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Hope’s Monthly Budget – Fall and Winter, 2017


This is my current monthly budget. A debt update is coming up next. I think most of this is self-explanatory, but I’ve added a few notes below.


Personal Expenses Business Expenses Summary
Allowance 400 Adobe 30 Total Personal 3634
Auto – Gas/Main 250 Cell Phones 286 Total Business 509
Auto/Rent Ins 315 Dropbox (annual – Oct) 8 Total Debt Payment 1920
Clothing (bi-annual) 150 Internet 77 Total Monthly Costs 6063
Electric 150 Microsoft (annual – Jan) 8
Groceries/Eating Out 600 Misc 100 Income
Gymnastics 350 Total Business 509 1099 3200
Health Ins 305 W-2 3462
Life Ins (annual – Dec) 21 Debt Payments
Rent 650 Car Payment 400 Total Income 6662
Spending 200 CC 100
Water/Gas/Trash 75 Computer Equipment 85 Savings Goals
Spanish 160 Other 500 Emergency Savings Goal 700
Amazon Prime (annual) 8 Self Lender (Christmas) 97 Couch
Student Loan 307
Summer Camp/Activities 375
Universal 56 Total Savings Goals 700
Total Personal 3634 Total Debt Payment 1920 Total Extra Income -101.0


Monthly Expenses – These are our day to day living expenses. Many have some flex money built in, specifically gymnastics which typically runs $240 per month. I added the extra money to cover the competition costs that must be paid during competition season (Nov-Apr.) I don’t know how much they will be with our new gym, last year I paid $600 in meet fees. Spanish is new. I’ve hired a online tutor to work Princess and Gymnast 1 hour a week, this was our first week.

Business Expenses – I’ve added my regular business expenses including our cell phones, internet and so on because I thought my budget would look funny with out these important expenses. (These are associated with my contract work.)

Debt Payments – I have another post on this category coming this week. I am grateful that a lot of this debt is chosen – summer camps and activities, Universal and a Self Lender loan (a chosen debt in an attempt to help repair my credit) versus stupid decisions or debt hoisted upon me by other’s decisions.

Income – I continue to work three jobs regularly, and have recently picked up a couple of new smaller contracts so we will see how they work out. The kids are starting to ask when I will cut down on my work hours. But I am not there yet.

Savings Goals – My emergency savings is still my #1 goal. But I am starting to think of other “things” I would like, specifically a couch. I’ve put it on the budget as a holding place, but I am not actively pursuing it at this time. In my head, I’m thinking next summer for a couch.


I am in the negative as far as this budget goes. Reality is that I spend quite a bit less than this on a regular basis, but there are certainly months where it is more. I feel like this is a true representation of where my money goes on a monthly basis.

My FSA, vision and dental insurance and 401K deductions all come out of W-2 income. I have consulted with an accountant and for this year, I am in a good place tax wise due to the Adoption Tax Credit. I will have to adjust my tax rate for next year.


    • Reply Hope |

      Me too. Seeing what others are doing helps let me know that one I am not alone and also that we all have different priorities.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thanks, Shanna. I am so determined to make good financial choices while balancing raising my kids. I am also determined to get into a GREAT place financially. And if baring everything is what it takes.

  • Reply Katie |

    Thanks for sharing! It’s interesting to see where it all goes, and how things vary by family/region. I’m always surprised at the difference in electric for different parts of the country. For our 4 bedroom/2 bath house, our electric bill is closer to $100/month.

    • Reply Hope |

      We live in an older home with little to no updates, some of the windows are cracked, which I am sure contributes to our higher bill.
      I imagine it will drop significantly once the weather cools off though. It’s been in the 90s every day for what seems like an eternity. I was sure grateful to wake up to chilly weather this morning!

  • Reply Walnut |

    I think it’s great that you are really close to covering all your day to day expenses with your day job and your contract work covers debt and savings. I would think it’s motivating to pay off debt so more of your contract work stays in your pocket as you build an emergency fund large enough to weather any storm.

  • Reply Momintx |

    Your gym line items is shocking to me — bc my competitive (girl) gymnast runs $385/ month plus competition fees — And $600 in fees would be a dream! I think I spend an additional $200/month for my pre-competitive son and 1 child doing recreational gymnastics, as well. Good luck to Gymnast as his competition season ramps up!

    • Reply Hope |

      I have heard that time and time again from other gym moms. We have been really blessed with the cost of our gyms.
      While I have received the meet fees for this season, we evidently don’t get the coaches fees until two weeks out. That makes me a bit nervous.

  • Reply Kate |

    I’m looking at this again now that I have seen your debt. Am I right in thinking you are aiming to save $700 a month? That’s totally commendable but – once you have some emergency fund set up – I might thinking about saving like $100-200/ month and putting the extra $500 towards something like those computers at 23%. You could knock them out in 4-5 months if you did and save a ton of interest.

    • Reply Hope |

      That has been brought up several times. And definitely something I should think about.
      I’ve had a $10,000 in savings idea in my head. But I know I am gun shy because of the job loss.
      Having less monthly debut obligations would feel really good.

  • Reply cwaltz |

    You say the budget leaves you in the negative however, if your income is 6662 and your expenses are 6063 you technically aren’t in the negative. You may not be able to save and pay down debt as aggressively as you like but you have net positive balance. With kids and a memory of job loss I can understand your desire to save. However, if it were me I’d split the almost $600 between savings and debt repayment.

So, what do you think ?