We’re 28 days into 2016, and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind in the OFB household. Our side business has taken us by surprise and is becoming more of a front-and-center business. It’s exciting, busy, and new. I feel like we learn something new each day. One aspect of 2016 that’s definitely going to have a learning curve is our budget. Yes. You see, we now have a second budget. Our original budget had a baby, and that baby is becoming a bigger monstrosity than its creator.
Our second budget has arisen from our business. We made an upfront investment from our personal savings into our business, and that investment evolves as we sell products and then reinvest in our business again. On top of that, we’ve acquired several extra expenses throughout the month. Some are recurring, while some are just one-time purchases. But keeping all of those separate from our personal budget has been tricky. We have an accountant helping us, and we have designated “business” credit cards. Despite that, it’s not nearly as cut and dry as it used to be with knowing where our finances stand.
So, as always, our personal budget will be very important this year. We hope to be able to stick to it and even cut back where we can. In some areas, we may be a little less uptight, simply to accommodate our current hectic state of affairs. We’ve outlined some of our 2016 budget changes below.
Utilities: Our utilities will remain the same currently, but we hope to lower our cell phone bill once our current contract is up. We’ve lowered it as much as we can with our current carrier, and in the fall, we hope to look into some of the much lower-priced carriers out there.
Food: We may loosen the purse strings on our food budget some in 2016. Not a ton, mind you. Our overall food budget might increase $1,000–$1,200 over the course of the entire year.
For groceries, Johnny and I both want to eat healthier. We’ve been doing green smoothies for both our and the girls’ benefits in the mornings to make sure we’re all getting at least some nutrition each day.
For eating out, we plan to use it when needed. Currently, we need to eat out quite often since we’re lacking the time to meal plan. And when we eat out, we spend a few extra dollars to get a salad instead of a burger. While it’s not ideal to eat out more, it’s where we’re at right now, so we’re trying to do our best with it. both want to eat healthier and grab something when we’re strapped for time with our side business and not feel guilty about it.
Non-Discretionary: Our non-discretionary spending will mostly stay the same, but we may spend less on gas this year. For one, gas is jaw-droppingly cheap right now. But also, neither of us is commuting daily anymore. The closest thing we have to a routine is going to the post office to mail packages. We’re going to play it by ear these first couple of months and then set a new (hopefully lower) gas budget if needed.
Also, like most Americans, our health insurance plans went up for our daughters this year. We already had one minor emergency involving Sally and one of her front teeth, but fingers crossed our healthcare costs should be lower than having a baby was last year.
Everything Else: We’re planning to keep our Everything Else category the same, and maybe even cut back some if we can. We’re trying not to spend much extra on ourselves or our home right now since we’re spending a lot on our business. The girls still need their clothes and other supplies, so as long as we don’t go over our 2015 monthly Everything Else limit, we’ll be happy.
Child Care: The girls are continuing to be watched a little over 10 hours/week, and we’ll continue to need that time in 2016 so that we can work.
Vacation: We plan to spend less than usual on vacations this year. We have one big vacation in mind. And by “big,” I just mean an actual vacation that’s more than a weekend trip, which is a big deal for us. We also hope to go on weekend mini vacay’s every other month with the girls. Aside from gas and a one- or two-night stay in a hotel, we plan to keep the costs of those trips very minimal.
So that’s what our 2016 budget is looking like! Like I said before, with a business, budgeting becomes a whole new beast. And I have a feeling our business budget is going to feel a bit untamable all year long. So I’m hoping if we can just stick closely to our personal budget, we’ll feel some financial control this year!
How are your 2016 budgeting plans/goals/hopes/dreams shaping up so far? We hope to share detailed numbers of our monthly budget soon!
Using your prior budget as well as your ‘actuals’ is a great way to get started on a new budget. Sounds like you’re on the right path. Good luck.
Our budget will be changing a lot this year too. We will be moving and we don’t know where we will end up yet. That could have a big impact on our monthly living expenses.
Maintaining a budget is very important and it’s good that you’re doing it. It’s nice to know where your money is coming from and where it’s going. Also good job on eating healthier. It may be a little more expensive but pays off later in better health. Our budget looks about the same as last year. Gas is cheap, which lowers commuting costs.
I also plan to reduce my cell phone bill later in the year by paying off my current phone and switching to Ting.
As far as food is concerned, my hubby and I are eating out no more than 1-2 times per week. That means I have to plan at least 4 healthy dinners and several breakfasts (we have leftovers for lunch and also have 1-2 leftover nights), make a grocery list, and grocery shop every week. It takes planning and I hate EVERY step of the process! But I’ve made it easier by starting my menu the week before. I add meals to the menu as I think of them and write the ingredients on a separate list. Then I compare it to what I already have and cross off items I don’t need. It’s a basic no-frills method, but it helps me stick to our budget of $100/2 weeks.
We like to take frequent trips too, so we minimize spending by renting a home/room on sites like homeaway.com or airbnb.com . Its usually cheaper than a hotel and we can use the kitchen to cook, even if it just a light breakfast or small lunch. And we hit up as many free attractions as we can!
hiii…Thanks for sharing the useful and great information… keep it up