As far as the budget we are doing great in my mind. All the years I had a budget, sometimes on paper, some times in my head, but having a zero based Dave Ramsey budget is really helping put things in perspective. My husband and I printed the Monthly Cash Flow Plan from Dave's website then I also have it on my computer to easily change the numbers each month.
The following is our budget. I won't give numbers but percentages. The percentages will be of the total planned monthly income unless stated.
FoodGroceries: 2% weekly of our monthly income. So this can vary depending on how many weeks are in the month. Every week this month we have had a little left over in this category, but have been rolling it over.
Restaurants: 0%. We ate out once because I had a Groupon that was to expire. I used my gas money and mad money to pay for tip and other amount not covered by Groupon. This weekend when we went out of town I purposely spent only 50% of our weekly grocery amount so we could get food on the way there and out of town. We used coupons and were conservative on what we bought. It wasn't fancy, just fast food. We stayed with family so our meals were covered when we got to our destination.
ClothingAdults: .2% (This is more of a build up fund as we don't need clothes every month.)
Children: .2% (Same as clothing for Adults, plus they received clothes for Christmas, and get hand me downs.)
Cleaning/Laundry: .1% ( We don't dry clean, so this will be for detergent and dryer sheets.)
HousingFirst Mortgage: 5% weekly of our monthly income. Includes property tax and insurance. This is taking out of the bank account every week, and makes us pay more than is due each year to pay it off faster. This probably wouldn't be what Dave would suggest, but this is what we are used to and consider it part of the regular payment.
Home Improvement Loan: 3%
Repairs/Maint.: 0%. We do have a lot that needs done at this time but at this time are not putting anything in this fund. I think once we get going and I get a second job we well have separate envelopes for what needs to be done.
TransportationGas: .6% weekly of our monthly income for me, .8% weekly of our monthly income for my husband
Repairs & Car Replacement: 0%. We have new cars which will be paid off in two years and we have a good interest rate, so we did not sell them to get out of debt. With my second job I will start to think about tires for our cars in the future.
License & Taxes: Not due this month. Mine will be 3% next month. This is an easy one to take out of the budget, but we could/should make a sinking fund for this.
UtilitiesElectricity/Gas: 2% which changes every 3 months. This is budget billing, and I know it has been a bad winter.
Water/Trash: 1%. This varies $5-10 monthly. I plan for an amount and if under the extra goes to debt.
Cell Phones: 2%. I have a plan with my parents which I have had for a while and they get a discount. My husbands is higher but he gets a discount through work.
Internet: .8%. Currently we have a promotional fee. We use internet to watch Netflix and Hulu and the kids have Xbox Live.
Netflix: $7.99 streaming only, no cable.
Medical/HealthMedications/Doctor Bills/Dentist/Other: 1%. This was just for this month. Most months will be zero. Every couple months I have a small prescription to fill. This will be part of the budget discussion. Obviously we will go to the doctor if needed but then we can start planning how to pay after. The bills take a while to get back to us then if a big amount we will make payments and can treat it like a sinking fund. If small it can be out of mad money or reduce our debt pay off for the month.
InsuranceAuto Insurance: 2%. Currently this is the only insurance. We need to add Life. Home is part of mortgage, health comes out of paycheck.
RecreationEntertainment: .2%. We are planning to go to the movies for Birthdays and this will fund this expense.
Vacation: 1% going to see family. This will fund gas and food for the trip. This is more of a sinking fund and once we get to our goal we might stop.
PersonalChild Care: 2% weekly of our monthly income. This can fluctuate and this is for the school year, so will change when the kids are out of school.
Toiletries: 1%. This is high since my husband only like a certain brand of razors and shaves a lot.
Haircut: .1%. We try to let our kids hair grow and shave my son's head in the summer which we can do at home. I rarely get my haircut and my husband shaves his, see above.
Organization Dues: .3%. This is for boy scouts, girl scouts and 4-H sinking fund. This are due in the fall so after that it will go down to be broken down by 12 months.
Christmas: 1%. Last year I save Jan-Nov for my family. This year we are saving for both families since my husband and I are being on the same page and trying to be equals.
Pocket Money: 2%. A.K.A. Mad Money, Blow Fund. Used for random things, snacks and keeps us from feeling really deprives.
Pet Supplies: .3%. This pays for dog food which is bought every other month. We get a giant bag at Walmart.
Music/Technology: .3%. This will be due in May and then this sinking fund can go down to be split into 12 monthly payments, as long as we can rent from the guild when she moves up in grades.
Other: No other categories are being funding from Dave's worksheet.
The rest of our income will be debt payments. We are able to get our starter emergency fund fast because my husband has a fluctuating income. We looked at last year and took the week with the lowest amount to count on, so in actually we will be paid more then what is in our plan. See Dave's Irregular Income Planning sheet if you work on commission or in a seasonal job.