You might be wondering what the the picture above is all about… well, Ellie’s night time sleep routine is holding steady, with at least one middle of the night wake up per night. Our friends have a “toddler clock” and had good results with it; however, we didn’t want to shell out any money for something that Ellie was just going to ignore. That’s where this car (aka Bob the car), nightlight, trivet situation comes in. Mike rigged up our very own “toddler clock” to see if it would work for Ellie. These clocks work by telling your kid when it’s okay to get out of bed. In our case, if the light is red, you stay in bed (which we repeat on a daily basis), if it’s green, it’s okay to get out of bed. Every night, we plug in the “red light” that’s attached to an extension cord and plugged in, in our room. This light stays on all night, and then when it’s time to get up in the morning we unplug the red light and plug in the green (also plugged into an extension cord that we plug in, in the morning after we’re up). We’ll try anything to get a good night’s sleep. Does it work? Sort of… it worked really well the first few times we used it (and I have no idea if it was from the actual light or she just happened to sleep through the night). However, I think the novelty has worn off… so I’m not really sure if it’s actually doing anything. But… I am glad we didn’t pay for an official clock… because toddlers do what they want!
On to the budget stuff… June was an out of the ordinary month in terms of expenses (or maybe it’s an ordinary month for June). We were traveling for 2 weeks, I went to a conference, I only got 1/2 a paycheck (which is normal for June… and September), our families padded our income during our visit by covering food expenses and providing a little extra cash (thanks family!). Our dining out/entertainment spending was also higher since we were catching up with friends on the east coast and I ate out during the conference. June is also when we start supplementing income from savings that I’ve been putting away each month. This was the first year we started putting summer savings (and most of our general savings) into a high yield savings account and I’d highly recommend it if you don’t have your paychecks spread out across all 12 months of the year… in fact, I’d say, don’t have your paychecks spread out so you can earn interest!
Another thing to mention for June, I adjust our budget during the summer months since we rely on savings, so some of the line items (for example gifts) don’t show up this month. However, we can always pull from our savings funds for unexpected expenses if needed… for example, I am delinquent on a wedding gift, so I’ve gotta buy something at some point! Because I’ve shifted our numbers, the %s below look a little different from previous months.
june 2019 budget
over budget: 0.15% ⇒ covered with extra in phone/internet
What’s included? Mortgage payment, property taxes, home insurance, home warranty, and any home improvement costs.
June notes: We found a leak and with our big trip we weren't in a position to figure out the issue ourselves. We called the home warranty company to have someone come out to look at it, which comes with a standard bill. Add in a few supplies for an art project for Ellie's bedroom and we were slightly over this month.
Leftover: 14.67% ⇒ used to cover extra from travel and dining out/entertainment, rest is going towards our emergency fund
What’s included? Food, non-food cooking stuff, toiletries, cat supplies, cleaning supplies, paper products, pharmacy… anything you can buy at the grocery store.
June notes: This month was really low; however, we were visiting family, so a lot of our normal grocery expenses were taken care of… it wasn’t anything that we did! We’ve been keeping our emergency savings at $2000; however, I’d like to bump it up to $3000. Technically we’ve got that additional $1000 spread throughout our other savings funds, but I’d like to have a dedicated additional $1000 here, so I’m using most of the extra from this month for that purpose rather than student loans.
Leftover: 2.17% ⇒ emergency fund
What’s included? Electric, gas, water, and trash.
Travel related expenses
Savings for yearly bills: 1.73%
over budget: 1.92% ⇒ covered with extra in phone/internet (partially) and groceries
What’s included? Car insurance, gas, car registration (billed every 2 years), AAA (billed once a year), savings for a car maintenance fund, and a general travel fund for family visits and smaller local trips.
June notes: With travel, we had bag fees and transit costs that put us over our budget. But, some of that will be reimbursed (I just haven’t gotten the reimbursement funds yet).
leftover: 0.55% ⇒ used to cover extra from housing, student loans, and travel
What’s included? Phone bills, phone insurance, internet
Leftover: 0.64% ⇒ emergency fund
What’s included? Doctor’s bills (we also have an FSA but keep this additional fund to give us a little more padding just in case), a gym membership [dropped this until summer and then will reassess, putting the extra towards loans], and a savings fund for a summer bootcamp (only taken out during school year).
June notes: During June through September I stop taking out bootcamp funds because that’s when the bootcamp occurs. I’ve saved up enough during the school year to attend… but haven’t yet!
savings for yearly bills: 2.66%
over budget: 2.04% ⇒ prime bill hit, covered with our prime savings fund
What’s included? A random assortment of things… jewelry insurance (billed once a year), a once a year haircut for me, Netflix, Prime membership (billed once a year), website hosting (billed once a year), and just a general miscellaneous category. For the things that are billed once a year, I just divide them by 12 and include it as a line on our budget each month, putting it into savings each month, letting it earn a tiny bit of interest. In early spring 2019 I added Ellie’s co-op preschool and 2 membership subscription sites that are blog related.
June notes: Our prime bill hits in June, so I moved over those funds from savings to cover the amount we went over budget.
over budget: 3.25% ⇒ covered with extra from groceries
What’s included? Dining out/take out, museums, kid stuff (e.g., a class at the rec center for Ellie)
June notes: With travel came lots of eating out and catching up with friends. My conference meals will be reimbursed so some of this will come back to us.
What’s included? Gifts, mainly for Ellie, sometimes for the occasional wedding or new baby. Mike and I don’t buy each other gifts (aside from the occasional food item during holidays/birthdays). We’ve got a gift moratorium going on for family/friends birthdays. Anything left over in this category gets put into our savings until we need it.
June notes: I cut this for the summer months… but will need to spend money on a wedding gift at some point.
over budget: 1.42% ⇒ covered with clothing savings fund
What’s included? Clothes (pretty self explanatory)
June notes: Also cutting clothing expenses for the summer; however summer seems to be when I go through my clothes and reassess what’s missing or needs to be replaced. I bought a pair of sunglasses and some summer gear. I’m also in need of a sports bra but that will have to wait until later in the summer.
moved to savings: 1.29%
What’s included: Monthly contributions to a Roth IRA
over budget: 0.03% ⇒ covered with extra from phone/internet
leftovers from above categories: 0% (taking a break to build up our emergency fund)
What’s included: Mike’s student loan payments and my student loan payments. The % budgeted/spent reflects our bottom line payment (e.g., our minimum payment amounts, plus a little extra on Mike’s so interest doesn’t accrue).
June notes: Some of our loan payments were bumped up slightly because of our income drive repayment re-certification. Need to update the budget to reflect those changes. I might move a little bit over to our loans this month just to say we did something extra, but it won’t be much. Summer will be slower since our budget is stricter.