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Live on less than 1/2 your income


This is part I of my plan to be debt free by June, 2023 – Begin by living on on less than half of my income excluding debt payments. By summer, I’d like to cut that down to 1/3 or maybe even a 1/4 of my income.

Here’s how I came up with this budget:

  1. I took the spending reports from 2021 and created monthly averages for everything I spend.
  2. Looked at my plans and goals for 2022 and created a budget around every thing and then divided that by 12 and put it in the appropriate budget item.

Hope’s Winter/Spring Budget for 2022

Spending CategoryMonthly Amount
Auto - Gas/Main
Auto Insurance
Utilities - Water, Gas, Electric, Trash
Life Insurance (Qtr)
Groceries/Spending Money
Princess - Allowance
Amazon Prime (Yr)
Giving (Bi-monthly)
Buffer (Random)
Clothing (Bi-annual)
Pest Control (Qtr)
Monthly Total$3892

The details

I think many of these categories are self explanatory but these are some details you may want to know or have questions about.

  • Storage – plan to keep this until May, 2022 as we complete the house repairs, determine girls plans for fall and organize existing storage at house. This has been slowed down due to my health challenges.
  • Life Insurance – I am actually carrying 3 life insurance policies right now. This one I started when I had Princess and Gymnast. I did decide not to convert it, so it is only good for two more years. The others are carried through my job and come out before I see any income.
  • Princess – Allowance – this will end in May, 2022. And she has been advised that in coming years she will need to be prepared to handle her college expenses. She will get through this freshman year with no debt. She does plan to get a job on campus this semester and of course, during the summer. Her old job gave her some hours during this Christmas break but no where close to full time.
  • Gym – I’m not sure I’m going to continue this, but leaving it for now.
  • Gifts – this is essentially birthday money. It includes both gifts and family dinner out for each family members’ birthday.
  • Savings – I continue to save $300 in my local savings account. Just want to keep up the habit.
  • Dog – My puppy will be getting spade and such this first quarter of the year so this item will go down after I see what that will run. (She is such a joy to me, my constant companion and snuggler.)
  • Buffer – I originally called this kids, but decided buffer was more appropriate now. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected, normally when it comes to the kids, but that’s becoming less and less these days as they are all becoming more and more independent. (Gymnast is working part time these days.) So this just gives me a little wiggle room each month for the just in cases.
  • Travel – this is a big one. And covers a couple of different things…as you know, we are going to Texas more frequently as my parent’s health continues to decline. My fiance and I are traveling monthly to see each other. Hopper has made this so affordable with planning, but it’s still more than I’ve spent in past years especially on just me. And the biggest one, is that for Christmas next year, I am planning to take all the kids to New York for New Years. That will be our Christmas present (notice there is no other Christmas line item.)

When my debt is gone, this is what my budget will look like. That is why I am keeping it separate from my debt budget/payoff plan. But don’t worry, that’s coming next along with updated numbers. Ugh!

Closing out 2021


Hello BAD Community and Welcome to 2022!!

As much as I had hoped to start this year with a bang of debt payoff, I’ve still got some lingering and unexpected “leftovers” from the 2021. But my goal that I set this past fall has not changed…I want to be completely debt free by the time Gymnast graduates from high school in June, 2023.

I know it’s a stretch goal. But it is my focus.

How we ended 2021

The last several months have been so crazy. So many highs and some pretty significant lows. Here’s a brief summary…

All the kids and their loves (missing Princess boyfriend) on the twins’ birthday.

We had several visits from the twins’ girlfriends including our Thanksgiving trip to Texas. It was a lot of fun and I finally got a new old timey photo.

My long time boyfriend relocated from Florida to Pennsylvania and we’ve travelled back and forth several times. He actually spent Christmas here in Georgia AND…

We got engaged in early December

He asked me to marry him in early December! It will be a LONG engagement, but I couldn’t be more happy. (We still keep our finances completely separate and they will remain that way for the foreseeable future.)

The same weekend that I was in Philadelphia getting engaged, Gymnast was in a terrible car wreck that he absolutely should not have survived…but miraculously, he walked away virtually unscathed. It truly is a miracle that he is still here.

Every single airbag in the car deployed as the car spun out, flipped multiple times and crossed from one side of a four lane divided highway, across the median and then all the way to the embankment on the other side of the road across oncoming traffic.

The contractor got a fair bit complete on the hall bath. The only remaining large project on my home improvement list. I owe $400 more to complete it along with the purchase of a few small items like a mirror and some plumbing accoutrements.

We have appreciated having a second toilet to use while everyone has been around for Christmas.

And finally, I’ve experienced some medical issues that have required testing and may require surgery in the coming months.

So it’s been a roller coaster of an end of the year. But I am sure grateful for my full time corporate job that pays me well, health insurance with what’s going on with me right now (even if it is a high deductible plan) and that all of my kiddos are healthy and happy as we kick off this new year.

Stay tuned for the plan, a real budget and my debt numbers as they stand now. It’s good to be back writing, but I really needed the break after this past several months.