Someone asked for an updated budget and I just had to laugh. And then I had to start thinking. My budget is completely out the window. I look at my forecasting spreadsheet every time I get some money and figure who must be paid, at least partially, and made the adjustments to the balances owed and guesstimated dates to pay. Thankfully, I’ve not gotten more than 30 days behind on anything…but I just keep rolling things around and partially paying and re-prioritizing and making phone calls asking for extensions.
I currently get paid from my part time job twice a month. And the amount various based on the hours I was able to pick up. It’s raged from 20 hours per week to a max of 35 per week for the last couple of months. But most weeks are right around 20 hours.
Stop the Auto Pay
Today I called my bank and turned off my auto payments for our car insurance and a few other bills. They were just stressing me out, worrying about having the money in the account on time. The relief was pretty immediate. And as long as I don’t get more than 30 days behind, it shouldn’t affect my credit or put me at risk of cancellation.
So I just keep rolling and looking for work. And frankly, I know I’m not the only one. I see people posting on LinkedIn about being so many months on unemployment and at risk for losing their homes, etc. Even though this is hard, I am okay. And can muddle through.
So here’s my question for the BAD community…should you have a budget when you don’t make enough to cover your basic monthly bills?
I have my bills forecasted out through the end of the year with due dates, estimated costs, etc. And I even have “optional” spending on it still. Although every week when I review what’s coming up, those get removed. But I’m hopeful that I won’t have to remove them through the end of the year. (For example, Gymnast’ 18th birthday is just a few weeks away…per always, I have $200 budgeted in my forecast. We typically have a family meal out and then a gift. Most likely neither will be able to happen this year. He knows that. And I’m sure when I get back on my feet, I will make up for at least the gift part.)
So…what does a budget look like when your income doesn’t even cover your MUST PAY MONTHLY bills? Or as Dave Ramsey would call them, your four walls.
Read more from Hope
Hope is a digital marketing manager and foster/adoptive single mom to five kids. She has run her own consulting company for over 15 years and took a leap of faith returning to the corporate world in 2021 to a job and team she loves! Hope began sharing her journey with the BAD community in the Spring of 2015 and feels like she has finally mastered the balance between family first and wise financial decisions.