how much should i budget every month

Furnace Filters and Other January Expenses

I’m embarrassed to post our budget for January. (Please don’t judge us!) Do you ever have a month where everything is out of whack? That was our month last month. So many things went wrong. Please know we’re doing much better this month and even making more sacrifices to help make up for all the ridiculous that went on with our January budget.

So, here’s the thing. Andrew and I both had unexpected medical problems that had financial implications. I’ve posted about mine before – but I don’t think I’ve mentioned Andrew’s blood clotting disorder. He’s been on anticoagulants (blood thinners) for a little over a year and had some complications with that this month.

Between both of our medical problems, there were many trips back and forth to the doctor and the hospital (extra money spent on gas), and lots of being on the road and bed-rest (which means more money is spent on going out to eat).

Our budget is really jacked up this month.

But that’s one reason why having an emergency fund is so important. It really saved us this month. We are making additional sacrifices this month to help compensate, too. 

For instance, we cut our grocery bill and have been eating very simple meals (sandwiches, anyone?) and we completely eliminated our dining out budget for the month. Pretty sure we spent enough on that last month. And for Valentine’s Day, we’re going to stay in and enjoy a movie together instead of going out. It’s better quality time and saves us money – so it’s a win-win!

So here it is…. our crazy over-budget budget report.

ItemAmountMarvelous Mrs. Musings
Mortgage355This amount includes our house insurance and property taxes. Yes, we live in a humble home - nothing extravagant here - but it fits our family's needs just fine.
Repairs + Maintenance21.19We needed a new filter for our furnace.
Electricity161.79This is almost $20 full bucks higher than last month. It has been colder outside - maybe that's why? Our habits don't really change that much from month to month...
Sewer0Our city sewer bill comes quarterly and we paid it in December 2016.
Gas34Even though we live in a rural area, we are fortunate to have access to natural gas. Saves us a ton over others who rely on propane for heating and cooking.
Cell Phone240.15This includes a $60 phone case that Andrew needed for his phone. Why are they so expensive?
Trash0We pay this once per year and the next bill isn't due until summertime.
Cable8.99After much deliberation, we cut cable in the spring of 2015. For now, our "cable" is a Netflix subscription.
Internet47.07Our rural area means high prices for low speeds when it comes to internet. This covers a measly 5 mbps bandwidth.
Grocery566.71This is $50 less than last month and $150 less than the month before that! YES! We're getting our budget back under control - thank you Aldi!
Dining Out391.08I'm embarrassed to publish that we spent this much money last month in going out to eat. We had some birthdays to celebrate, plus Andrew and I both had some medical issues that required our family to eat out a LOT. We're on an "eating out diet" now - no eating out for February at all!
Entertainment181.13Nora had a birthday and we took her and her friends to Dave & Busters. Oy. Had no idea that was so pricey!
Gifts62.70Again... birthdays this month.
Medical44.53Thank goodness for insurance.
Toiletries + Personal Care95This is Andrew's hair cut plus we had to buy him an electric razor. He's on anticoagulants and he cut himself while shaving and he bled for two hours - TWO HOURS! So he uses an electric razor now.
Clothing14.80I scored a TON of cute shirts at Goodwill. Woot!
Car Insurance239.88Not bad for full coverage on both of our cars.
Gas & Oil361.17This is much higher than last month - but with all our medical issues, we were on the road a LOT.
Car Repair + Maintenance0
Child Care50Luckily Nora is old enough to be in school all day so our childcare expenses are minimal.
Kids' Activities162.54One thing Nora adores is gymnastics. I love that it keeps her active, though it is on the expensive side.
Allowance0Nora is on a commission system but she broke her finger and hasn't been doing many chores. So no money for her this month.
Life Insurance149.58We're in the process of setting up life, accident, and disability insurance (among other things) with our Northwestern Mutual representative. If you're looking for a clear picture of your financial future, I'm happy to refer you to our money guy!
Car Payments489.69Having two car payments is *really* rough on the budget.
Kohl's27I love Kohl's - but not the charge card. This debt has to go!
Capital One68At 24.99% APR, this one hurts.
Citibank116.67Sigh. More debt!
Discover Card100Ugh. Did I mention I hate credit cards?
Best Buy402.49This card is officially PAID OFF! YES!!!
Student Loans390.63Between the two of us, we're paying on three separate student loans.

I’d love to hear about your budget blunders. How did you do for January?


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Amy Beardsley

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Amy Beardsley, the driving force behind Marvelous Mrs, loves personal finance and productivity hacks, Netflix, and everything chocolate. You can check out her favorite money-tracking tool Personal Capital and visit her freelance writing business, too. Thanks for reading the blog!