My son's birthday was in March. We didn't budget for a gift. I had a Groupon that was to expire for a local science center. My husband didn't really want to go so I invited one of my son's friends. The best part was we got there half an hour before it opened, and meter parking is free on the weekend and we found one right outside, so I didn't have to pay for parking in a garage. He also just wanted chips and juice instead of a cake, which saved some money. We did have a family party and I bought the cake from Costco for less than $20. We budget for automobile gas and mad money, which we blend. The total of this budget is $170. I also allowed $100 to be put aside from my second job to go towards all these extra expenses this month. So here is what I spent in March:
I had $18 cash, which over half went to the church I attend.
Vending machines at work: $24.40
Field Trip: $15
School Play t-shirt, after party and group picture: $15
School play costume: $40.43
Fast food: 33.72
Bean bag beans: 13.77
Violin Solo Competition: $5
Work pot luck: 13.68
Printer Ink, aluminum foil: $45.85
school year book: $15
We also had to buy salt for the water softener but took this out of our vacation fund since my husband didn't use any of it during spring break.
So as you can see even though I extended my budget I still went over by $48.17. I could have not participated in the potluck, waited on the headphone (although can't really say I regret it took much since I use they every day at work), and not bought bean bag beans. The field trip was a "suggested" donation, but I still felt I had to contribute. The sheet also noted you could add more money to pay for another child, but I think $15 is a lot for a field trip in the first place, especial since parents are driving. I did a lot better last month and was able to put extra money towards the debt from groceries and gas. I'm going to try a lot harder in April. Having two jobs is really exhausting. I haven't had a day off since January. I am working 60-70 hours a week and so is my husband. I just keep telling myself: It is only two years, and I'm making money. We are slated to have our first debt paid off in April and that is really exciting. We should have our second debt paid by August if we stay on track. My husband's work is to pick up in the summer which is nice, since we will also have more daycare expenses.
In April we also have to bring snacks for 25 students for 5 days, but I plan on taking this out of the grocery fund. Other than that I also hope to buy Rachel and Dave's book during pre-sale, but I plan on waiting to see how much money I have by April 15 before I buy.
I feel like a kid on a debt reducing road trip: "Are we debt free yet?"
Saturday - lunch hot dogs and chips; dinner chicken salad
Sunday - lunch turkey burgers and carrots; dinner red beans and rice
Monday - pork chops and sliced apples
Tuesday - pulled pork and coleslaw
Wednesday - steak tacos with PR rice
Thursday - pizza grilled cheese
Friday - fish and chips
Saturday - lunch mac and cheese; dinner PR stew
Sunday - lunch nuggets and tots; dinner pork and rice bowls (using leftovers from Tues)
Now that I have a second job, I have not had a day off for weeks. I really didn't expect a part time job to schedule me every day I am available, but they are and I'm earning money. It isn't too bad, I just need to be more organized and it does make me tired. I want to shop for two weeks at a time so two Saturdays a month I don't have to go grocery shopping.
January's budget went OK. I always thought I was doing OK, but a written zero based budget is working so much better. On Dave Ramsey's blog he has post on things you might forget to budget for the month which is helpful. Here is what we missed in our budget in January:
Drivers license renewal 21.50 for a 5 yr (paid less on debt)
Groupon use cost $6 for tip $13 food ( paid from mad money and gas fund)
Boy scout go see it wrestling $8 (used change jar)
School play skate party fundraiser $13 (my husband paid with his mad money and daughter paid from her money)
Birthday at school ( I used my birthday money):
Field trip $5.25 ( this was an optional donation so we didn't because we didn't have the money)
I received $50 for my birthday. I thought about putting it all towards debt but my husband said to spend it on myself. I ended up spending most of it on snacks and my daughters half birthday to bring treats to school. I have a hard time telling my kids no and I already promised her that about a month ago, before we started budgeting.
Car tags $177.50
Girl scout world food day: ~$5
Tax Pro: ~$200
Donation to Jump for Heart- $5 ( already paid from mad money)
I have picked up a second job which I hope to fund all the above and to use my mad money. My husband and I each get some mad money each month. Last month I went over so I took out that much less this month. When I went to the bank I took out $10 less than that for just in case, which is how I paid for the Donation already. The grocery and extra money in my gas fund we are putting towards debt. We were planning to use extra grocery money towards some more expensive food, but I reasoned that we did eat out when we went out of town so we did have that treat.