Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Budget Goals

First of all I would like to update you on our current budget. Our grand total for average monthly income is $2,326.62.

Bills Monthly Expenses

Electricity $70.00
Credit Card #1 $15.00
Personal Loan $174.00
Vehicle Payment $663.00
Credit Card #2 $20.00
Hydro $32.00
Credit Card #3 $0.00
Gas (Auto) $44.00
Credit Card #4 $39.00
Groceries $217.00
Water Sanitation $14.00
Internet $19.95
Car Insurance $146.33
Rent $500.00
Student Loan $35.00
Cell Phone $88.59

Totals $2,077.87

Here, is the list of goals for September. I am very hopeful for this month...but, we will see when I do my monthly recap in October.
  1. Purchase all necessary items for Baby #2's arrival.
  2. Keep grocery budget under $217.00 for the month.
  3. Find additional ways to increase our income and reduce expenses.
  4. Get our bills at least 50% of the way caught up.
What are your financial goals for the month? I would love to see your budget, I am sure that it will help my family accomplish our goals.


  1. Good Luck! August wasn't very good for us eaither, I am hoping to just get a good budget made and actually stick to it :)

  2. My family has about the same income and we are a family of 6. We live from paycheck to paycheck, which is every two weeks. I plan our meals out for the two weeks and try to spend as little as possible. The way i do our dinner meals, is one night we have something small and simple like grilled cheese and soup and then the next night a good meal like meatloaf baked potato and green beans. It kinda evens out. Wow you have to many credit cards. We had three but we got a loan to pay those off because when were late the charges are aweful. With combining them it not only gave us a lower monthly payment but it's easier to manage than having several payments and having to worry about being late on them. As for vehicle insurance I have two brand new vehicles with full coverage on both and only pay $95 a month. I go through an insurance agent. Plus i have it dirently taken out of my account and pay every month for the six months, it's cheaper that way too. wow i wrote alot.

  3. Yes, we do have several credit cards. None of which we actually have cards for. We cut up each of these cards at the beginning of the year, and have not used them since. We do not plan on using credit (other than possibly a house) in the future....we are just in the process of getting these paid off.

    I have checked with other car insurance agencies, and we have the absolute lowest rate we can possibly get at this time. My husband uses his vehicle for work....so there is additional insurance that we have to carry that the average person would not.

    Another reason our car insurance is higher is because neither my husband or I are above the age of 25 (me 22, hubby 24)....so this could also account for our higher insurance.

    Our car insurance is automatically withdrawn from our account monthly, and we renew our policy every six months.

    Thanks for your comment!

  4. Thanks for your bravery in posting the actual numbers. Most people chicken out. Glad to see this.

  5. Thank you! It was difficult at first, but why hide from the truth?

  6. I pay my savings account a monthly premium for car insurance and then pay the insurance company every 6 months. Most companies actually charge your $4 or more a month to pay monthly. Instead of paying for the convenience, I earn interest on the money in my savings account! Just an idea.

  7. I found your blog through Money Saving Mom and first want to applaud you with being so open and honest with your numbers. So many people talk about their debt but don't get down to the nitty gritty. As an outsider looking in the one number that stands out to me is $663.00 for the car payment - ouch. Have you guys looked into a pay as you go cell phone? I have heard thats a great way you can save money. I look forward to getting to know you. Leene

  8. Leene,

    Thank you!

    I know, that stupid car payment is killing us! It was a dumb mistake my husband made at 20 years old, and we are still paying for it. Thank goodness the thing is still in good working condition. Haha.

    My husband says that we will be keeping it FOREVER! Eventually it will be lawn decoration. Haha. I REALLY don't think so.

    We looked into a pay as you go plan, but it wouldn't really be saving us any money. We have a cheaper beyond cheap cell phone plan (for the amount of voice/data we use)....plus an additional 20% from my hubby's company. We are planning on eliminating my husbands line in the near future to save a little bit of money, but I don't foresee it making a big change in our monthly payments.

    Thanks so much for your comment!

  9. wow! Thanks for being so open and sharing your actual budget numbers. found you through msm. I think you'll find a HUGE amt of wiggle room in this budget when you pay off that car! Imagine having an extra $663 toward those cc's. Keep up the good work - may God bless you for your humility and bless all your efforts to be good parents to those 2 blessings!

