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Hope’s Weekly Budget – Week of October 1


This is my budget for next week. While most are common, monthly line items, there are some unique items this week. See an explanation below.

Summer Camp1-Oct-17-500
W2 Income6-Oct-171732
Debt Pymt6-Oct-17-100
Clothing Allow7-Oct-17-900

Groceries – This is my monthly grocery budget, not just the week. If you have been following me long, you know it is typically $600 per month. I am 1) trying to cut back some and 2) have re-allocated some of this money to more “free” spending to allow for when we are out of town at gymnastics and grab a quick bite.
Summer Camp – Summer camp for next year for both Princess and Gymnast. I am paying monthly now to 1) lock in last year’s rates and 2) not have it come up on me at the end of the year. This is a monthly payment until the total is paid off. It will cover 6 weeks of camp.
Amazon – This is my Amazon account and is a guesstimate of the balance based on the previous month’s purchases. I use Amazon home delivery for most of our toiletry needs and a variety of other expenses. Most months this is around $100, I’ll explain why it’s more in another post.
Universal – I am taking the kids to Universal over Thanksgiving. I have been saving this amount every month towards our November trip (just to cover the cost of the park tickets.)
Gymnastics – This is the monthly charge for Gymnast training, 4 days per week.
Clothing Allowance – This is a twice yearly budget item where I provide the kids with a specific amount of money for them to purchase clothes for the coming season. The monies are not necessarily split equally, I divide it based on needs and wants. The kids have spent the month of September creating lists of needs and wants for the coming cooler season. This is our version of the “wait 30 days” before spending.

I think doing this every Friday will help keep me more accountable, and give you all a better way of guiding me in my day to day spending habits.

What do you think so far?


  • Reply Shanna |

    I think it would be helpful to see an accounting of all debts/ monthly expenses individually in its own post. Just a line item of all places outgoing monies may go.

  • Reply Marzey doats |

    Hope –

    This is a very reactive budget – it just shows where money *has* been spent, and the bills you need to pay this week. I completely understand, you have been living just hoping to cover your bills for a long time! However, ideally you want a proactive budget, where you decide what you are going to spend *before* you do it. List your bills for each month. Rent, phone, food, household items, utilities, debt repayment, 1/12th of your car insurance, taxes, clothing expenses, gift expenses, kids activities, medical co-pays,travel. You need everything on there that you are going to spend money on for the *whole year*. Does your guaranteed monthly income cover this? If so, great! If not, what expenses are you cutting out or down? We know you are great at cutting your expenses to the bone, but you have to be intentional about what expenses you add back in.

    Ideally, given how much work you are doing, you will have *more* money per month than needed to cover *all* your spending. If you do, where are you directing this money? If you don’t direct it, it will disappear! I imagine you are building a strong emergency fund since you have so many dependents?

    A weekly recounting of how much you have spent doesn’t really help unless you know whether this fits your budget plan or not.

    So glad things are looking up for you and your family, really rooting for you.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thanks, Marzey! I’ve posted my monthly budget just today. I have to admit it felt a bit like getting naked in front of the internet.

      As you will see, I definitely need to do some cutting back. And after I post my debt post, I will tackle that next. I really appreciate your thoughtful guidance!

  • Reply Megan |

    I agree with the previous poster. This seems reactive. Not so much a budget as a list of spending already done. Planning ahead in detail could be very helpful.

  • Reply JayP |

    First, great job putting together a budget and getting that started. I am a little curious because it looks like your spend is more than your W2? Is there other money coming in? The second thing that I would ask is why so much spend on summer camps. If this is truly your income, quite honestly you can’t afford 3 weeks of camp plus the monthly gymnastics. I love camp for the kids and mine go. But I only send them for one week, and my finances are pretty secure. Maybe they get a government allowance or something? If so then that makes sense to spend it there possibly. But if my net worth were negative or close to it, honestly I wouldn’t. Good job on having the kids make a clothing list and pre-determining their spend there.

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi JayP,
      Yes, I have a full time W-2 job along with a 25 hour a week 1099 job, and then multiple other small contract jobs, some regular, some not so much. I am continuing to try to build my contract work back up.

      Until two years ago (October), I have worked as a contractor for 10 years. I’ve spent the last two years getting back on my feet, and started my W-2 job back in March. It’s a new and different experience.

      As for the summer camps, here are my thoughts:
      1. My kids have really gone through the wringer the last couple of years. I think more of a psychological trauma rather than physical since we never had to sleep in the street or in my car, and they never went without food.
      2. For the first time in their lives, I am working outside of the house and since we moved, and they are homeschooled, they are really isolated and spend alot of time at home.
      3. They attended camp here this summer (about an hour from us) and LOVED it. They are now 12 and 13, when they attend the camps I am paying for now, they will be 13 and 14. They won’t stop growing up.
      4. I believe this next summer will be the last “fun” summer for my littles. The year after, they will start working or training more for Gymnast. I don’t want their teenage memories to be of the trauma, I want there to be some fun.
      I think this captures my reasoning for the over top summer camp plans for just this one summer. At least that is how it plays out in my head.
      Does that explain, can you see? Or am I just making excuses.

  • Reply Catherine Lyle |

    Wow, not sure it is manageable to spend only $400 in food especially since you have active teens, even with the extra free money. We cook from scratch and I baby sit for food from my freinds farm and we still pay $600 for a family of 4. I dunno, I’d cut the camp budget back to supplement food…

    • Reply Hope |

      I am working on a food post. It’s definitely a theme that I have seen carry through most mom and financial blogs.
      But one thing that has greatly contributed to my lower budget is that 1) we have a deep freezer FULL of meat so I rarely buy meat other than bacon these days and 2) We are VERY big on one pot meals which leads to a lot less wasted food, and even provides great left overs for me to take for lunches.
      In addition, most of my kids eat mostly raw during the day, with cooked meals once a day. So bags of oranges, apples and berries keep them going. Shopping Aldis has been GREAT to help with the budget.

So, what do you think ?