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Halfway Thru No Spend October


No spend month has been uneventful money wise. But otherwise, quite hard. We are going through a number of adjustments on the personal level. And there are no easy days right now.

History Buff

History Buff has found a full time job. It’s hard manual labor and good on many levels. But it is also very hard for him to be up and out the door every morning having never done this. I’ve been supporting him by getting up with him at 4 or 5am and helping get him out the door.

He’s also had to borrow some money to get through these weeks with no income. He had to buy jeans (he ripped his) and keep gas in his car to get back and forth. (He will pay me back with his first check this week.)


Gymnast is struggling with being homeschooled again. (We both are, but I don’t know of any alternatives right now.) While this is mostly emotional and behavioral adjustments, it is taking a toll on the household. If you are a praying person, please pray both he and I can give each other grace and patience.

Sea Cadet

Sea Cadet is staying busy with his part time work and full time schooling. But he and History Buff are struggling with the changes and having to share a space after almost two years of having their independence from one another.


Princess is not happy with my decision to have her dual enrolled in the spring. She is loving the high school experience, and is sad that she won’t be on the high school campus full time. I did read everyone’s comments on dual enrollment piece, and we are only pursuing the core courses at the collegiate level.

Currently she will take English and US History, both required for high school graduation and guaranteed to transfer to Georgia schools. She is also registered for a welding class because she is LOVING welding and the courses at the high school are very hard to get into. (She has completed two welding classes at the high school and must complete three to graduate.)

Our cup really does run over with with emotional and physical transitions right now. Thankfully, the money pressure is off. And I start every day counting my blessings!

And one of my favorite blessings this time of year is the cooler weather and the chance to wear my favorite fuzzy socks…what are your fall favorites?

fuzzy socks

Reading Books

On the bright side…I’ve been reading a lot with our slower daily schedule and more downtime then I remember ever having! But I haven’t finished a single book. I just keep jumping around. Do you do that?

Currently, I’m reading:

I’ve also been creating a list on Amazon of other books to read as I get the time. If interested, you can see my list here.

I would love any recommendations you might have.


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.

Rent 1250
Housing Buffer 150
Water 150
Electricity 300
Tmobile 115
Garbage 30
Childcare 250



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’s 60
Braces 116


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

Auto gas 150
Parking 10
Car repair/maintenance 75


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.

Groceries 400
Restaurants with kids 100
Out with friends 150


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.

Clothing 75
Kid activities 150
gift giving 60
Houshold 70
Entertainment 50
Exercise (yoga, races) 60
Semi-Annual Fees 150
EF 200


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?