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Hope’s Budget – Fall, 2020


Starting the fall off right…a new budget, a focused mindset and for the first time, a house for of high-schoolers and up! (Gymnast was in middle school when he left for his dad’s and now he’s back and a sophomore in high school.)

The girls are very focused on finishing their final year of high school strong. Gymnast is nervous but also excited to get reconnected here. He debated doing online only, but after we talked about, we have decided that going back to in person school will help him make some local friends.

I don’t think there are any great surprises here.

Line ItemMonthly Amount
Household Expenses
Auto - Gas$120
Auto/Renters Insurance$500
House/Yard Maintenance$25
Household Savings
Auto - Maintenance$35
Life Insurance (paid quarterly)$23
Gifts - birthdays, misc$50
Debt Payments
Car Payment$250
Student Loan$306


My auto insurance has gone up since adding Princess. And I will continue paying for it since she will be going to school and playing her sports. She is planning to keep her job, but will definitely have to cut her hours. The money she does make will cover her personal spending and then some savings towards college. I am really proud of how much she saved this summer. And better yet, she’s proud.


Since Gymnast is back home, I have begun giving him a regular allowance. That covers his spending money and hygiene expenses. He’s got his driving permit and enjoys driving. But this mama is really glad I don’t have to add him to the auto insurance until next year. I don’t even want to think about it!


Beauty has switched jobs in the last couple of weeks. But will also continue working part time like Princess through the school year. At this point, she will not be doing any extra-curricular activities so will most likely work more hours than Princess. I did buy her some back to school clothes and will get her school supplies, but otherwise, she covers most of her own expenses along with saving for a car. She is a fantastic cook and cooks regularly for the family.

History Buff

History Buff will continue to pay $250 in rent to me until he moves out. I did make a deal with him, that while he must pay me rent on the first of every month…if he moves out during the month, I will return that month’s rent to him. And he also pays me for his cell phone service. He had plans to get his own cell phone plan and then he realized just how much money he is saving by being on our “family/business” plan and quickly backed off that idea. He is now on his own car insurance plan.

I think that about sums up where we are and how I plan to spend our money for the rest of the year. I previously published my student loan plan. I just put the minimum required in my budget.


    • Reply Hope |

      Currently, he’s in VA working as a nurse at a summer camp.
      He will return in August and plans to move out and anticipates taking a full time firefighter/EMT job in a county over. He has a part time job with our local county EMT station.
      He’s waiting on confirmation that the room he plans to rent is still a go.

  • Reply JP |

    Are you putting all those extra student loan payments in your budget or just planning on doing that if extra work pans out?

    • Reply Hope |

      I just put the minimum in the budget. All the extra payments are made with “extra” income as I pick up jobs.
      I could probably budget for them, but some months I’ve paid upwards $3,000 and some I’m only hitting my $1,200 goal.

  • Reply BAS |

    How much do you make a month? Budgets are pointless with nothing to compare it to.

    • Reply Hope |

      My income varies greatly…
      And I will have to disagree with your statement. My budget is my guideline for how to spend my money. Anything beyond this is currently going to debt. Previously, my extra went to building my EF.

  • Reply Shirley |

    I’m still baffled on how you pay $500/month in car insurance. Last time you reported $350 and said you were planning to negotiate. I thought you negotiated it down to ~1500/6 months. Did you already buy the second car?

    • Reply Hope |

      Previously the twins were on the policy and paying their own portions.
      Now they both have their own policies.
      From what I can tell with 2 wrecks on my record in the last calendar year, a brand new driver and a newer call…my rate is to be expected.

  • Reply Shirley |

    Yikes. You better celebrate the day those accidents age off your record!

    All the more reason why it’s important to stick to an older car to drive Gymnast around. With a second car Princess will be listed as the primary driver on one of them. The older the car, the lower the overall increase should be.

  • Reply Deb |

    Hi Hope,

    I didn’t see anything in the budget for Gymnast’s activities that you have stated numerous times that he needs after classes. I also did not see any money put aside for dental repairs since it’s been a year and a half between visits.

    • Reply Hope |

      The after school activities and clubs at school are mostly free or minimal cost.
      For optional fees, like t-shirts, etc. he will cover out of his allowance.
      If something larger comes up, we will discuss.
      I do not think there will be any larger expenses as they are typically field trips and I don’t anticipate those will happen with COVID.

  • Reply jj |

    I think it is crazy that your kids are going back to school face to face 🙁 but I hope it is a good school year ahead for everyone.

    • Reply Cwaltz |

      Hopefully the class sizes there are smaller than where we are. Our district is doing half days. The truth is kids may need the time with an educator instead of just mom or dad and at some point it’s in everyone’s interest if people are able to establish small social groups s that mental health is addressed. From what I’ve been told the socialization part is worrisome.

      • Reply jj |

        The kids do need it, and I know moms and dads cannot fill the gap of awesome teachers. but i still think face to face with no vaccine or end to it in sight is so scary. i would be so worried for my nieces.

  • Reply Katie |

    Did you try to negotiate the auto insurance down? Ours is $122/month with two drivers and a 2018 car and a 2007 (which we probably have more coverage on than needed) in a state that has higher rates. We’re with Geico. Your rates seem outrageous.

  • Reply Shanna |

    oh man, I don’t envy you when your son gets his license! Teen boys are crazy expensive for sure! How long will the accidents stay on your insurance from last year? A thought on the car situation-if you determine you are not going to drive on a long road trip at Thanksgiving, sell the new car and buy 2 solid used 10K cars. The insurance will be lower, and you will have another vehicle for you household. When you do plan a long road trip you can just rent a car for that time frame. Also, I did not see anything for medical insurance?

So, what do you think ?