says “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” and I see no other choice then to keep moving.
      I appreciate your vote of confidence!

  • Reply Catherine |

    I recommend ThredUp for clothes – it’s online consignment and they only take good brands in good shape. I’ve made some extra money selling clothes there, and for the little ones it’s a lifesaver – you can get tops and pants for around $10 and often they add an extra discount.

      • Reply Alexandra |

        I just saw a rave review of Thred Up on the Bower Power blog (http://www.bowerpowerblog.com/2016/02/saving-tons-with-thredup/). There’s a discount code at the bottom of the post that may or may not still be available (first 100 users).

        Also, I second the kudos to you for trucking along during such a tough time. It is inspiring to see you being not-so-conventional in making things work, especially with the upcoming glamping adventure. Keep on keepin’ on, Hope! You’ll get there!

  • Reply DIY$ |

    Great update — although this site is generally dedicated to paying off debt, the fact that you’ve come across other bumps in life that push debt payoff to the side temporarily illustrates some of the true challenges people face when trying to pay off debt and make good financial decisions.

  • Reply Constance |

    Just a thought, but since you’re going to be living on a farm, have you considered doing a veggie garden? And perhaps doing a couple of meatless days per week? When I was on a very strict budget, these two things really helped out. I know you’re ready to expand your food choices, but $800/month seems very high. Of course, I’m in California and maybe our food is cheaper. Also living further out, you may have opportunities to buy from roadside stands, etc. where the quality is often much fresher and costs lower.

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi Constance,
      Normally I would JUMP on a chance to garden but with building a business and the kids, I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew. But I am definitely keen to have some meatless days, especially during hot summer days. We will definitely be visiting farmer’s markets and roadside stands. The budget change is more of a psychological thing for me I think. It has been a really tight year, first by choice as I wanted to get consumer debt free by last year this time and then by force due to job loss. I just really need to give myself some breathing room right now.
      My eye is still on the prize of being debt free but also in saving to get back into a apartment/home of some sort, so I will continue to be careful. Just want to feel like I can breathe a bit. Thank you for your feedback!

  • Reply JayP |

    Great work. I would try to focus on a longer range budget too so that you know how much income you will need to make from your work. Fall will come very soon, and you will need to have first/last months rent, deposit etc – plus have an idea of what your monthly expenses will be like when housing/utiliites are included. That way you can see if the business you are starting is on track or not. Don’t forget to budget for misc and non-routine things like car repair/oil change, etc.

So, what do you think ?