Happy Monday, Everyone! Our Internet is back, which means we’re back. We spent the weekend gallivanting about Salt Lake with friends and family. It was just my kind of weekend. It wasn’t the most relaxing weekend — I caught Johnny falling asleep sitting up a couple of times — but we had a lot of fun. And our house is an absolute wreck, but we’ll get to that eventually. We’re 10 days into February, and each and every expense has been recorded in our budget, so at least we’re keeping that area of our lives tidy. Here’s what our monthly budget breakdown looks like this month:
Our February 2014 Budget
|Personal: $108 ($650 each for the year)
Everything Else: $340
Total Expenses: $2623
Church/Charitable Donations: 10% of gross income
Savings: To be determined, but at least the 40% of our net
Pre-Tax Retirement Savings: 9% of Joanna’s gross income
A Few Notes
- Rather than budget every single item out, we have an “Everything Else” category for all the expenses that can vary from month to month. As long as we stay below the total amount budgeted for that category, the money can be spent where needed each month. The flexibility that comes with doing our budget this way has made it much easier to stay within our spending limits, and it has drastically cut down on disagreements. Some months it might go to an unexpected medical expense; another month a big chunk will go to baby supplies or entertainment. But we make sure the total money allotted to that category is never exceeded.
- For expenses that change unpredictably, such as utilities, we budget a little more than we usually need so that it never hurts us if a bill is unexpectedly high one month.
- To keep track of our budget, we use HomeBudget for iPhone. The app syncs with both of our phones so it’s always up-to-date and ready for budgeting madness on-the-go. It costs $5 (which is the first app we’ve actually ever purchased), but it’s been worth every penny.
Changes to Our Budget
This year we’ve decided to calculate the grand total for a few of our budgeting categories for the entire year, rather than as a monthly expense. We did this so we could better guesstimate our expenses and savings for 2014. Those categories?
- Gifts for Others
- Gifts for Ourselves and Sally
- Personal and Clothing
So none of those categories are included in our monthly budget listed above. But to give you an idea, this is what we’ve spent so far in each of those categories:
- Gifts for Others: $30
- Gifts for Ourselves and Sally: $0 (but Valentine’s Day is coming up… we better get busy buying gifts for each other… ahem… Johnny?)
- Vacations: $0 (sad face… we’re planning a weekend road trip soon!)
- Personal and Clothing: $0 (this is very telling of how busy we’ve been… my hair is a hot mess)
I must say, we’ve already used up a big chunk of our eating out budget this month, which actually isn’t a bad thing. It means we’ve actually gotten out and about a few times, which is so very nice and way overdue. So we’ll be fixing lots of homemade meals for the rest of February (including our Valentine’s night dinner).
How’s your monthly budgeting going? How does our February budget line up with yours? In which categories do you spend more or less?