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Posts tagged with: Monthly Spending

What if You Don’t have the Money to Cover Your Budget?

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I have started putting some effort into creating an all-inclusive budget. The BAD comments on Ashley’s air conditioner post have definitely given me some food for thought.

But one of my biggest questions is this:

What if you don’t have the money to cover your budget?

I can’t be the only person that faces that. For instance:

  • Someone mentioned that put away $200 a month for car expenses and maintenance. That is awesome! Thankfully our car has required little other than new windshield wipers and regular oil changes.
  • And even though I know it’s a want, not a need; I certainly want to include a “gift giving” line item to cover special occasions and particularly Christmas.
  • Utilities fluctuate, and although you can average them, what if in the end, your “budget” is off. I had months this summer where my utilities were closer to $300 than the average $150. That could throw everything else off in a tight month.

I know many of the “planned” budget items are variable in that they can be “skipped” during some months. But in the larger scheme of things, all the budgeted items must be covered over the course of a year (with a few “want” exceptions.)

I realize my variable income is not necessarily the norm. But it’s really not that uncommon to be short at times.

Creating a balanced budget

But what do you do when you are trying really hard to stick to a budget and your income just doesn’t cover it?

Obviously, you “borrow from peter to pay paul” when you can’t cover your monthly bills. I am quite familiar with that method. It’s how we have survived the last couple of years.

But how do you live with a budget when you are continually living like that?


Hope’s Weekly Budget – Week of October 1

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This is my budget for next week. While most are common, monthly line items, there are some unique items this week. See an explanation below.

Rent 29-Sep-17 -650
Electricity 1-Oct-17 -125
Groceries 1-Oct-17 -400
Summer Camp 1-Oct-17 -500
Auto-Gas 4-Oct-17 -35
Water/Sewer 4-Oct-17 -75
Amazon 5-Oct-17 -400
W2 Income 6-Oct-17 1732
Allowance 6-Oct-17 -80
Debt Pymt 6-Oct-17 -100
Savings 6-Oct-17 -150
Universal 7-Oct-17 -56
Gymnastics 7-Oct-17 -240
Clothing Allow 7-Oct-17 -900

Groceries – This is my monthly grocery budget, not just the week. If you have been following me long, you know it is typically $600 per month. I am 1) trying to cut back some and 2) have re-allocated some of this money to more “free” spending to allow for when we are out of town at gymnastics and grab a quick bite.
Summer Camp – Summer camp for next year for both Princess and Gymnast. I am paying monthly now to 1) lock in last year’s rates and 2) not have it come up on me at the end of the year. This is a monthly payment until the total is paid off. It will cover 6 weeks of camp.
Amazon – This is my Amazon account and is a guesstimate of the balance based on the previous month’s purchases. I use Amazon home delivery for most of our toiletry needs and a variety of other expenses. Most months this is around $100, I’ll explain why it’s more in another post.
Universal – I am taking the kids to Universal over Thanksgiving. I have been saving this amount every month towards our November trip (just to cover the cost of the park tickets.)
Gymnastics – This is the monthly charge for Gymnast training, 4 days per week.
Clothing Allowance – This is a twice yearly budget item where I provide the kids with a specific amount of money for them to purchase clothes for the coming season. The monies are not necessarily split equally, I divide it based on needs and wants. The kids have spent the month of September creating lists of needs and wants for the coming cooler season. This is our version of the “wait 30 days” before spending.

I think doing this every Friday will help keep me more accountable, and give you all a better way of guiding me in my day to day spending habits.

What do you think so far?


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