I need this. I'm Leta, yet another SAHM to three kids- DSS, 11, who's here part time, DD, 3, and DS, 2.5 months.
At the beginning of this year, we had no debt other than our mortgage and my students loans. We paid cash for our new windows (which are so awesome!
) However, we drained our savings to pay for the windows.
Then, several things happened, and now we are back in cc/car debt.
In January, we got a natural gas bill of nearly $700. (Gas went up 25% during a frigid winter.)
Four weeks later, we had purchased a pellet stove, all the doohickies needed to install it, and enough pellets to see us through the rest of the winter for about $1400. We still had our huge heat debt to the gas co. to pay off for Nov-Feb, which we paid off this spring
:, but we still owe $800 on the cc bill for the stove and pellets.
Both our cars died, within weeks of each other, so we bought a van.
We had unforseen travel and medical expenses, which went on cc's. (Thankfully, the medical is interest free until April.)
Plus, our property taxes went up, and our car insurance as well, because now we have collision on the new van. With the addition of the pellet stove, our homeowner's insurance went up, too, though only by $30/yr.
So it's been a butt-kicker of a year for us, financially. Our summer taxes ($575) and car insurance ($640) are due in September, and the only way we'll be able to pay them is because I squirreled a little money away and got a house payment ahead, so we don't have to worry about making a mortgage payment this month. So now is the time to start recording expenses! It's going to be a super tight month, so we need to do it out of pure survival.
My goals are to pay off the $800 we still owe on the pellet stove, and $400 of the medical expenses before February (when our tax return usually hits). Then, I plan on using our tax return to establish an emergency fund and pay off the rest of our cc debt. That way, we should be able to pay off the van completely in 2010, and use the following tax return to pay cash for a second car. That's the plan/hope.
My more immediate goal is to get the taxes and insurance paid for, then a winter's worth of pellets ($700), then about $250 in "investment" purchases (bulk stuff, gamma seal lids, etc.) and only then do Christmas shopping- and I need
to have that stuff accomplished by Thanksgiving at the latest.
Another minor goal is to call the HR lady at DH's work, and get all the stuff set up to start a Health Savings Account.
I've been tracking our bill, gasoline, and household spending already, but not our daily incidental stuff, like mailing costs and a pop at the gas station, that sort of thing.
I've bullied DH into compliance, I need to go to Family Dollar today and buy him a memo book. He is definately the spendier of the two of us, so his participation is vital.
I just went through and completely refocused our household budget, leaving us with a theorhetical surplus of around $500 a month, and I want to see where it goes! We don't use debit cards- too many fees!- so it's cash and pen.
Augh, this was too long! If you read it all, thanks.
Anyway here's my codes:
Leta's No Spend Days:
DH's No Spend Days:
Leta's Spendy Days:
DH's Spendy Days:
(My rule is that this catagory must be detailed, so I know what "neccesary" really means.)