*****There is an updated version of this post for 2015. Please click here to read our 2015 One-Income Budget for Our Family of Four post! 🙂 *****
To be 100% honest with you, I’m really nervous about making this post public. Why? Because I’m sharing our honest-to-goodness real budget and our real numbers. Why am I sharing such personal information? Because, I want others to know how we survive as a family of four on an income less than $58k.
Without further adieu, here are our numbers based on our monthly averages:
Monthly Income: $2,784
Tahoe Payment: $424
Student Loan Payment: $286
Mortgage Payment: $704
Auto Insurance Payment: $118
Phone Bill: $70
Amount Left Over: $0
All of my above numbers are averages based on our monthly payments and monthly income. It is important to note that in our grocery budget, I include diapers, wipes, formula, toiletries, and dog food. I know that some prefer to separate these items into different categories.
One of our goals for 2014 is to get rid of my Tahoe in order to not have that payment anymore. We’ve run into a few stumbling blocks with that. According to KBB, Edmond’s, and Black Book, we look to make a profit on our Tahoe if we trade-in or sell in a private sale. However, we are learning that those sites are way off. We have not found anyone willing to even match what we owe on the Tahoe. Pretty defeating. We’re still holding out hope that my hubs can use his natural gift of gab to get us where we need to be. It would just be amazing to not have that payment anymore. (My Tahoe is a Hybrid which is the reason why I only spend around $75 a month for gas)
Another important thing to note, is that my hubs’ truck is paid for and his company pays for his fuel since he uses it for work. Part of our monthly savings goes towards our auto account for things like new tires, car repairs, or anything else related to auto expenses.
We have no credit cards. We paid off the last one in 2013 using some of my savings bonds (thank you Mama for purchasing those when I was little!) to pay off the balance. Many may disagree with that decision but it was one of the best ones that we’ve ever made. I honestly do not know how we would survive as a family of four plus our dog if we still had credit cards to pay for. My hubs and I want to live debt-free so any extra money that we receive or ends up left over from our budget for the month will be added to our debt snowball.
My husband and I communicate regularly on our budget. We also share a debit card – this limits the amount of money available at a given time. These things help us stay accountable and on top of our budget. We are a one income family so budgeting is imperative for us. We have to be on the same page as each other.
How do you budget? Do you and your spouse hold budget meetings? What has or has not worked for you in terms of setting up and sticking to your budget?
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