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Our Budget Update

It’s been a while since I’ve let you all peek into our monthly budget.  I hadn’t realized that we’ve changed quite a bit.  My husband’s new job raised our monthly income a little and we’ve changed a few of our service providers.  Here is how our budget looks right now:

  • Mortgage – $900
  • Roth IRA – $300
  • Car Insurance – $115
  • Gasoline – $185
  • Electricity – $150
  • Water – $30
  • AT&T U-Verse & DSL- $115
  • Sprint – $140
  • Housekeeper – $130
  • Lawn Services – $50
  • Netflix for Us – $10
  • Netflix for Grandparents – $20
  • Groceries – $350
  • Fast Food / Restaurants – $150
  • Misc. Bills – $125
  • Toll Roads – $100
  • Car and Home Account – $500
  • Joint Entertainment – $50
  • Hubby’s Fun Money – $120
  • My Fun Money – $120
  • Emergency Fund/Savings – $350
  • Vacation Account – $200
  • Tax Account for IRS and Property Taxes – $400
  • Cash for Investments – $240
  • Cash – $150
  • Total Budget = $5000

That comes to $60,000 a year and we make $83,000 jointly ($35,500 from me and $47,500 from my husband). Taxes, the pension, the 401(k) ,our extra 4 paychecks in long months, and our benefits account for the other $22,500 a year.

Unplanned expenses that pop up on the budget are taken from the appropriate target accounts. Extra money from our hobby jobs (blogging and sports officiating) and leftover income is split between the Emergency Fund/Savings account (25%), the Extra Cash for Investments account (35%), the Vacation account (20%), and our two individual Fun Money accounts (10% each).

Before anyone asks, we donate our own fun money to the charities we love to support and that amount varies month-to-month.  That is why you don’t see giving in our budget.

I am hoping to show through our story that a school librarian and an office worker can budget their money to pay for our needs, our future, and the fun stuff along the way.   🙂

19 thoughts on “Our Budget Update”

  1. krantcents

    Looks like a good budget! How is your performance against the budget? Ever under or over? If either, did you change your budget

  2. JT McGee

    I get a good laugh out of a budget row for toll roads; they just aren’t at all common here. I think I’ve spent less than $5 throughout my lifetime on tolls.

  3. Crystal @ BFS

    @krantcents, our performance varies. Last month we went under by $200 but the month before we went over $150. We’ve reevaluate it at least once a year to make sure it’s realistic.

    @JT, it is not nice to laugh. 😉 The Beltway 8 toll road is the only way to keep trips from the East side of town bearable (under 75 minutes) during the weekday afternoons and evenings – my husband works there so we get hit with about $2.50 of toll road charges every working day. It sucks. When high school football starts up, he has to take the toll road to get to the games that he officiates in time, so those charges go up another $1.25-$2.50 a day. That really sucks. 🙁

  4. Dr. Timothy Lawler

    Great detail on your budget! That is the way you have to do it! So many people fail to get down into the nitty gritty details, and they also fail to find an extra $50-$100/month the could invest in other places. Keep up the great posts!

  5. Money Reasons

    I knew you had a lawn care guy, but I didn’t realize you had housekeeping too! That’s awesome. I didn’t realize it was so reasonably price either!

    That for sharing your budget, it provide readers with a great template for their own budget 🙂

  6. Crystal @ BFS

    @Dr. Timothy, thanks!

    @Money Reasons, yeah, Jacqui is awesome. She comes by every two weeks and cleans the bottom floor and our master bed and bath for $60 (about $20 an hour). She’s thorough and sweet and I love her British accent! She’d be the last “extra” expense we’d ever cut! I update our budget at least once a year, but you can always see the most current version under the “Quick Info” tab at the top. 🙂

  7. Jackie

    Oh man, I want someone to come clean our house! Maybe I should actually call that number I got a while back to get a quote…

  8. Jenna

    Just out of curiosity – what charities do you support and why?

  9. Little House

    Living in a state with hardly any toll roads (I’ve only ever seen one), I was shocked by how much it adds up a month! Hopefully that means you have smooth, newly paved roads,right? 😉

  10. Bogey

    Good details. I think a lot of people are against keeping very detailed budgets these days. Personally, my wife and I track every single penny we spend, but I have been tempted lately to stop doing this, and see where we are in 6 months in relation to today. It would be interesting to see if we could sustain our financial momentum without tracking every penny.

    Perhaps I should post a detailed budget for comparison, it is an interesting exercise.

  11. Everyday Tips

    I too was shocked about the toll road cost!

    It is impressive how closely your spending is aligned with your budget. You are way better than me!! Great job.

  12. Yakezie

    That’s great that you allocate about $600 for saving and investing a month + the extra 401K and stuff. Not bad at all!

    The Beta Class Member Posts are going up now. Please come say hello when you have time.



  13. 101 Centavos

    The level of detail is impressive. Also impressive is how much you both manage to save.

  14. LifeAndMyFinances

    I like that you put all the extra toward investments. Nice work!

  15. Amanda

    Just out of curiosity, do you have life insurance or disability insurance? We got life insurance about a year ago (SO cheap), and now I am trying to decide if we should get disability insurance as well.

    I know that Dave Ramsey REALLY encourages people to get disability insurance. And, it would only be about 30-35 bucks a month to get my husband covered for a disability to age 65.

  16. Crystal @ BFS

    @Jackie, call several numbers and start a small competition on price. I wouldn’t pay more than $20-$25 an hour here in Houston, TX.

    @Jenna, I personally donate the most to the Houston SPCA since I volunteered with them for 2 years and saw exactly how they used their money and treated their animals. My husband donates the most to the national Alzheimer’s Association since that disease is dang scary.

    @Little House, the toll roads are pretty well maintained but the rest of the roads still stink…

    @Bogey, let me know if you do post a detailed budget – I love being nosey, lol.

    @Everyday Tips, nah, we still have to grab large amounts out of our vacation fund when we splurge on things like smart phones…

    @Sam, thanks! I’ll definitely take a look in the evenings when I have access.

    @101 Centavos, thanks!

    @LifeAndMyFinances, only about 60% of the extra goes to savings and investments. The other 40% goes to our vacation account and fun money. But thanks!

    @Amanda, yes, we pay the extra $10 a month for a $100,000 life insurance policy for each of us and $40 a month for short-term and long-term disability for each of us. So, about $600 a year covers everything. It’s taken directly out of our paychecks, so it’s not in our budget. 🙂

  17. First Gen American

    It’s interesting that heat isn’t on your list. That’s a big ol item on my budget this time of year. I suppose you make up for it in the summer with the AC bills.

  18. Crystal @ BFS

    @First Gen, electricity covers our A/C, heat, and everything else in the house. We don’t have a gas line. Our bill is usually around $150-$175 in the hottest months because of the A/C, $65-$80 in the 6 average months every year here, and $100ish during the coldest months. 🙂

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