how much should i budget every month

Old Debts, Credit Reports, and Other February Expenses

A sneak peek into one of the most personal areas of our lives – our finances. I struggle with sharing this with you each and every month. Money is the most-fought-about topic in the history of the world, I’m pretty sure. And it’s one of the leading causes of divorces! And even though our spending habits are very personal, I share them with you each month.

Why?

Because a wise man once said to me, “If it’s not mentionable, it’s not manageable.” And I think there is a lot of truth to that.

Think about it: what’s the most important skill to have in a relationship? Some might say patience or understanding, the ability to love or have empathy – but it’s communication. If you can’t communicate, you won’t get very far in your marriage or in life. Mastering the art of communication takes a lot of skill (like patience, understanding, love, and empathy, as mentioned above) but it’s one of the most important facets of our lives.

how to budget with my husband

So here I am… communicating our finances with you. My goal is to help you manage your money and, because “if it’s not mentionable, it’s not manageable, here I am to “mention” our spending habits, and tips and tricks for what works to help keep us on budget and on track.

Speaking of staying on budget, if you missed my earlier post, I encourage you to check out Personal Capital to help you track your spending. It’s an amazing tool and helps keep me honest in my budget.

This month is especially personal because we are trying to buy a house. And, in the process, we discovered some old debts on Andrew’s credit report that we had to clean up – and this took a big chunk of our income this month. And that’s on top of inspection and appraisal fees, and trying to keep our savings at a level high enough to cover the down payment.

Needless to say, this month has been stressful. 

But I learned many valuable lessons: for instance, our going-out-to-eat budget is nearly non-existent this month! And our grocery budget is much more in-line with what we should be spending each month. So, I’ve learned that with just a little discipline and some concrete goals, you really can accomplish amazing things with your money.

Here’s our breakdown for February:

ItemAmountMarvelous Mrs. Musings
Mortgage355This might be our last month of a super-cheap house payment - we're in the final stages of buying a new house!
Repairs + Maintenance1037.12This is off the charts, right? Well, in the process of trying to buy a new house there are a LOT of extra expenses - mostly inspections and appraisals.
Electricity123.28This is almost $40 less than "normal." No idea why - but I'm glad!
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 Phone176.56Is this a good deal for two phones? Andrew uses a lot of data. What do you pay?
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.
Grocery502.23We switched to shopping almost exclusively at Aldi and it shows! This is a HUGE savings over a few months ago!
Dining Out59.82After spending almost $400 last month in going out to eat (embarrassing to admit that!!!) we really cut back this month. Andrew and I had a "splurge" lunch at Red Robin, and I went with Nora on a field trip for school that included a stop at McDonalds. Otherwise, we were restaurant-free this month!
Entertainment10.99Andrew subscribes to the WWE Network. Yes, I am married to "that" guy lol.
Gifts18Because we've been so far over budget lately, we really cut back on our Valentine's Day gifts this year.
Medical27.55Thank goodness for insurance.
Toiletries + Personal Care44.52This one is all me - I needed new eye cream (yes, NEEDED! LOL) and I splurged on the most amazing eye cream from Mary Kay and I love it.
Clothing12Nora needed some new undergarments - she just keeps growing!
Car Insurance239.88Not bad for full coverage on both of our cars.
Gas & Oil247.94We did a lot less driving this month, and I am thankful our gas budget is back to normal.
Car Repair + Maintenance625.02My car needed a wheel bearing and new break pads. Ouch - I hate paying for car repairs.
Child Care50Luckily Nora is old enough to be in school all day so our childcare expenses are minimal.
Kids' Activities87One 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 I had "leftover" money from last month and didn't need to take out any extra from this month's budget.
Life Insurance121.58This covers life, accident, and disability insurance (among other things) from 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!
Misc223.93This covers a few school supplies Nora needed for projects, stamps
Car Payments489.69Having two car payments is *really* rough on the budget.
Kohl's32I love Kohl's - but not the charge card. This debt has to go!
Capital One42At 24.99% APR, this one hurts.
Citibank115.05Sigh. More debt!
Discover Card97Ugh. 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.

 

How did your budget turn our in February? Did you overspend on flowers for Valentine’s Day?

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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!