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Our $5500 Monthly Budget

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Real Budget | Couples' Budget | Spending for Two | $5500 Budget Plan

It’s been a while since I took a close look at our budget here on BFS.  Here is an updated version for 2017! Here is how our budget looks right now: Income Taxes – $1000 Home Mortgage – $1250 (we’re overpaying $260 a month) Home Insurance/Property Taxes/HOA – $850 Rent House Home Insurance/Property Taxes – $400 Food (Groceries and Splurging Out) – $400 Liberty Healthshare – $300 Honda Fit Car Payment – $275 Electricity – $100 Gasoline – $150 Car Insurance – $120 Cell Phones – $75 Internet (DSL) – $60 Cable (our part) – $40 Lawn Care – $50 (average over the year) Water – $50 Natural Gas – $40 Life Insurance – $30 Netflix – $10 Other Entertainment – $100 Miscellaneous and Cash – $200 Total Expenses = $5500 Those expenses are taken out of the $5750-$9,500 a month we make through our online business ($2500-$4000), rental income ($1250), pet sitting income ($2000-$4000), and sports officiating income ($0-$3000). Taxes eat a chunk, our two homes eat a chunk, and we splurge a chunk. But we save a nice chunk too – about 25% of our gross income is saved to our two Roth IRA’s and our SEP IRA. Unplanned expenses that pop up on the … Read more…

Week 3 – Our Epic Food Budget Challenge – Four Couples, $50 a Week, Finding Our Rhythm!

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Food Budget Challenge | Getting into a Frugal Food Groove | How to Save Money on Groceries

Please understand that I know that $50 a week for food is totally doable and many people survive on way less.  My hubby and I have simply been overspending.  This challenge is meant to motivate, not to create friction.  Thanks! My friend, Dee, had a tumultuous end of 2016.  She approached me with a food budget challenge she found online, we made a few changes, and we convinced our husbands to participate too.  Then two sets of our friends joined too!  Our challenge was born – $50 a week per couple for all food for 4 weeks straight from January 2-29, 2017. Our Two Caveats In our challenge, we can use all of our pre-existing food.  That means using any perishables in the fridge, pantry goods, and our stocks in the deep freeze.  All of the challengers started with some reserves we needed to clean out.  We just weren’t allowed to stock up in December for this challenge. Also, I’ll make a note or point it out when any of us use a gift card.  It technically won’t count, though Len and I are acting like they do for us just to see how it works out by including them. Our general goals of this challenge are to spend less, waste less, spend … Read more…

I’m Having a Miscarriage

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Having a Miscarriage | Feelings | Dealing with Loss | Medical Miscarriage

Yeah, it punched us in the gut too. What is a Blighted Ovum? My medical diagnosis is a “blighted ovum”.  That sounds creepy, but it means that our sperm and egg met, decided to get serious, but broke it off before they moved in together. By the time my body created a gestational sac and went full-on pregnancy mode, no embryo or anything was around to move in.  But my body was already so far into the process that it just kept going, flooding me with pregnancy hormones and symptoms for another 5 weeks.  Then it realized that something wasn’t quite right…though it could take another 3 weeks to figure out exactly what needs to be done, so I’m having a D&C (uterine spring cleaning) done on Monday. In short, Peanut decided not to hop onto this crazy train quite yet. Miscarriages Suck, Duh I’m crampy and coping.  Len is handling it more privately but making sure to be there for me every step of the way.  We’re sad and angry and sad and okay.  It simply sucks.  All loss sucks.  Can’t go much deeper than that. Oh, and it’s been astounding learning about how many women I know in person and online … Read more…

Week 2 – Our Epic Food Budget Challenge – Four Couples, $50 a Week, Leftovers Commence!

