Big budgeting overview of a small budget

Luckily, we have found a way to live within our means despite my lost income. There used to be a lot of other expenses in our budget.   But, here’s what we’re left with.

This is a simplified version of the our budget with amounts removed (as per my hubby's request). CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW.


Here is a little more clarification on some of these categories and expenses: (some are more obvious than others)

THE FUNDS listed were set up for each individual purpose. The money comes out automatically so we never really see the money and it gets funneled away for when we need it.

  • Pet Fund – For paying for bigger animal expenses like vet visits, heart worm meds, flea/tick meds, etc.
  • Car Maintenance Fund – For bigger things like tires, tune-ups, etc. And, maybe will be spent on our next car (which hopefully we don’t have to buy for a LONG time.)
  • Christmas Fund – no more stressing over December bills. We just budget how much we can afford to spend on people, divide it up by pay weeks, and have it socked away for us come December.
  • Emergency Fund – mostly this is for “if Rob loses his job”. God forbid.  I’d ultimately like to have 6 months saved up, at least. We were doing pretty well when I was still working, but it’s going to take longer now.
  • House Fund – because shit happens sometimes and other times I just feel like renovating. This is to fund things like when a water heater breaks (happened this December) or we need a new washer, or new shutters, or landscaping, or whatever we feel like renovating. That’s where the money has to come from.
  • Travel Fund – for family vacations or required trips.

OUR ALLOWANCES make for a happy marriage. We sock away a little bit (used to be more) into separate checking accounts as “fun money”. We didn’t want to ever find ourselves fighting over money. I didn’t want to ever begrudge my husband for wanting yet another bike part or doohickey. I didn’t want Rob to ever begrudge me for buying something pretty for myself or getting my nails done. So, this money is the do-whatever-you-want-with-it money. As Rob puts it, “I love our no visibility, no questions asked, allowance accounts!”  It has worked so well for us in the past few years. If we want something big, we save our own money for it. Last year I saved up to buy a serger that I wanted for some sewing projects.  We also use our allowance if we want to eat out for lunches instead of bagging it.

COLLEGE SAVINGS. Fifty bucks a month is not going to cut it, but we’re hoping as Rob’s salary goes up, we can add more. And, eventually I’ll be doing some work part-time that can exclusively fund the 529 better. May start tutoring, selling something on ETSY, or going back to the school system in some capacity.

It’s nice to not lose sleep over money… just losing sleep for other reasons. HA!  When are babies supposed to sleep through the night, again?

What works for you?  How do you keep from over spending?  How do you and your significant other decide on expenses? 


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4 Responses to Big budgeting overview of a small budget

  1. Janelle@domesticallyseasoned January 22, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    Allowances are always a good thing to have! I know i need my once a week DD coffee. My 5$ allowance goes to that and that makes me a happy wife.

  2. Tressa January 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    I like your setup. We kinda do the same thing too. We have our individual funds that we can do whatever we want with. We also include in our individual budgets Keith’s student loans and our separate car maintenance/new car funds. Everything associated with the house, pets, college, vacation, groceries, emergency fund, etc. come out of our joint accounts. Since we have two kids, we only put $25 per kid into a 529 right now since we are going to be a little tighter with our money now that we just bought a new house. I’m hoping to bump that up soon though. As for our retirement, we each contribute to our individual plans so that we get the added benefit of our employer’s contributions. We never get the money put into our checking account or anything so we don’t even assume we have it. I’d like to up that amount soon too so we don’t have to work until we’re 80 but I guess we have to see how this new house changes our free money.

    As far as loosing sleep, when you think things are finally getting better there is a curve ball and your little one starts waking up constantly in the middle of the night from separation anxiety and wont go back to sleep for hours. Getting 4 hours of sleep a night just doesn’t cut it! At least the lost sleep is from a cutie and not from money…at least right now!

  3. Maggie May January 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Um, thank you so much for sharing this!!! Amazing! NO one shares shit like this online, and this is really helpful and interesting. We have four kids and a teeny budget and this is the direction we need to be in- socking it away in increments that make sense for us.

    • Kate January 23, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

      You’re welcome. Glad to help. Good luck and thanks for commenting. Four kids! I keep telling my hub I want 5, but he’s set on 2.

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