:::: MENU ::::

Browsing posts in: Life Experiences

Ashley’s Long Overdue Budget


This post has been a long time coming. I mean, a LOOOOOOOOONG time coming. Am I right?

The problem is, it’s hard to write a budget when all the categories are moving targets. It’s hard to project ahead when things feel shaky and there’s no solid ground from which to start.

I hope this is a step forward in the right direction. This is hard for me to write. But hubs and I are separating. I’ve already signed a 12-month lease at a new place and am getting the keys on 9/1.  While I don’t feel comfortable talking about specifics of what has lead to this huge decision, I want to cover some of the basics as they pertain to my financial picture.

Right now we are seeking a legal separation. I don’t know if or when a divorce might occur down the line, but we’ll cross that bridge if/when we get there.

We want to fix a couple minor things in the house and then sell it. I’ve had many family and friends already try to convince me/us to keep the house but that’s really not an option either of us want to pursue. I’m moving out over Labor Day weekend. My long-term plan is to rent for 12-months to get my feet underneath myself and figure out some “life stuff.” Once the dust settles at the end of my rental lease, I plan to buy again.

Hubs will remain in the marital residence while doing some needed updates. The upstairs needs new carpet (it’s all literally the original 30-year-old carpet and it’s disgusting). And all of the cabinets (kitchen, kids’ bathroom, and master bathroom) need to be painted with some minor repair-work needing to be done. Our goal is for updates to be made during the month of September and for the house to be on the market by October 1st. We put a large down payment down for the house and had been paying toward the mortgage aggressively. Additionally, property values have risen steadily  in our area in the short time we’ve lived here, so we should stand to get a good chunk of money out of the house. We have not hired a realtor yet, so we don’t know exact $’s.

From the proceeds of the house, we will pay off a large amount of our joint debt. All of these numbers are up-in-the-air, as we don’t know what to expect from the sale yet and how much we’ll lose to commissions, etc.

Ashley’s New Monthly Budget


For the time being, I’ll be in a small rental house. Hubs will pay the housing costs for our owned home (mortgage, utilities, etc.) and I will pay the housing costs for the rental home. Currently, our cell phone bill is still together. Eventually that will be separated so we will each have our own account. Hubs and I will be sharing joint-custody of the kids. I will pay for the After-school care. I built in a “housing buffer” because the first couple months in my new place may likely include me also paying some bills at the old place (e.g., cable – I’m not planning to have cable at my new place, but will still have a bill from the old house.). This won’t last forever, but I’m trying to be conservative initially.

Housing Buffer150



Separated, but not divorced, hubs will stay on our family insurance plan, which I will continue to pay.  I’ll also pay hubs’ monthly braces installment. I’ll pay for the girls’ medical care for the time being. Hubs will pay for his own co-pays and prescriptions.

Co-pays & Rx’s60


I’ll keep my vehicle, hubs will keep his.

Auto gas150
Car repair/maintenance75


I don’t know what exactly to expect here. I anticipate the food budget going down dramatically, but I wanted to keep the estimate conservative. I’ve also wanted to include some money specifically for taking the girls out and for me to have money to have happy hour or brunch with friends. Having the social support now, more than ever, is incredibly important to me. Keep in mind, I have no family in the area, so my friends are the only form of direct support available in the area.

Restaurants with kids100
Out with friends150


For the time being, I’m expecting to pay for the majority of the girls’ direct needs, including clothing and kids activities (they’re currently in swim lessons, though that ends at the end of September). I’m building in some savings again – a semi-annual fee category (for car insurance, life insurance, etc.) and an emergency fund.

Kid activities150
gift giving60
Exercise (yoga, races)60
Semi-Annual Fees150


All combined, this comes to $4121. My monthly income is about $5,222 (after taxes, retirement, payroll deductions, and insurances are removed). That leaves $1101 for debt payments.

Our debts are all over the place. Again – we’re planning to pay off a lot with the sale of the house. In the meantime, I’m likely going to have to put the costs of a few things on my Home Depot credit card to get situated in the new place (e.g., I’ll need a washer and dryer, and I’m planning to pay for the home improvements to get the house ready for market on this credit line). Really, our debts are kind of a mess. I will reveal them all, in good time. But again, it’s tough to come up with a concrete plan when you have a moving target. I feel like step 1 is to get situated in my new place. It will be much easier to project ahead once the move is pulled off. I do have a budget for the move and moving-related expenses, too. I’ll share that (and my plan to pay for it) soon!

Thank you for your support over the past 4+ years! Many of BAD’s readers have been around through all life’s up’s and down’s. It feels, at times, like an extended family. I appreciate your input and advice on my planned monthly budget. Is anything missing? Anything I’m not thinking of right now that needs to be added?



Disparity between Girls and Boys Sports


I spent the morning at a fundraising tournament for Princess’ high school volleyball team. The funds raised from this and two other fundraisers they have planned are to help offset the $300 price tag for the parents. Which in and of itself is great!

Is it Really a Fundraiser?

However, my concern with this type of fundraiser is that the bulk of the financial investment still lies with the parents. For instance, each player had to pay $5 to play. They also had to either supply cases of drinks or baked goods to sell at concessions.

From what I can tell, there are 10 teams here at $30 per team, that’s just $300 they’ve brought in. I don’t know how much a bake sale at this type of event is going to make, but I cannot imagine it will be substantial.

While there is no cost for labor. The coaches are the referees and vollyeball players are working as line judges, covering the door (it is $5 to get in for spectators,) and selling baked goods. I just can’t see how this type of event is going to pull in any significant amount of money to help us parents out.

In fact, after the prizes they are giving to the top 2 or 3 teams, well, I just don’t see this being successful as a fundraiser.

Or is it Just Fun?

Granted it was a lot of fun; they are obviously enjoying playing with teams of their own creation. There are teams comprised of football players only, family teams from the parents down to the young siblings and parents playing with their children and friends.

Princess volleyball team

Ready for play – Princess and her teammates ready at the fundraising tournament.

Perhaps if it had been better advertised. I think there was just two messages sent out…one with the volleyball players themselves via a flyer and the second a social media post just a couple of days ago. It’s too bad the support for girls sports is underwhelming compared to the local football team which you cannot get away from.

Disparity between Boys and Girls Sports

Even the girls notice. I had a group of four volleyball players in my car yesterday, and they were lamenting the disparity in funds and support for their team versus the boys sports. Not only did they bring up the cost, but also the lack of new uniforms and new equipment. But worse then that, at least in my eyes, was the lack of recognition for their efforts.

Evidently, during announcements, the sports highlights are read and little to nothing is said about the girls sports unless there is a “star” player who did something amazing. I don’t know. This is really our first time with public school sports.

Princess is loving it, but it saddens me that even the girls recognize the difference in financial and community support.

Is this the same in your community? Has anything been done to address it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Related Articles