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A Complete Budget Overhaul


I’ve taken your recent notes to heart and did a complete overhaul of my budget.  I included line items for travel, clothing and gifts. But I did combine my grocery and entertainment line items as I feel that most of our entertainment revolves around meals and this just makes sense for how to manage it.

Hope's Summer 2019 Monthly Budget

DescriptionMonthly Budget
Total Personal$3,304
Household (hygiene, cleaning, etc.)$10
Auto - Gas$120
Auto/Rent Insurance$250
Utilities (gas, electric, water, trash)$300
Life Insurance$23 (paid quarterly)
Kids Activities$83
Auto - Maintenance/Fees$30
Debt Payments - minimum payments
Car Payment$400
Credit Card$62
Student Loans$100
Sea Cadet & History Buff's Contribution($307)


Travel – this line item takes into consideration 3 annual trips to my parents in Texas for the time being and a couple of round trip flights per year for Gymnast to visit. It seems really high, but I believe it is realistic.

Clothing – this is high considering I am only really purchasing clothes for Princess and myself on a regular basis now. But I am going to need quite a few new clothes soon based on my weight loss. I’m holding out for now, but am preparing for it.

Gifts – I feel like $1000 annually is plenty to cover birthdays, Christmas and Easter. Those are really the only times I purchase gifts. There is a little bit of a buffer in there since I must ship things to Gymnast.

Groceries/Entertainment – since most of our entertainment involves eating it seems, I decided to combine these line items. I think this will go down quite a bit this summer and then this fall with the twins staying busier and then Sea Cadet leaving. It’s absolutely crazy to me that last August I had 4 kids at home and in just a few short months, I will be down to 2. Before I know it, it’s going to be just Princess and I.

Did I miss anything? Any thoughts or questions on this budget?

Thinking About the Future

At this point, History Buff is hoping to transfer to a 4 year school next January. He is hoping to pursue a degree in Construction Management. That is definitely subject to change, but right now that’s what he is thinking.

Gymnast is planning to complete his first year of high school in Illinois.

And Princess will be getting her Driver’s Permit this May and then driving in a year. Yikes!

I will possibly be down to one child in less a year. Boy, how my budget will be different then.

Shopping for the Best Rates Online


Managing your money is a priority when you want a nest egg for the future. You know you need to grow the money you save and invest now if you want to have any kind of financial security later.

However, growing your money can be a challenge when you do not know what the interest and yield rates are at your local and online financial institutions. You can shop for the best rates available for checking, retirement, and savings accounts by visiting the website today.

Minimum Balance to Open

Before you can make your money work for you, you first have to open some sort of account at a bank. Even a checking account has the ability to grow money once the interest in compounded on your balance. Having your money in a bank is more lucrative than keeping it in a security box at home.

However, many financial institutions require you to deposit a certain amount of money first before you can start using the available services. This minimum balance can range from $25 and higher depending on the bank. In rare instances, banks may not require any initial deposit to open the account

You can find out for sure how much money you need to pay in order to get the bank account open. Once you know this amount, you can either save it from your paycheck or transfer it from another account you have open. Once the account is open, you can then sign up for direct deposit if you prefer.

Yield Rates

Another piece of information you might want to learn about involves the yield rates on the accounts available to you. You want to know how much interest your money can earn and how often that interest will be compounded on the principle.

Some banks require retirement investors to keep their money in their accounts for 18 months to two years before the interest will be compounded on the initial deposit. Once that time limit has passed, the interest will be paid to the investor in his or her account. The investor then has the option of reinvesting or withdrawing the money without penalty.

You also may want to learn about penalties in case you do have to withdraw the money. You might have a financial emergency like a medical bill or car repair you need to pay for at some point. The only option you might have is to withdraw the money from your investments.

Some banks penalize investors at a rate of 40 percent for withdrawing money from their accounts before the yield term expires. Others do not impose any penalties depending on how much you have invested. You can learn this information for sure by visiting the website.

By knowing the interest and yield rates for available accounts, you can determine where to invest your money. Once your money is invested, it can start growing for you. You can use it as a financial safety net.