July 2019 Budget

One of our projects this month, wall decorations for Ellie’s room. Mike cut out fish from scraps of wood and then painted them (and Ellie painted the 3 in the front)

One of our projects this month, wall decorations for Ellie’s room. Mike cut out fish from scraps of wood and then painted them (and Ellie painted the 3 in the front)

July is the first summer month with no paycheck of any sort, so we’re pulling entirely from savings (using the money I’ve been setting aside each month during the school year). We also got hit with a big car maintenance bill this month (~$700), so we drained our car maintenance fund (which was just over $500) and then dipped into the emergency fund to pay the rest of the bill. Oddly enough, I looked at our car maintenance bills from the previous year and we had a major bill (~$800) on the very same day last year… apparently we’re very consistent about our car repairs. I didn’t start setting aside specific car repair money until this past January, so I’m hopeful that since we are setting funds aside in a separate car maintenance fund this year, that the next time there’s a major repair needed we won’t have to dip into the emergency fund. Other than that, it was a pretty run of the mill month. We stocked up on some freezer meals, had people over for dinner, made special b-day dinners for both Mike and myself, and made a meal for friends with a new baby, so our grocery bill was just a few dollars shy of what we budgeted for the month. We also got takeout twice, and then had a few other instances where we got snacks while out and about, so we went over on the dining out budget. And one final thing to note, the %s below are a little different from last month to account for our reliance on savings (I cut out or lower a number of our line items).

Previous budget posts can be found here: December 2018 (first post with background information), January 2019, February 2019, March 2019, April 2019, May 2019, and June 2019.

July 2019 budget

Housing
Budgeted: 44.80%
Spent: 44.66%
leftover: 0.14%
leaving in our checking acct. so that we don’t have to pull as much from savings next month

What’s included? Mortgage payment, property taxes, home insurance, home warranty, and any home improvement costs.

July notes: Mike has been on a project kick lately. He cut out and painted a bunch of wooden fish for Ellie’s bedroom wall (see pic above) and then also made me a chalkboard for my office. Two pretty simple projects that made each of these rooms feel a little bit homier.

Groceries
Budgeted: 20.19%
Spent: 19.95%
Leftover: 0.24%
leaving in our checking acct. so that we don’t have to pull as much from savings next month

What’s included? Food, non-food cooking stuff, toiletries, cat supplies, cleaning supplies, paper products, pharmacy… anything you can buy at the grocery store.  

July notes: We had people over for dinner, made a meal for a friend’s new baby, restocked our freezer meals, plus we made two b-day dinners, so there was a decent amount of grocery shopping that happened this month… AND we stayed within our budget!

Utilities
Budgeted: 6.36%
Spent: 4.16%
Leftover: 2.20%
leaving in our checking acct. so that we don’t have to pull as much from savings next month + covering extra from drs and dining out

What’s included? Electric, gas, water, and trash.

July notes: I lower the budgeted amount in our gas and electric bills during the summer months because we tend not to use as much during the winter months. Even with lowering these line items, there’s still a pretty big buffer between what’s budgeted and what we actually use, which means that if we go a little over in other categories we can use the extra from utilities to cover the costs.

Travel related expenses
Budgeted: 7.78%
Spent: 22.22%
Savings for yearly bills: 0.3%
over budget: 14.74%
covered with car maintenance and emergency funds from savings

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.

July notes: Like I mentioned earlier, we got hit with a large car bill this month. We knew it was coming at some point given that our car was shaking anytime we braked at high speeds. We took it in awhile back and they said we could squeeze a little bit more time out of the rotors (which were the issue), but after our camping trip at the beginning of the month (driving on lots of windy, steep mountain roads) we decided it was time to take it in.

Phone/internet
Budgeted: 3.38%
Spent: 3.01%
leftover: 0.37%
leaving in our checking acct. so that we don’t have to pull as much from savings next month

What’s included? Phone bills, phone insurance, internet

July notes: We keep spending less than what we budgeted, because our phone insurance stopped once our phones are paid off, and we never got new ones or renewed the insurance. I guess I could adjust this at some point, but for now it’s not bothering me so I’m leaving as is.

Health
Budgeted: 0.63%
Spent: 1.01%
over budget: 0.38%
covered with extra in utilities

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).

July notes: I’ve been to the doctors a bunch this month to figure out what’s going on with my back, which means more co-pays than normal. All of this will be reimbursed, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Miscellaneous
Budgeted: 3.28%
Spent: 0.87%
savings for yearly bills: 0.81%
leftover: 1.60%
leaving in our checking acct. so that we don’t have to pull as much from savings next month

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.

Dining out/entertainment
Budgeted: 1.12%
Spent: 1.50%
over budget: 0.38%
covered with extra from utilities

What’s included? Dining out/take out, museums, kid stuff (e.g., a class at the rec center for Ellie)

July notes: We did a dinner and lunch out (pre and post camping), we’ve started getting Ellie her own separate meal when we’re out and about. Before we would just take some of ours and give it to her, but lately she’s been eating more substantial meals, so that’s upping our dining out bill. I also had a meeting that was at a cafe and we got some b-day ice cream.

Gifts
Budgeted: 0%
spent: 0.12%
over budget: 0.12%
covered with extra from utilities

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.  

July notes: We printed out some pictures to put into a b-day card (and also some pics to put in frames for our house - so not really a gift), so that’s where this is coming from. We still need to send off a wedding gift, but I’m holding off until August given the car maintenance stuff.

Clothing
Budgeted: 0%
Spent: 0%

What’s included? Clothes (pretty self explanatory)

July notes: I cut the clothing budget out for the summer. I got a few gift cards for my b-day, so I did actually buy a pair of sandals! I also got a few clothes as gifts, but no money spent!

Retirement
Budgeted: 1.35%
moved to savings: 1.35%

What’s included: Monthly contributions to a Roth IRA

Student loans
Budgeted: 11.11%
Spent: 11.23%
over budget: 0.12%
covered with extra from utilities
leftovers from above categories: 0% (taking a break for the summer)

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).

July notes: Some of our loan payments were bumped up slightly because of our income drive repayment re-certification, still haven’t updated the budget to reflect that, which is why we went over budget. I probably won’t readjust until the fall when all of the payments are at their new amounts. It is exciting to think that we’ll be under the 79K mark next month… it’s the little things, ha!

July 2019 Loan Progress

July 2019 Loan Progress