  10. Wow! You ARE brave for posting numbers! Good for you!

    Two things did stand out to me: the huge car payment (which you commented on above) and the CHEAP rent payment! The last time I saw rent that low I was living in family housing at college ($390/mo + Utilities - which were about $120/mo)! Rent here is about $1500/mo for anything in a (reasonably) safe neighborhood (as in not getting shot at when you take a walk)...that's why we bought a house! :)

    The only suggestion I have about any of it is buying veggies/fruit from local vendors or at a farm market to help the grocery budget. We're currently spending $25/wk for groceries/toiletries/etc. for 4 - including 1 in diapers becuase we can get a TON of produce for around $10 (literally 2 weeks+ worth) and I freeze what we don't use so I don't buy produce over the winter - except a few bananas, apples and oranges. I stock up on meat with that $10/wk over the winter so I have meat for under $2/lb all year from then. Helps keep the grocery budget WAY down!

    Keep pluggin away at it! And Thanks for sharing!

  11. Jenn,

    Thank you so much for the wonderful comment! It is great to hear form people, I love it. Haha.

    I know, I can't wait until we can throw all of our money at credit cards, etc. once that truck is paid off. Our current budget doesn't leave a whole lot of room to pay more than the minimum payments on credit cards.

    Thank you so much for the encouragement! We greatly appreciate it.

  12. Wow! You seriously only spend $25 a week? That is crazy, I am so IMPRESSED! I don't know if I could do that....I am having a very difficult time to keep it about $50 a week. Do you have a large stockpile that you use for stables, etc?

    We haven't really used farmer's markets etc., but I should. My mother in law does a lot of canning...so, I really should ask her to show me the process so I can start canning our own foods.

    I am not sure were you live, but I would imagine that the cost of living here in Iowa is significantly lower ;o). We have a 2 bedroom apartment in a great neighborhood. $1500 a month would EASILY rent you an entire house with a minimum of 4 bedrooms.

    It is crazy how much the cost of things vary through out the country.

    Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! I truly appreciate the feed back, and the great suggestions!

  13. HI again...

    Yep, $25 a week - but it's taken quite a while to get there. We were spending $300/wk then went to $100 (Yes, that was SUPER tough!), then to $75, then to $40 over about 3 years time and now to $25 about in March of this year due to some health issues and car repairs and needing to find preschool and graduate school tuition in our now 1-income household.

    Unless you count 7 boxes of cheerios, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 2 cans of soup, 4 pkgs of femanine pads, a case of TP and a bag of rice a 'stockpile', no, I don't have one. (I guess in a way it is a stockpile but not like the kind MSM usually links to!) I just have target prices for things (most between 30 and 50 cents per thing using sales and coupons) and only buy what we really need first - veggies, some meat, fruit, flour, sugar, yeast, etc. before buying anything 'fun'. I do have to have coffee and diapers (we're pampers people) but I buy the diapers at Sam's Club by the case and the coffee through a local non-profit for cheap (since coffee is a necessity you know...:) ). My shopping trips look as weird as MSM's though she buys a lot of things I wouldn't. We really carefully watch portion sizes and have a lot of things we just don't buy including bread, mixes (muffins, cake, meals, etc.), tomato sauce (I make these three from scratch), pop (soda), most juice, processed food of just about every kind, most crackers and candy.

    BTW, I usually blanch and freeze things, rather than canning. I have a blanching pot and a big enough freezer so I find that faster and easier than canning - except for pickles, which don't work frozen! With 2 jobs and 2 munchkins, I find I just don't have the time for real canning in any kind of abundance.

    Hang in there - you'll figure it out and find the ideal $ amount for you and your family!

    God Bless,

  14. Lea,

    Thanks so much for the great post. I just cut our budget from about $100 a week to $50 (about three weeks ago)....so I think that the way you did it, in stages, would be how I will do it.

    Do you have a meal plan that you post, or could copy into a comment? I would love to see what you feed your family, especially on so little. I think that I have a difficult time getting to the end of the week with our $50 budget.

    Our coffee equals soda....and my husband would definitely view this as a necessity. Haha.

    I do freeze a few items, but we are living in an apartment with a relatively small freezer. Bummer I know. I can't wait to get a house, and then a chest freezer, and then a "stock pile" room. Haha. I don't have much of a stock pile either. However, I wouldn't mind having one. I don't know how some of the mom's live off their stockpile for a month or longer. A) I don't have the room and B) That takes a lot of creativity that I am just not sure I have. Lol.

    Are both of your children in diapers? I know that I will have 2 in diapers here pretty soon (we are Pampers people for the most part too, but don't mind using Target "Up" Brand diapers), and I am nervous about the effect to my grocery budget. That is just about half of my weekly budget. Goodness diapers are crazy. Haha.

    Thanks so much for your comment. Look forward to hearing from you soon!



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