Every month I still create a budget, even though I’ve been debt free for three years. I print it out and put it on the refrigerator.
It’s a constant reminder to keep on top of my finances.
My husband and I have a sporadic income since we are both self employed. Keeping track of our income and expenses is a huge part of being able to live this life style.
Every month it’s hard to know if there will be a surplus or a deficit.
We have a ‘Monthly Bills Fund’. It’s basically a separate savings account to pay our bills with. Each month I move the total amount of the budget into our checking account.
Our income from May was $7,413. This was a surprise since I thought we would break even. Matt had a few last minute shows added at the end of the month. I love it when that happens.
Summer months are usually best in terms of income, but we act like squirrels to hoard nuts for the winter!
Our mortgage is only $1,530 per month (20 year fixed). We pay $1,712 so the house will be paid off in about 16 years.
We have to pay quarterly for income taxes. Last year we paid $1,000 per month. Our accountant suggested we pay $500 instead since we have another child and a larger home office to deduct.
It worries me a bit that we might have to pay next April, but I love the lower monthly budget!
We had DSL and a phone line. It cost $85 per month. I found out last week that we could get cable internet for $30. So we canceled it. We just started using a Magic Jack for our phone service. So far it’s working well. (a review of the Magic Jack will be coming!)
We increased our grocery budget by $50. Our daughter just turned one and is eating a lot more food. We’ve also made it a goal to buy more organics, fresh fruits and vegetables.
The going out to eat fund is for my husband since he is on the road often.
Our Monthly Fund/Entertainment
Matt and I both get $50 per month to spend any way we choose. The kids get $100 per month for things like diapers, and clothes.
We also put $25 into entertainment for date nights. We are frugal, and end up either going to a matinee or going out for tea.
We switched health insurance providers this month too. Our previous plan had a $5,000 deductible for $609 per month. It was a horrible plan in general, but it was the cheapest we could find.
We just switched to a $10,000 deductible for $406 per month. It actually covers more and we’ll save $200 per month.
This month we are paying for the old plan, and the new plan. Ouch.
The new plan has an incentive. If you pay for a year in advance you get a month free. I plan on doing this in a few months so we can save $406 per year. The adjusted cost will be $372 per month.
Child care costs for the month just included our nanny working 20 hours per week. Our child care will be going up next month. We found a new nanny that costs more per month. She will also watch the children in our home and will count as an employee so we will have to start paying payroll taxes. (I still have to figure out how to do all of that!)
We have so many friends and family with birthdays in May. We call it our second Christmas. The average cost per gift is about $17 and we have 10 people to buy for.
That leaves a $2,052 surplus. Most of the surplus was squirreled away for the winter, but $500 of it was put aside for a trip to Montreal that we took last week. It was a great trip and I am so glad we decided to go.
So that is the month of May for us.
I’m curious, what was May like for you?