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Food Budget Challenge | How to Save Money on Groceries | Grocery Budget | Grocery Savings

Please understand that I know that $50 a week for food is totally doable and many people survive on way less.  My hubby and I have simply been overspending.  This challenge is meant to motivate, not to create friction.  Thanks! My friend, Dee, had a tumultuous end of 2016.  She approached me with a food budget challenge she found online, we made a few changes, and we convinced our husbands to participate too.  Then two sets of our friends joined too!  Our challenge was born – $50 a week per couple for all food for 4 weeks straight from January 2-29, 2017. Our Two Caveats In our challenge, we can use all of our pre-existing food.  For Len and me, that means using any perishables in the fridge, pantry goods, and our stocks in the deep freeze.  All of the challengers started with some reserves we needed to clean out.  We just weren’t allowed to stock up in December for this challenge. Also, I’ll make a note or point it out when we use a gift card, but that’s okay to us too.  Our general goals of this challenge are to spend less, waste less, spend consciously, and make healthier choices than regularly eating fast food and restaurant offerings. Meet the Challengers! Dee … Read more…

December 2016 Self-Employment Income of $7905 (2016 Net Worth Wrapped at $530,105)

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Blogging | Earn Money Online | Make Money Blogging | Blogging Income | Work From Home

I finally got together the 2016 year end wrap up!  I like to use monthly income and net worth updates for motivation. It pushes me to try harder, I am forced to look at our numbers, and I started blogging so I could share with all of you and get feedback. I would also like to inspire more people to create income streams out of something they truly enjoy. My Backstory for New Readers I worked in a dead end cubicle job from after college in 2005 through July 2011. It wasn’t possible for me to grow in the department I enjoyed, and the rest of the company would have sucked my soul out through my ears.  My highest salary there was $35,500 after 6 years.  My original plan was to stay there for 30 years and retire. Thankfully, that plan went to crap. The company was in a slump in late 2009, so they told me to “look busy”… That led me to creating Budgeting in the Fun Stuff in February 2010 even though I had zero professional writing or blogging experience.  It grew faster than I expected (thank you!), and I have been fully self-employed since July 2011. My … Read more…

Is Accounting a Good Career Choice for Single Parents?

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If you are a single parent, you might worry about the financial future of your family.  It is natural to think about your plans at this stage of your life.  You might be thinking of ways you can move to a better house in a better location, go out on trips with your family, or pay for your child’s future education.  Having a career as an accountant is a great way to achieve those dreams.  Accounting is a career that can provide financial security while also interesting and engaging.  So, is accounting a good career choice for single parents?  Consider the following to decide if this is right for you: Time The truth is, it takes a lot of time to become an accountant.  You are looking to at least four to five years of undergraduate schooling, and an additional two years or more if you decide to get a masters.  Fortunately, there are many schooling options out there that can fit your educational needs.  If you are like most working professionals with families, it may not be possible for you to attend a university full time.  However, there are now options for online schooling, or becoming a student of … Read more…

Week 1 – Our Epic Food Budget Challenge – Four Couples, $50 a Week, Budgets Commence!

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I'm excited to take this food budget challenge and save on groceries this month!

Before reading any further, please understand that I know that $50 a week for food is totally doable and many people survive on way less.  My hubby and I have simply been overspending.  This challenge is only meant to motivate, not to pour salt into any wounds.  Thanks! In this post a few weeks ago, I summarized a rough end-of-year for my friend, Dee.  She approached me with a food budget challenge she found online.  I wanted to tackle it but with a little more leeway than the original challenge entailed.  I convinced my hubby that we should participate, and then two sets of our other friends jumped in too.  Our challenge was born – $50 a week per couple for all food for 4 weeks straight from January 2-29, 2017. Our Two Caveats In our challenge, we can use all of our pre-existing food.  For Len and me, that means any perishables in the fridge, lots of pantry goods, and the deep freeze of mystery foods.  All of the challengers started with some reserves we need to clean out.  We just weren’t allowed to stock up in December for this challenge. Also, I’ll make a note or point it out when we use a gift card, but that’s okay too.  … Read more…