I haven’t kept up with a monthly budget in several years. I do keep an eye on our credit card totals at the end of each month before paying them off in full to make sure we aren’t losing our minds. Since our expenses are lower than our income, and we are hitting our annual savings goals, I have been pretty laid back about the specifics. But our daughter in due in June, we’ll both be taking a few weeks off at least, and I wanted to know how much per month we actually spend.
Our Monthly Spending Has Changed But Not Increased
Surprisingly, it’s about the same as the last time I worked out our numbers. Our medical premiums went down but we increased our monthly mortgage payments. Cell phone bills have decreased by about 50% with Ting but car payments went up. Our gasoline needs have decreased but our water rates increased, so those balanced each other out. We no longer have housekeeping services but our property taxes increased when our values rose, and that ate the extra.
Our Monthly Nut is Between $5500-$7000
In short, we still need about $5500 a month to simply cover our monthly nut. $7000 a month to hit our savings goals of $11,000 into Roth IRA’s and $9000 into the stock market.
$5500-$7000 needed per month is just crazy…I remember our $2000 per month budget in 2006. I’d love to blame just the property we own, but even without our mortgage and property taxes, we’d need to pay rent. So we’d actually only be cutting about $1000 a month off of our total expenses (3 bedroom rentals start around $1350-$1500 a month here).
Where We Stand Currently
- Home Mortgage (we’re overpaying $260 a month) – $1250
- Home Insurance/Property Taxes/HOA – $850
- Rent House Home Insurance/Property Taxes (no mortgage) – $450
- Income Taxes – $500
- Food (Groceries and Splurging Out) – $450
- Liberty Healthshare– $300
- Toyota Prius Car Payment (at 0%) – $390
- Honda Fit Car Payment (at 0.9%) – $275
- Electricity – $100
- Gasoline – $125
- Car Insurance – $180
- Cell Phones with Ting – $75
- Internet (DSL) – $120
- Cable with DVR – $20
- Lawn Care (average over the year) – $50
- Water – $60
- Natural Gas – $40
- Life Insurance – $30
- Netflix – $10
- Miscellaneous and Cash – $225
- Total Expenses = $5500
Our home mortgage still has about 17 years left on it if we continue paying the $260 extra per month towards the principle. It’s weird to think that our daughter will be in her last year or two of high school when we’re paying off our house in 2035… I might push this along a bit more as we go…
My car, the Honda Fit, is paid off in early 2019, so that will shave off $275 a month. But we just started the 6 years of payments on the 2017 Toyota Prius at 0% interest, so that $390 a month will be around until 2024. We definitely won’t be paying off either of those loans early since we’re making 1% returns just in our savings accounts with Capital One 360…I can’t justify paying off loans that cost us less in interest than we gain on keeping that same cash in the bank. And we do have separate accounts in our bank just for our cars – and right now a 12 month CD is at 2%.
I can’t see our property taxes, home insurance rates, or flood insurance rates decreasing any time soon, so there’s $1300+ a month between the two homes that will be around for decades.
Having a Kid
Our daughter will raise our expenses, but I’m hoping to counter-balance a big chunk of that increase with eating out way less and not using as much money on entertainment and miscellaneous spending for ourselves. We’re probably cutting back on our annual vacation budget for a while too. I see more inexpensive road trips to the outdoors in our future.
Raising Our Income May Be Easier Than Cutting Expenses
Honestly, while I was truly thinking about our numbers, my main goal seems to be raising our monthly income even more so that $7000 a month doesn’t feel like a hard-to-reach mark so often.
Our current monthly income consists of:
Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting – $3000-$5000
Budgeting in the Fun Stuff and Other Online Income – $1000-$3000
Rental Income – $1800
Sports Officiating – $0-$2000
Realistically, our monthly income fluctuates between $6000-$9,000 per month.
Growing Crystal’s Cozy Care and Other Options
That increases the most as Crystal’s Cozy Care grows. I can speed up that growth a bit faster if I’m willing to spend more time reaching out to our current customers to ask for reviews on social media like Nextdoor.com, Facebook, and Yelp. If we can grow enough to get my husband’s schedule packed again, we’ll hire our second pet sitting team member and that will lead to more pet sitting visit slots that can be filled in as well.
Another option is to grow our online business, but I’ve tried to increase affiliate income and failed several times. And online link sales are happening but they seem to be staying pretty consistent on the lower end for the last couple of years at least. It just looks like pet sitting will be easier to grow. It’s also more interactive, which is good for me.
And then there are the unlimited options of making money in other ways though I do not truly have the energy to start down a new side hustle path right now. But if I have energy again when the baby pops out, taking care of another kid or two at our house while other parents have to commute to day jobs could become a solid option to consider. Or breast milk sales if I am an over-producer. Or activity transport. Or even something completely not kid-related.
In the end, our monthly nut is pretty much set for a bit. We’ll either need to continue to make that work or grow our monthly income so the difference between income and expenses becomes further apart. I’m most likely not going to put much more thought into that until August or so…once our daughter has been out for a couple of months and we aren’t just operating on survival mode anymore.
What big parts of your budget changed with kids? Is your monthly nut larger than you’d like?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!