Good afternoon and Happy August!
Let’s start by telling you my August budget plan. I have looked through so many different budget plans and I THINK I have found one that works. I say think because you never know until it happens. I downloaded a new app called ‘GoodBudget’. The basic version is free but you can pay for upgrades. I am too cheap to pay for upgrades and so far the basic version is good for me. The app runs on a virtual cash envelope system. I have watched so many YouTube channels about using the cash envelope system. I am terrified of keeping that much cash out of the bank and therefore…I thought I would give this a try.
Above pictured, is a screenshot of my August budget envelope system. I left my actual bills here so that I could explain to you exactly how I have used it for the past two week.
My groceries budget includes; groceries, eating out, fast food and coffee shops. Yes, Dunkin Donuts is part of grocery budget. I watched a video on YouTube by The Budget Mom. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5Wq6HptCcw) She made a great point that you’re less likely to spend money out when it’s included in your grocery bill and on the same note, you can reward yourself with eating out if you’re able to keep your grocery bill down for the month. I do currently live at home by myself (no foster kid quite yet) and that’s why I set my bill at $300 a month. I like to eat pretty healthy, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. I split my bill into $150 per paycheck. I typically stock up on the basics; pasta, rice, pasta sauce and canned veggies, whenever Market 32 has the 10/$10 sale. On weeks where I feel like I for some reason have less money, I use these basic meals instead.
This section includes all things car. My gas budget is $80 a month. My new SUV costs way more in gas than my Honda Civic Coupe did (insert crying face emoji). I live a 7 minute drive away from my job so I plan for this bill to go down significantly when school starts back up. I currently drive about a 30min drive, 3-4 times a week to babysit. It helps to bring in extra cash and keeps me busy through the summer so that I don’t spend too much. This section also includes my car payment of $525 and insurance of $138. My car payment is so high because it is a brand new car and I got a few cool features and extra warranty added on. My insurance also went up a bit due to the car accident. I rounded this up $7 because it was an even number and gave me a little wiggle room.
This section includes my utility and cable bill. My utilities bill typically ranges from $90 to $120 depending on the season and how much high I turn the air. I live in a pretty large apartment and my bedroom is on the top floor, so sometimes I have to use a little more energy to be able to sleep through the night. My cable bill is $71 and I only pay for internet. I rounded this up to give myself a little wiggle room for an unexpected higher utility bill.
This is an easy one. I told you all that last spring, I switched to StraightTalk by WalMart and it has saved me a ton of money. Even though I had to pay for the phone upfront (I have an iPhone 8Plus), it was worth it which how much money I am saving on a monthly bill.
Oh, this pains me to admit, but I have managed to max out both of my credit cards. This is partially due to the car accident and partially due to the four vacations I took this year. Yes, I am face-palming right now. My goal is to pay a minimum of $150 per card, per month. All extra money from my “rounding-up” on other bills will be allocated towards these debts. My credit card debt totals $4,600 right now and I am working extra hard to pay that off by the end of the year.
Yes, I realize that $165 is a random number. I pay for HULU live which is about $45 a month and Netflix which is $10 a month I believe. The rest of the money is allocated towards my going out. The most important part of a budget is to allocate money towards something for yourself. This includes; movies, bowling, and other random activities that I may want to do that month. Having this money allocated allows me to set up a day or two for myself that month without feeling like I’m taking from something else.
While I did share my budget and how I allocate that money, I don’t feel comfortable in saying exactly how much I make. What I will say is that all extra money does go towards my credit card debts. When my credit cards are paid off, all extra money will go towards my car’s principle in order to pay it off sooner. I plan to refinance in the next two years in order to lower my monthly payments and lower my interest rate. Hopefully my credit will be much better than it is right now and I will be able to get a much better deal .
I will be posting my September budget and may change some numbers around. I will see how this works out and have to factor in my change in schedule. I won’t be babysitting every week so that extra income will go away, but I also won’t be home as much so other bills may change as well.
Any questions or tips?! As always, leave it in the comments. Thank you for the support and I will see you next Sunday!