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The Budget – completed

Posted on : 20-07-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Debt Discussion, The Journey

Tags: , , , , , ,

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Ok – this is a part of the getting debt free that isn’t an issue for us.  We’ve had a budget for a few years and have lived by our budget successfully.  Budgets are not something that are static, they are dynamic and fluid.

However, ours has been WAY too fluid the past couple of years as evidenced by our debt.  We’ve also never had the goal to actually live debt free – our focus had just been to … well whatever … living debt free is what it should have been.  We were incorrectly focused and not biblically aligned.  We are changing that now.

I keep a bi-weekly budget as opposed to a monthly budget.  I have it drafted out in a spreadsheet along with formula’s etc.  I just completed all of 2010’s budget – putting bills where they are due, income as it’s expected, etc.  I’m a bit of an accounting geek (just a bit, not too bad) so I enjoy this process.

However, most people do not like this process.  I recommend heading over to Dave’s site and checking out his forms.  Get yourself a budget written on paper, this is a huge first step.  Before you can pay off any debt, you must have a budget and you must be current on all of your obligations.  Dave has recommendations on how to get there and what to do if you can’t meet all of your monthly obligations.  Please visit him for his advice, it’s sound and will make you so incredibly healthy financially you’ll be jumping for joy.

Our budget is completed and low and behold, on paper it looks like we are running a negative every month.  Hum.  I don’t know what’s been keeping us afloat (we haven’t been using the cards for almost a year) as we’ve been meeting all of our obligations just fine.  We did recently purchase a home which increased our monthly housing expenses (ok, it doubled it) and that’s about the amount we are showing negative.

So… now the game is on to figure out how much we can reduce our monthly expenses.

Here is our current monthly budget… I’ll review as we reduce expenses:

  • Tithe – 10% (I’m not prepared to reveal our income so this will have to suffice!)
  • Mortgage – $1304.54
  • Freedom Fund (annual expenses, repairs, medical, etc) – $180.00
  • Electricity – $75.00
  • W/S/G – $75.00
  • Gas – $75.00
  • Phones – $225.00
  • Internet – $50.00
  • Groceries – $600.00
  • Car Payment – $314.54
  • Gas/oil – $300.00
  • Health Insurance – $242.27
  • Toiletries/pets – $100.00
  • Cosmetics – $10.00
  • Hair care – $50.00
  • Tuition – $935.00
  • School supplies – $10.00
  • CC #1 – $65.00
  • CC #2 – $70.00
  • CC #3 – $81.00
  • CC #4 – $87.00
  • CC #5 – $116.00
  • CC #6 – $125.00
  • Gas card – $20.00
  • Macy’s – $70.00
  • ISTC – $100.00
  • Personal loan – $151.00
  • Student loan #1 – on forbearance
  • Student loan #2 – on forbearance

My goal is to reduce this budget by at least $300.00/month over the next 6 months.

First thing we are attacking is groceries/toiletries/pets – current budget of $700/month.  I would like to bring this entire expense down to $600/month immediately.

Second thing we are attacking is internet – looking to find a less expensive broadband option.  We don’t have cable TV or satellite TV or a landline so we don’t get a reduced cost for our internet.  This is in process.  I’m hoping to save at least $20/month on this service.

Third thing we are attacking is our cell phone bill.  However, there isn’t much room on this one… we have 3 lines (mine, his, house/kids).  2 lines have internet access on our phones – we work in real estate and use this frequently throughout the day for MLS access, email communication with our clients/prospects, etc.   The house/kids line is $10/month and that will remain – we want phone access for the kids when we are not home with them.  So, I think the only thing we’ll be able to change on this is phone insurance that we pay monthly – $2/month I believe.  That will be gone immediately.

Those 3 items total $132.00/month of unnecessary spending. Just $168.00 to go!

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Copyright 2009, Freedom and Happiness

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