This post, every year is my most visited post and as such, I receive several questions about various components of our one-income budget so I wanted to take a moment to answer a few of those more commonly asked questions.
What about this? What about that?
This is our “go-by” monthly budget, which means that usually this is our budget but it does change when it needs to. For example, whenever we have birthday parties to attend, we’d have to add in gifts to our budget and lower the amount in other categories. Same goes for our gas (heating bill) and power bills, they will change depending on the season.
Please don’t think that this budget never changes because it does. This just keeps us from having to re-invent the wheel every month. We use cash for our everyday purchases – including groceries so sometimes we spend less on things whenever we still have cash left over in those envelopes. (For more on the cash envelope system and how you can start it, visit this post here.)
Last year, we didn’t have tithing included in our budget because my husband wanted us to have my students loans paid off before we started tithing. Now that we’re tithing again, you’ll see that it’s not 10% as is common for tithing and this is because this is the amount that my husband and I agreed to. I know many don’t agree with this, but please know that this is what works for our household and what works for your household will be different.
You can read how we paid off $5,000 of debt in one month here.
I wrote an in-depth post about why cigarettes are included in our budget that you can read here. My husband is a smoker so cigarettes are included because without including them, our budget would be wrecked every month.
We typically don’t include clothing in our budget because I score the majority of our clothing for free from consignment shops like ThredUP. But as mentioned above this monthly budget that I share here is our “go-by” budget so it does change month to month and sometimes, we do include clothing in our budget, especially for back-to-school. For more on how we stretch our clothing budget, visit this post here.
We got our grocery budget down to a $100 week last year before the boys started school and Charlotte was born. Now our grocery budget varies from $150 – $200 a week depending upon if one of our boys is in charge of their class’ snack for that week. We do order our diapers from The Honest Company for Charlotte but since Collin is still in diapers (I swear potty training will be the death of me…) we purchase his diapers at Kroger since we don’t have to purchase them very often. So, they’re included in our grocery budget along with Charlotte’s formula.
Other Budget Items
You’ll see under our One-Income Budget that I have Expenses Outside the Budget listed. These expenses are funded by our side hustles which include my blog earnings (if you’re interested in how much I earn from the blog, I share my blog income in my Grow Your Blog Newsletter that you can sign up here for).
You’ll also see that I have Yearly Expenses listed. These are expenses that happen once a year. If your state has Ad Valorem Tax (a.k.a. the birthday tax) you already know what that is but in case your state doesn’t have it, Georgia used to have a tax that when you purchased a vehicle you had to pay the Ad Valorem tax on it every year in your birthday month. Now, they’ve included this tax with the purchase price of your vehicle so you only have to pay the tag registration fee for the year in your birthday month. Since my car was purchased after the new law we already paid the Ad Valorem on it but my husband’s truck was purchased years before the law and so we still have to pay the tax every year plus the registration.
Little Note About Expenses
Some of the expenses that come out of our budget are just for me – what I mean is that my husband’s company pays for his cell phone bill and his gas so those expenses are not included in our budget. Only my cell phone (I use Republic Wireless) and my gas for my car are included.
You’ll notice that I don’t include my husband’s 401(k) contributions, health insurance premiums, my husband’s life insurance costs, and taxes because those all come out his paycheck before we see it. This makes budgeting for our one-income budget easier for me, but of course, a budget is unique to each household so you may want to include them in yours. There’s no wrong way to do it.
If you want to have a debt-free Christmas, you have to plan for it! We keep Christmas in our budget because well, it falls on the same day of the same year every single year. So, it’s not a surprise and as such it’s a part of our budget.
Read more about how to make a debt-free Christmas possible here.
You’ll see that our oldest son is earning commission now. He doesn’t earn the full $28 a month yet because he’s 4 and he’s still learning how to do chores and learning the concept of money but we keep it in the budget at the full allowed amount just in case he picks up on how much money he could earn. 🙂 This amount will change in August when Collin turns 3 because he’ll be allowed to start earning commission then as well. (We’re using Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Jr for our kids.)
Okay, so that’s the commonly asked questions but of course, if the above doesn’t answer your question, feel free to comment below and I’ll answer the best way that I can.
Our One-Income Budget
|Additional Mortgage/EF Pmt:||$123.00|
|Cooks (This is for termite protection):||$21.67|
|Regular Doctor Appt||$35.00|
|Pat’s Misc Money||$240.00|
|Life Insurance (Jessi): Paid in Jan||$99.00|
|Ad Valorem: Paid in April||$200.00|
|Amazon Prime: Paid in October||$99.00|
Expenses Outside Our Budget
Join the 2017 challenge!
Fill in your info below and your first email in this 8-day series will arrive shortly!