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Our Current Monthly Nut

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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 … Read more

Please Don’t Be Fully Financially Dependent on Someone Else

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For anybody new, I’m 20-21 weeks pregnant as of right now.  I’ve been blogging about personal finance, budgeting, and my life in general here since February 2010.  And I just joined a few mommy Facebook groups in the last few weeks to help myself prepare for what is coming and to start building support networks since only a couple of our friends have kids.  Main New Mommy Group Topics Here is what I’ve figured out by just looking around the mommy group posts every day: 1.  Sleep is HUGE.  Sleep training versus just holding them versus whatever is like THE TOPIC, always.  I’m leaning towards a steady routine so they get used to a process, but obviously, there are dozens of ways to handle sleep time and you do whatever works for you, boo boo. 2.  Lack of partner support is sadly also one of the top topics.  Like depressingly prevalent.  For the record, I’m with anybody who says that partners don’t babysit their own kids while a mom takes a break.  It’s called taking care of your kid.  I get that we pregnant women have the breast milk and whatnot.  But that doesn’t mean the entire raising process of … Read more

Week 4 – The End of Our Epic Food Budget Challenge – Four Couples, $50 a Week, Money Saved!

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Food Budget Challenge | Grocery Savings Tips | Food Budget Tips | Save On Food

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.  THIS IS THE LAST WEEK!!! Our Exception 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. 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. The Challengers Dee and Vee have been married about 1 1/2 years.  Dee is a teacher, 5 months pregnant, and is lactose intolerant (but ignores … Read more

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

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

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