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Hope’s Budget – Fall, 2020


Starting the fall off right…a new budget, a focused mindset and for the first time, a house for of high-schoolers and up! (Gymnast was in middle school when he left for his dad’s and now he’s back and a sophomore in high school.)

The girls are very focused on finishing their final year of high school strong. Gymnast is nervous but also excited to get reconnected here. He debated doing online only, but after we talked about, we have decided that going back to in person school will help him make some local friends.

I don’t think there are any great surprises here.

Line ItemMonthly Amount
Household Expenses
Auto - Gas$120
Auto/Renters Insurance$500
House/Yard Maintenance$25
Household Savings
Auto - Maintenance$35
Life Insurance (paid quarterly)$23
Gifts - birthdays, misc$50
Debt Payments
Car Payment$250
Student Loan$306


My auto insurance has gone up since adding Princess. And I will continue paying for it since she will be going to school and playing her sports. She is planning to keep her job, but will definitely have to cut her hours. The money she does make will cover her personal spending and then some savings towards college. I am really proud of how much she saved this summer. And better yet, she’s proud.


Since Gymnast is back home, I have begun giving him a regular allowance. That covers his spending money and hygiene expenses. He’s got his driving permit and enjoys driving. But this mama is really glad I don’t have to add him to the auto insurance until next year. I don’t even want to think about it!


Beauty has switched jobs in the last couple of weeks. But will also continue working part time like Princess through the school year. At this point, she will not be doing any extra-curricular activities so will most likely work more hours than Princess. I did buy her some back to school clothes and will get her school supplies, but otherwise, she covers most of her own expenses along with saving for a car. She is a fantastic cook and cooks regularly for the family.

History Buff

History Buff will continue to pay $250 in rent to me until he moves out. I did make a deal with him, that while he must pay me rent on the first of every month…if he moves out during the month, I will return that month’s rent to him. And he also pays me for his cell phone service. He had plans to get his own cell phone plan and then he realized just how much money he is saving by being on our “family/business” plan and quickly backed off that idea. He is now on his own car insurance plan.

I think that about sums up where we are and how I plan to spend our money for the rest of the year. I previously published my student loan plan. I just put the minimum required in my budget.

Derailed Plans


I was inspired by your feedback regarding moving out of state to make long term financial progress. My husband and I spent the last few weeks looking into it more seriously including housing, schools, etc… and that’s when things went sideways fast.

Housing was easy. Sure, we were going to have to look at houses to rent a bit differently from when there wasn’t a pandemic but it’s not a big deal.

Schools. Yes, we homeschool but our kids attend a hybrid program. This means they homeschool most days but some are spent in class with other kids. We love this program because it gives our kids access to sports, field trips, and extracurriculars. We love the flexibility and the fact that our kids get a bit of ‘normal school’ mixed in. When we were searching for similar schools in Texas, we found several we liked (they are becoming quite popular!). Every single one has cancelled classes and events for the fall. Thanks to the pandemic, we haven’t been seeing kids from school over the summer but we’ve been visiting my brother down the street and our kids play several times a week. It brings a little sense of normalcy to their lives. Moving to Texas would not only remove the kids from their school friends, it would remove them from family. Good luck trying to make new friends in a pandemic.

We are also really involved in our church. My husband and I have made some of our best friendships there over the ten years we’ve been going to our church. How on earth do you start fresh when you aren’t actually meeting in person?? Online ‘dating’ for couple friends??

I proposed taking the job under the caveat that I would work remotely from California for 6 months until the mess blew over but they need someone there in person at least part-time. I get it. But I want this move to be a success. I’ve lived in the same city for 40 years (minus the 4 I spent in Los Angeles for school). I’m going to need a lot of support. I’m going to need a community that isn’t via ZOOM. I need people. I need hugs.

I turned down the position. I get annoyed with people who continually say “the timing wasn’t right” but, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. I think I’m OK saying the timing isn’t right. There will be more jobs next year.

After working through the sadness of that decision, things got worse. We had to postpone our trip to South Dakota. My husband has all but shut down his construction business since he works nights and watches the kids during the day. He had three clients call him out of the blue ask him to do work this month. It’s several thousand dollars in labor. I’m willing to stay put a little longer for that. We moved the trip out 6 weeks.

No move to Texas. No trip to South Dakota. For now.

Excuse me while I turn on Netflix and cry into a box of chocolate for a few hours.