You ask and you shall receive!
One of the takeaways from the money map was a breakdown of the budget was warranted.
Back when it was just me before I started dating Ms Blue Ribbon I was smart enough to at least track my money and have a “budget.”
It was pretty light and wasn’t being followed at all but it was something. I kept with that style after we started dating and even after we got married.
We really didn’t pay attention to it until after Mini Donut was born. I kept trying to make the old reactive budget work but we were constantly over spending and being caught off guard by different occasional expenses. (Amazon boxes were showing up quite often)
Let’s Get Real
Finally enough was enough and we got serious about our spending. We moved to a cash budget for gas, eating out, groceries, and a catch all bucket (Also cancelled prime ?).
Luckily for us I had over 5 years of data to make an educated guess for how much each should be. Every time a new occasional expense showed up we would pay it with some of our catch all money and add it to the budget so we could set aside a little each month to cover it next time.
After a year and a half we were only making small changes here and there like adding a few dollars to internet because there was a new tax. Another being the cost of water went up so we added a few bucks as a buffer.
|Home & Auto Insurance||194|
|DMV – Camry Tabs||18|
|DMV – Leaf Tabs||29|
|Gas & Fuel||40|
|Mini Donut 529||80|
|Baby 2 529|
|Property tax escrow||300|
|Mini Donut allowance||10|
|Baby 2 allowance|
Let Me Break This Down
In regards to the chart, the ones marked in yellow are set up in Mint to carry over the leftover money to the next month budget to average out the differences.
Green denotes entries that are yearly. Obviously Xmas will be used in December and we will have $204 to use for gifts. Car tabs are the other ones that are yearly. I just take how much was due this year and set aside that much for next year.
At the end of the year whatever is left in those buffer entries will go toward some side goal like a trip or pay down the house or…whatever goal needs attention.
Lastly, purple is for future entries. We are still waiting on a social security number for baby 2. We need that so we can set up his 529 and savings account.
None of those are cash entries anymore. After one year we moved gas back onto the credit card since that wasn’t a problem spot. Around that time we also moved groceries back to our Target Red Debit card since that wasn’t being problematic anymore.
Finally a few months ago we moved eating out and the catch all back onto the credit card. So far so good. We are keeping a watchful eye on those changes and we’ll go back to cash if we need to.
Do you use a cash budget for anything? What yearly expenses do you have?
How do you track your budget and/or spending?
Any Minnesotans have a good idea for baby 2’s name?