As promised, here is our February budget (and basically the same budget every month during the school year), and how our budget/envelope system works:
I budget by week, as that is how often I go grocery shopping and am able to get cash from the ATM. I get different amounts of cash out each week to deposit into our envelopes. The money left over in the envelopes at the end of each week and each month just stays in there and builds up.
Week 1 (Feb. 2-8)
Hair (for hair cuts): $15
Car Repairs (Oil changes, etc.): $40 (If a major repair needs to happen, it would come out of our emergency fund)
Gas for Hubs and me: $80 (We are almost always under this, so extra goes into savings. I like keeping it high, though, so if prices rise again, we won’t be scrambling to find the money)
Internet: $63 (Hubs insists on the highest speed, as we stream a lot of our television)
Week 2 (Feb. 9-15)
House: $40 (For house projects, repairs, etc.)
Eating Out: $70
Gas for Hubs and me: $80
Christmas Savings: $75
Regular Savings: $5
Week 3 (Feb 16-22)
Gifts: $70 (I think I may lower this to $50, and then set aside the other $20 for household supplies: paper products, toiletries, etc.)
Baby: $50 (This is for Miss C, but has been labeled “baby” since I was pregnant with her… The name never changed)
Gas for Hubs and me: $80
Car: $600 (Car payment and insurance for both vehicles)
College Fund: $25
Student Loans: $623 (This does include an extra payment to the lowest loan)
Computer Backup: $5
Week 4 (Feb. 23 – Mar. 1)
Car tags: $50 (Have to be renewed each year… after scrambling for money the first year we were married and had a new car, I started putting away a bit each month. This amount is higher than normal, as I did not do well putting some aside the past few months.)
During this month, I will receive 1 paycheck and Hubs will receive 2 paychecks. I will also receive some income from my photography business, but I do not count that in when I make my budget, since it changes each month. Our income is higher than what I base our budget on. That way we will have more for savings, or if something comes up, we will have extra.
This month there is a big kid’s consignment sale at the end of the month. I think I will use my photography income ($150 or so) for that. I will need to look at what Miss C has in her 18 month wardrobe, and then see what we need to fill it in with. I should be able to fill out her wardrobe for the spring/summer for that amount without any problems.
So there ya have it… the nitty, gritty of our budget. What gets me is that we are paying over $1000 to debt (car and student loans). It makes me mad, and I am ready to be done with it! It will go down quite a bit in October when we are finished paying off the car, but I know it won’t be too long until I will need a new car myself. Hopefully we will find one with a lower payment, that way we can put more towards it and get it paid off sooner. I don’t think I will be able to keep my little car going long enough to save up enough to pay for a new-to-me car outright.
There are times I look at our budget and get so mad with how little we have to work with, but other times I realize how wonderful it is that we are able to make ends meet and even put some away into savings. We are more blessed than so many other people in this world and in this country. We really have no reason to complain.
What does your budget for February look like? If you ever need help figuring one out, I am happy to help. I am not a professional, but I love numbers and budgets!