Our Budget Under $2000
One of my most popular blog posts are always when I share my personal finances or how we budget our money.
So since it’s been awhile since I shared my last budget and it has changed a bit I thought I’d share an update on our budget.
I think even if it doesn’t change much over the years it’s still good to give an update to you guys and let you know where we are at. Why? Because I think that it helps to know that I’m right there with you trudging along, working towards my financial goals and kicking butt with you to stop wasting my money and live a life I want!
So, without further ado let me breakdown what I budget for every month!
Our Budget Under $2000
This changed just recently by $50 which is nothing since we’ve been here for over three years. Still an incredible deal and we are grateful for this humble little one bedroom that is our stepping stone to our own home. Sure I wish we owned our own home already but I know it’s all in God’s timing. We’ll get there eventually and it’s worth it to stay in this apartment while we are in this stage of life so that we can save more money.
For us gas is so hard to budget for! Some months we spend very little, other months we go over. One of my husband’s jobs is driving to events and setting up photo booths so it requires a lot of travel, aka gas. So our gas budget depends a lot on how many events he has that month. The winter and summer are always more busy for that line of work so our gas budget is higher during that time and lower on the off seasons. But, we’ve budgeted $250 and some months we go under a lot which covers us when some months we go over. We’ve found it evens itself out.
We finally made the switch to a new internet that didn’t suck! We are currently on a new member plan which gives us a deal of around $30 a month for internet. When our first year is up we’ll probably have to call and get them to lower it again. But for now this is how our bill stands and our internet is 10x as better as it was! Win win!
Mobile Phone: $100
We are still on the pay as you go phone plan from AT&T. We love it! It’s technically $45 a month each for us to have our phones. You buy whatever phone you want to use separately and then just pay as you go, no contracts. It’s awesome! We had each originally bought eachother iPhone 4’s for presents but we’ve recently upgraded to the iPhone 5 when my sister had two she was getting rid of. Yay for sisters that bless you with gifts like that!
Utilities (Electric): $160
Just like gas use this fluctuates a lot as well. Obviously we don’t use the heat as much in the summer and more in the winter. On the Mint app/website I use (and gush about in this post: The One App I Use For Budgeting) you can set your budget to carry over your balance to the next month. I should have had that set up for the utilities budget when I started using the app but I didn’t until this month. In the future this feature will be able to tell me if I go over or am under my yearly budget for utilities overall. $160 a month seems to work for us fairly well as a middle ground that we budget for each month. Just like for gas it evens itself out. We save money in the warmer months and use that money for the colder ones.
We put all of food in one budget category, but on Mint we divide it up between groceries, fast food, and restaurants. (Mostly so we can track how much we spend on each, not necessarily because we care how much of the $200 goes to the other two categories.) This allows us to see easily if it is towards the end of the month and our food budget is high where we spent most our money.
You can also read our strategies on food budget here: How We Spend $200 On Food
Car Insurance: $73
We haven’t gotten in an accident or had any tickets so luckily our insurance hasn’t skyrocketed. We’re very lucky to have two cars insured for under $75, we love Geico!
House Supplies: $30
We haven’t upped this budget in a while. We honestly could probably up it a bit because there are months when we go a little over. But at the same time there are other months we don’t spend as much, so I don’t really want to raise the budget and then end up spending more when we didn’t need to. I’ll keep you guys posted on what we do. ;) I know you are on the edge of your seat!
Let the hallelujah chorus sing! Lydia’s $25 a month budget has been reinstated! This is so exciting for me guys in case you couldn’t tell! If you notice Greg doesn’t have a budget per month and before you think that I’m keeping all our money for myself let me tell you this was my husband’s choice. My husband you guys, spends zero money on anything, ever. I’m not exaggerating. The only thing he spends money on is his guitar gear, which he has his own separate fund for that comes from trading and selling what he already has. Thus, Lydia still gets her $25 fund reinstated and happy dancing can begin!
Last but certainly not least giving! We give away 10% of what we make automatically but then will give more if someone needs something or we feel led or called to give something specific. Giving is a very important part of our financial lives and one of the reasons I care so much about being smart with money in the first place. If you want to read more of my thoughts on the topic check out this post: 3 Reasons You Should Donate Money.
Not factoring in giving since that depends month to month how much we earn our bills comes to about $1550. What’s crazy about this number is that if you looked at our life you wouldn’t think that we only lived off that.
We have an incredibly full life and get to do a lot of fun things. This is why I’m so passionate about teaching how to live well on little, because making more money doesn't give you freedom or a full life, learning how to use what you have for good does.
Okay friends! I hope this as usual helped give you a look into how we do our financial endeavors. Comment below if you have any questions or want to share how you budget! I’d love to hear from you!