I love talking to people about how they budget and finding out what works for them and what doesn’t work for them. A while back I wrote a post about how budgeting isn’t one size fits all. There are so many different ways to budget and it’s important that you find a method that works best for you. We use a combination of a written budget, budgeting app, and money envelopes. We’ve talked about our budget here and there, so you guys kinda know mostly what we do, but I thought it’d be fun to give you a sneak peek into how much we budget for certain categories and kind of explain why.
We’ve had to increase our grocery budget in the last two months because Marcus isn’t traveling as much. From the photos, you guys can see he isn’t that small of a guy and while I could get by on cooking twice a week and enjoying leftovers now that he’s home leftovers is an unspoken word. We increased our grocery budget by $100 to account for his being home more. $100 of that is kept in a GROCERY money envelope, and we use that money when we go and purchase vegetables from our local farmers market since they only take cash. We do must of our shopping in bulk (because I hate going to the grocery store). I also find better deals on meat at BJ’s. Since it’s in bulk we usually just separate it out into what’s needed for meals and then store it in our deep freezer.
DINING OUT $100
We used to eat out A LOT before getting on the Broke on Purpose plan. We were spending around $400-$500 a month. I don’t care what anyone says eating out is not cheaper than cooking at home. Even if you’re single eating out can add up if you’re spending $20 a day. We keep our dining out to a minimum, usually only doing so on a Friday night. We opt to either order in or go sit down at our local Pizzaria where we can get a medium Pepperoni Pizza and two drinks for $15. We stay away from bigger sit-down restaurant chains because our goal is to get the most for our money.
DATE NIGHT $100
Date Night we keep at $100 also and as I mentioned above we’re still all about trying to get the best bang for our money, so we still don’t find ourselves going to the bigger sit-down restaurants. If we do go somewhere like Outback, we’ll order to go and take it home to avoid the crowds as well as to avoid impulse buys like drinks or special appetizers.
MAD MONEY $400
We budget $400 a month for mad money. Each of us gets $200, and we both use it as we want. Personally, I feel that this is a lot of money and wish we could drop it down to $100 each. Marcus would kick and scream in protest, but all I can think is that extra $200 could move the debt payoff needle a little further. Each month when we get our $200 I take $100 of it and add it to my money envelopes (you may have seen the below picture floating around). I then put $25 into my personal savings and the other $75 sit in my personal checking account.
CAR MAINTENANCE $150
We are officially #TEAMNOCARPAYMENT, but we still set aside money every month for car maintenance. We live in Pennsylvania and have to do yearly car inspections so we set aside $150 a month for any car repairs that may pop up. We do this even though we have an emergency fund and if you use your emergency fund to take care of car repairs that is perfectly fine because, in theory, that’s what it’s there for! The reason we started doing this is because in 2015 Marcus waited until the last minute to have his car inspected and instead of being able to save for the $800+ in repairs we had to pay all at once. This almost whipped out our emergency fund and so to avoid this ever happening again I immediately started seperate saving account for CAR MAINTENANCE. So far we’ve been able to pay for over $1000+ in repairs this year thanks to that fund.
CELL PHONE: $194
Our cell phone bill is set at $194, and this is ridiculously high. I have an iPhone 6S, and Marcus has a Galaxy. Will I be upgrading to the iPhone 7? Absolutely Not! I’ve learned that I can’t continually try to keep up with technology and disregard my budget. I’ll admit the iOS 10 update is rather cool, but keeping my coins is even cooler.
PET CARE $75
We have two wonderful dogs. We budget $75 a month for their care. This covers food, treats, and any other toys we may purchase for them. Dog food usually runs us about $45 every month and a half so whatever is left at the end of every month goes into a savings account. We use the money in the savings account to pay for vet visits as well as their flea, tick, and heartworm medication.
We cut back on cable back in March 2015. The amount we were paying was absurd, especially since neither one of us was home enough to watch TV really. We have a standard package with the one luxury channel which is HBO which we will be keeping because of Game of Thrones. Hello!
We also have Netflix which we pay $9.99 for a month as well as Amazon Prime.
Besides the boring utilities and an ongoing battle I’m having with the electric company, this is what our budget basically looks like. We also budget for life insurance, auto insurance, gym memberships, and our mortgage.
We also pay out $2236 a month towards student loans which leave us very little room for anything else. While we pay this much towards our student loans our monthly payoff reports don’t reflect the amount we have going towards our minimum payments for three of the loans and here’s why…
The amount we pay toward our minimum payments barely gets applied to the principle if at all. We may see like $2.00 at the most get applied towards the principle. We just pay the minimums to keep interest from accruing. We only count $1527 of this towards our debt payoff amount because it’s an amount that is actually going towards paying off something which is a balance transfer we did on one of our student loans. You can read all about that here.
We get a lot of questions about how much we make. We stated from the beginning that we choose not to share that as Marcus wanted to create boundaries with how much we let people into our lives, and in this world of reality TV and oversharing I can see why he would feel this is important. Plus I think our parents would have a fit if we did (they’re kinda leery about how much we share already).
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