As I mentioned in my debt update post yesterday, I am working on a new budget for the beginning of 2019. This is my first pass at it.
Hope's Monthly Budget - Rev 12/2018
|Household (hygiene, cleaning, etc.)||$25|
|Auto - Gas||$120|
|Health Insurance||medicaid ($305)|
|Utilities (gas, electric, water, trash)||$290|
|Life Insurance||$23 (paid quarterly)|
|Misc - Entertainment/Clothing||$150|
|Auto - Maintenance/Fees||$80|
|Debt Payments - minimum payments|
|Student Loans||ibr ($300)|
For the first time, I have removed all business related line items. With my new structure and organization, my business related costs are 100% covered by my business income/account. It feels so good to be a stable place again.
With that being said, there are a few new things here that are worth pointing out:
- Auto Costs – While my car is older, it is still pretty reliable. I decided to break out the monthly fuel cost from the maintenance costs. The maintenance/fee costs are not used every month and are growing a buffer for the time when I do need to put some money into the car.
- Savings – This fall I did not save at all. I established a $1000 EF with my Self Lender account this summer and just left it, focusing instead on debt payments and getting back on solid ground. I have set a goal to save an additional $1000 in that fund this year. That is the $84 per month. I know a $2,000 EF is not much, but I’m taking baby steps I feel good about.
- Buffer – I put several line items under the “Buffer” headline. These are items that are not spent every month or all the time, but I want to start creating a savings towards them on a regular basis. While we really have no activity costs right now, there are times when Princess needs money for school activities, etc. that don’t give me much notice. (This past week they went on a field trip to Medieval Times that cost $40.)
- Debt – Unlike my last budget, I included my debt outlays in this budget. And I anticipate these number will change before this budget will take affect in January, but this is my jumping off point and where I am today.
Where can I trim?
I’m anxious to get our monthly spending below the $2,000 threshold. That just seems like a good number in my increasingly frugal mind. But I feel like we are living pretty close to the minimum with our spending as is. Do you see anywhere we might could cut out?
My eye immediately goes to groceries but with two grown, working, college attending men and a growing teenage daughter, I just don’t see that as going down while they are all still at home. But I’m been scouring recipe books and sites to come up with some ideas. Meal planning and prepping definitely helps me keep it under control.
We restocked the pantry when we returned from Texas with canned items and bulk items from Sams Club. I am waiting on a meat sale at our local Quality Food grocery store to stock the freezer. Perhaps a quarterly “eat through the pantry” month would be a good way to help with these. We took it down to almost nothing with our No Spend October and part of November.