Murphy likes to hang out with me… All the time

Well, my twice weekly posts so far has already been shot, the past week and a half/two weeks have been one thing after another. My boyfriend (We’ve been together for 5 years and have a daughter together so our finances are combined) broke a tooth, went to the dentist and they wanted 3k to fix his teeth đŸ˜¦ Money wise, it’s probably best he refused everything because there’s no way we could save up enough money fast enough to fix them. Health wise, I wish he would have just sucked it up and did it. His teeth cause him so many problems I wish he would have been okay with the large price tag.

Neither of our cars are the most “reliable”. Mines a ford focus that has literally been driven into the ground while his is a beat up F150 that he paid 700 bucks for. Well the breaks in the focus are shot. Make horrible grinding noises, I took it into Midas and got quoted $1500. It needs new everything. We priced out the parts and they should be about $200 in parts. One part needs to be pressed or something (I am so not mechanically inclined) that will cost about $100 in labor. We have a friend who’s willing to do it for cheap so we will hopefully have all new front breaks for less than $500.  Considering breaks are a more “routine” repair we SHOULD have the money for it with a sinking fund but since we just started, our sinking funds maybe have enough for the parts. Next month I just have to throw more money towards that.

I am however starting the car buying process, just trying to get the boyfriend on board. We live in a small town and cannot be with out a car. His thing is he would rather pay cash (yay for him following Ramsey principles without even knowing it). Up where we live, people sell their cars for ridiculous prices for junk. I would much rather find and finance a more reliable car for our little family that would last for about $10,000-$15,000. The car payment would be comfortable where we could throw extra at  it every month without it being hard on us financially. Plus the peace of mind it would bring me would be worth 10 times that.

How do you handle your sinking funds? What do you do when there is not enough in the sinking fund to cover what you need?

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Starting your budget. (My June Budget)

I figured the best way to start the month and my blog is to post my budget for June and walk you through what I do. I am not a professional by any means and I’m just starting this journey myself so it’s not perfect, there’s plenty I need to change and tweak. It takes about 3 months for your budget to be completely accurate and this is my 2nd month with a written budget.

First things first, I list all my bills with their due dates and amount due. I’m very visual/hands on so pencil and paper are a must for me. I usually write this all down the last week of the prior month so I have an idea of what I’m looking at. Sometimes the numbers change a little bit but that’s okay because once the first rolls around I can put the actual numbers into my budget. Then I estimate our income by paycheck. My boyfriend and I are both hourly, my hours fluctuate depending on what job my work has me doing and he is a tipped employee so our checks are never the same. I base everything on the lowest amount our check could be, they are usually higher than what I plan for. So this month our PAYCHECKS will be roughly $1725.00. I average his tips to about $50 per day or about $800 per month, some times he gets more, some times less, but it seems to average out.  So the income I have to work with this month is $2525.00.

When I make my budget it is a zero based budget meaning every dollar has a specific job, there is no money left at the end of the month. My budget has changed a few times this month just because of bills changing (thanks Spectrum and Verizon). A budget is a LIVING DOCUMENT so its completly okay for it to have to change to meet your needs throughout the month.

Here is what my budget for June is looking like.

Income $2525.00

Expenses $1370

  • Rent: $650
  • Food (Family of 3, 1 is an infant): $300
  • Electric: $20 (Yes my electric is really this cheap. Thank you City Electric!)
  • Gas: $400 (Way over estimated, my boyfriend just started driving a smaller car so we will see how this changes)

Needs $421.78

  • Baby (Diapers, Wipes, Formula): $100
  • Verizon: $205.78
  • Insurance: $116.00

Fun: $354.50

  • Spectrum: $154.50 (Way higher than its supposed to be, I’m cancelling this, I’ve had it for a month and had nothing but issues)
  • Free: $200.00

Total Expenses $2146.28

Left over $378.72

So I have $378.72 left after bills… Yay right? No. You’re not done. If you have that money just laying around it will be spent on stupid stuff that you have no idea what the hell you spent it on. According to Dave Ramsey depending on what baby step you are on it would go to that. BS1 is having a $1000 emergency fund, which I had before I found out about Dave. BS2 is your debt snowball. This is the step I’m on. All extra money goes towards debt. You start by paying as much as you can on your smallest debt and paying the minimum on all others. Most of my debts excluding my student loans are small amounts on credit cards because my debit card decided it doesn’t want to swipe anymore and I’m horrible at getting cash out every week. I will be able to pay off 3/4 cards with balances this month and throw a little extra at my card that still has a balance. I still haven’t wrote out my debts for the month so I’m not sure of my exact numbers.

One thing that I do differently than the way Dave Ramsey recommends is I put money into savings every month. I’m not necessarily “Gazelle Intense” with getting rid of my debt and I am a natural saver. It makes me really uncomfortable not to be putting money away. I know we are going to need a new car soon and other things always come up and I would rather put categorized money away for that then an extra hundred towards my student loan.

So this is basically my June budget. My cable will be cut and hopefully I can get out of paying and possibly my money back for last month. There are things that will hopefully be lower than expected so I can put that money somewhere else.

I hope this made sense and wasn’t too much of a ramble!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Welcome.

Hi I’m Nicole and welcome to my blog! I’m 23 and working my way towards financial freedom. I have decided to create a blog mostly for accountability and hopefully I can show you how not living pay check to pay check IS a possibility, even when you are low income like myself. If you haven’t heard of Dave Ramsey, I highly suggest you check him out. He is all about living debt free and planning for your future. His book Total Money Makeover is incredibly inspiring and really can light a fire under you to start working away your debt.

My personal goals:

  • Minimize expenses (cutting unnecessary expenses, meal planning, etc)
  • STOP USING MY CREDIT CARDS. Cash is King. Reward points and cash back only encourage me to spend more than necessary.
  • Pay off my student loan ($4,613.14), ideally by 2019 at the latest
  • Fully Funded Emergency Fund ($7,500-$15,000) by 2019
  • Down Payment (roughly $20,000) by 2020

What I hope to bring to the table for you:

  • Monthly budgets with REAL numbers so you can see what is possible
  • My weekly meal plan & shopping haul (I love Aldis and always find great stuff). I also love coupons and all the apps.
  • Tips I learn to save money and help with my budget, that will hopefully help you as well.
  • At least twice weekly posts (gotta have stuff for you to read).

I’m seriously excited about starting this and hope it can turn into something amazing!