August 2017 Budget

This is our first budget post! Woohoo! Ok, so if you read my last blog about our past spending habits, you’ll know how big of a deal this is for us… Especially me, Hilary. In the past (yes, the PAST because this is NOT happening again), we spent way too much money on food, eating out, frivolous spending, or what have you. My husband would just tell me when to cut it out and I would. Well, sometimes I would…. Our problem was that we were just never on the same page. We’d fight about finances, we would both get stressed out, then just say screw it, and go back to our old ways of not budgeting like we should. But we’ve both just finally agree that this is not how we are supposed to be. We want to get OUT of this debt and we want to do it fast so our bad habits have to die.

But now we are putting ourselves on a strict budget. 

We are using the Every Dollar website and app to hold us accountable.

Because we are trying to pay off $128K over the next 2 years, we are going to cut our spending way down. We plan on being brutally honest and transparent with you (and ourselves) about our finances. We pray that it will help and encourage others to take the road to debt freedom.

First off – we are in Baby Step 2 under the Dave Ramsey system.  Baby Step 1 is that you save $1000 as an Emergency Fund.  We actually have a little over $2K sitting in savings right now so that is covered.

We will try to be as transparent as possible in this blog and that includes showing our income and expenses in detail.  Thomas has worked really hard and God has blessed him with a very good income so now it is up to us to be the best stewards as possible.

Our Planned August Budget is shown here from Every Dollar.  This leaves about $1500 as a Debt Snowball that we plan to throw at the debt on top of the $1757 that you see as the minimum budget amount.   This means our target is about $3250 towards debt this month, not including anything from our side business or selling personal items.

Here’s the detail:

  • Giving
    • Tithe – $200 [very important to us, not giving as much as we’d like but comfortable here for now]
    • Compassion International $38
  • Housing
    • Mortgage (Incl. Escrow) – $2150
    • Water – $200 (Not normal..usually around $80)
    • Natural Gas – $33
    • Electricity – $160
    • Internet – $75
    • Home Warranty – $53
    • Gardener – $60
    • Mobile Phone – $120 (should be under lifestyle category actually)
  • Transportation
    • Auto Gas – $100
    • Toll Fees – $40
    • Car Maintenance – $30 [SINKING FUND]
  • Food
    • Groceries – $500
    • Eat out – $200
    • Household – $50
  • Lifestyle
    • Gym Membership – $6
    • Misc – $100
    • YMCA – $98
  • Insurance
    • Life Insurance – $38
    • Auto Insurance – $177
  • Debt
    • Student Loan – Campus Loan – $100
    • Student Loan – Firstmark – $149
    • Student Loan – Discover – $451
    • Student Loan – Navient – $441
    • Car Loan – $272
    • CC Consolidation Loan – $359

Check back in at the end of the Month for our accountability post and results!


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2 Replies to “August 2017 Budget

  1. Great stuff there. Having clarity is key and putting it in writing makes it even better.
    Paying off $128k is huge. With relentless discipline I am sure you’d get there.
    It’d be interesting to see if you invest and how so (stocks, mutual funds, etc.)..

    Personal Alpha Investments

    1. Thanks for commenting! We were investing in 401K up until recently. The “Dave Ramsey” approach though Baby Steps is to pay off debts in Baby Step 2 (BS2) with a relentless gazelle intensity and that means pausing any investing. It has really helped us to get our snowball rolling. Baby Step 4 is when we start back in saving for retirement at a full 15% of income. When we get there, we will be maxing out 401K and Roth IRA. Will be as balanced as possible with mostly mutual funds I think.

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