Friday, June 1, 2012

Budget 101: The Basics

Look at me two posts in 1 week. Woohoo! So if you are part of the privileged class known as our friends and family, you know that we have always been on a tight budget and now with both of us only working part time the budget is even tighter.

In an attempt to get some creative ideas for our budget I started looking around the world wide web for ideas. Lo and behold my idea of a strict budget varies greatly from the general population. I feel like we live on the bare necessities but I guess you can be the judge of that. Without going into too many details, here's the general scheme of our monthly budget.

Essentials (aka bills we can't really change)
$500  Rent
$400  Health Insurance (it super sucks having to pay for your own insurance)
$128  Car Insurance (trying to get creative with our agent to get this lower)
$200  Student Loans (only 6 more years to go!!)
$180  Car Loan (only 20 easy payments left)
$272  Tithe (give to God what is God's, pre-taxes of course)
$200  All Utilities (this is the top budgeted, we have yet to actually spend this much monthly)

Extras (aka stuff we need and yet don't need)
$139 Cell Phones (ugh! why does it cost so much?! trying to figure out a way we can get this lowered)
$24   Internet (yes, we need it. How else would I get to blog?)

Grocery & Gas (the most creative section of budgeting)
$200  Groceries (yeah you read that right, $200 a month = $50 a week)
$100  Gas (this has been the most difficult and the one we fudge on the most) 

That brings us to a grand total of $2343/month. When I add it all up is sounds like so much but I guess in comparison to others it's not so bad. I won't go into the detail of saying how much we actually bring home (I gotta keep something private!), but let's just say there's not much left for fun and games. Oh, by the way, the grocery budget also includes any toiletries we might need to get. That money doesn't just appear out of thin air. With what is left over every month, we set it aside for things like oil changes, insurance co-pays, and a little bit of cushion.

So there you have it, that's the budget. The funny thing is, out of all the money we spend every month there's only a few hundred dollars worth that we actually have real control over. Since that is the case over the next few posts I hope to focus in on one particular area: groceries. It's the one with which most people struggle (notice my amazing grammar there?) and it's the one with which I've had the hardest time finding help via the internet. 

Tune in next week for some general tips on sticking to a small grocery budget.

Have a wonderful weekend!!
Husband, the Bear, and Brother at Run Ruckus (from back in March but I'm still pretty proud)


  1. Okay, I'm interested. Our budgets are remarkably similar! We spend more on our house and little less on health insurance, but I'm pretty sure you just copy and pasted my monthly budget on here. We are blessed to not have any loans so I'm able to spend more on groceries...way more on groceries. I can't wait to hear how you eat so cheap :)

    1. It's not easy but we make do. You'd be surprised on how little you can live when you have to.