Woah. This month way way more stable than May when it comes to spending. It was also the first test of my new budget. I had some moving-related expenses I wasn’t expenses, like my Referee Society Referees, and the close of the fiscal year led to others, like fulfillment on a pledge that had checks not going through.My budget is split into four parts: 1. Priority Budget, 2. Fixed Spending, 3. Sinking Funds, and 4. Flex Spending.
Priority Budget- $1000
This is where I “pay myself first” by putting money towards my financial goals. Right now, I am contributing to rebuild my savings account of $1000 (not including the $1300 cushion in my bank account- details here), as well as make payments on my four remaining debts: ECSI Student Loan, Upstart Loan, Southwest Credit Card, and Discover Card.
ECSI Student Loan- $93
This is the minimum I can pay for the ten-year repayment plan.
Upstart Loan- $188
This is the minimum I can pay for the three-year repayment plan.
Southwest Credit Card- $69
The minimum for this changes slightly month-to-month, but this month the minimum was $69.
Discover Credit Card- $175
This is my self-imposed minimum for this credit card.
Saving Contribution- $475
I allocated the remainder of my Priority Budget, after paying the minimums everywhere, to help rebuild my savings account.
Fixed Spending- Budget: $1213, Actual: $1350
Rent and Joint Expenses- $945
This is the amount of money that Casey and I set aside for rent, electricity, groceries, eating out, and other expenses that we might incur together. That money is set aside and budgeted on its own out of a separate joint bank account. We each transfer $945 into this account which covers all those joint expenses.
Because of the heavy taxes of Baltimore, moving to North Carolina brought my cell phone bill down from $210 to $195. Laura pays $80 for her portion of the cell phone bill for her unlimited talk, text, and data plan. My portion of the bill includes my unlimited talk, text, and data plan, as well as phone payment plan and my dad’s talk and text plan.
Giving- Budget: $100, Actual: $256
I set aside $100/month to give to multiple charities, including my weekly giving at Masses.
June is the end of the Fiscal Year for a couple of different charities, including one I had made a pledge for and the checks I thought were going out each month were not. That meant this month I had to fulfill that pledge and sent in $225.70 to my high school. I also gave across different masses. My plan is to cut my giving for July, August, and September to $40 to make up for this.
This is the monthly fee for my Learnvest planner. I will be dropping this soon and testing whether the software works without the planner.
Gym-related expenses- Budget: $35, Actual: $14
I was working with trainer for $35/month, but it didn’t work out so he refunded me.
Sinking Funds- Budget: $330, Actual: $404
This is where I set aside money for irregular or yearly expenses.
Renter’s Insurance- $13
This is the amount I set aside monthly to pay my Renter’s Insurance bill in full when it comes.
This is the amount I set aside monthly to pay my Tailwind subscription in full when it comes.
This is the amount I set aside monthly to pay my Buffer subscription in full when it comes.
This is the amount I set aside monthly to pay my Stratechery subscription in full when it comes.
Future Travel- $85
I set aside money specifically for future travels without focusing on a specific trip. Given the nature of Casey’s job, we tend to last minute travel to different places. In July, I’ll be going to Nashville and the $89 for that trip will come from this account.
Home Office Fund- Budget: $200, Spent: $274
I set aside $200 towards building my home office, as I work from home full time. I spent $200 on my desk from Rawesome Concepts. I then spent $74 on supplies from Staples that I needed for my desk. I’m happy to say that while this did push me over my budget, it also feels like a totally new desk with this new organization.
Flex Spending- Budget: $244, Spent: $684
I budget for this only at this top-level. All spending below does not have a budget by category because it all falls under my Flex Spending.
I went out to a Bingo Fundraiser and the ticket cost $15. I won a Mary Kay pedicure basket, so not quite a wash, but not bad!
Personal Care- $40
I treated myself to a birthday pedicure after Casey left.
The easiest way to meet people in one-on-one settings has been at coffee shops or over lunch. I spent $9 at a lunch and $21 at coffee shops meeting other people. Making friends is hard and expensive.
I spent $25 on things through Paypal.
- My sister’s graduation present of $100 just hit the bank.
- I spent $32 on a gift on Amazon for Casey’s brother. Unfortunately the gift was never shipped, so I submitted a claim with Amazon and am hoping to be refunded for it.
- In moving, I acquired $57 in tolls on my EZ Pass.
- I had to pay an Uber after a long freaky travel thing that ended up costing $33.
Professional Development- $182
- I paid $27 for my membership The Milspo Project.
- I spent $13 on 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses: Less Stress. More Savings. before my Book Spending Ban kicking in.
- I spent $18 on Macally 7 Port Powered USB 2.0 Hub. This was for the office.
- I made the first payment on something work-related for $125.
- I needed a new headlight and my car needed to be checked before a rugby weekend in Charlotte. I spent $52 at Harrell’s Auto Service.
- I spent $26 at BP getting gas.
- I spent $49 on SEO Summer School.
- I spent $6 on miscellaneous Upwork things.
- I had to pay my new referee society dues- $150. I used my Digit savings of $77.52 to help offset the cost of my dues. Then I refereed two rugby events this month.
- At the first, I made $102, but spent $20 in gas, netting $82.
- At the second, I spent 49.38 and am still waiting to get paid.
This is the money I take home each month. I live on last month’s “Day Job” income, but incorporate Freelance Income into that month’s income. My Freelance income is unpredictable, so I handle it as it comes. Any surplus freelance income can will go towards the current financial goals. This money is all after taxes, Roth 401K contributions, HSA contributions, and healthcare deductions.
Day Job- $2770
Freelance Income- $343
Overall, I went over my budget by $279 dollars after incorporating my freelance income. This is disappointing. I’ve decided to absorb this loss and take it from the $1300 cushion in my checking account, by reducing it to $1000 (still leaving me with a $2000- $1000 in cushion or $1000 in savings- when I’m done rebuilding at the beginning of July).
I’m expecting over $200 from Rugby and $32 from Amazon. I’m also hoping for continued growth in Freelance Income to help attack my debt snowball. I’m traveling for 7 days next month and the budget is going to be TIIIIIGHT because I’m buying the bookshelves for my new office AND my health insurance went up AND I started HSA contributions, so I *think* my pay is going to come down to 2700. It’s going to be rough, but I need to have a successful month.
How have you been doing with your budget lately? Anything you think I could have cut?
Emilie is an Army Wife, Data Engineer, and CrossFitter with a love for working through her thoughts in this space on the internet. She lives with her husband Casey and their pup Bo in Savannah, GA.