I am Lydia, proud wife to a very hard-working WAHD and PT contributor to the business we started last September. We are living a fabulous nice-house big-yard suburban lifestyle with our two-and-counting kids here in Upstate SC - but the catch is, we need to do it on 2 minimum-wage salaries plus our rental income from the house we couldn't sell back in Microsoftland. On paper, we are running a slight deficit right now.
(I am a Quicken addict and tweak the annual budget constantly, filling in estimated amounts with actual amounts spent each month and bumping categories up or down as I get more information.)
I have been hesitant to put my whole budget out there for all the world to see, but I think it may be time to do just that so there isn't such a disconnect from my MDC spending record and what actually goes out the door every month. WTH, it's not like we are buying illicit substances or getting paid by the Mob! (I think the Mob would pay a lot better
I am embarrassed that other mamas can do so much more with so much less total monthly income. But it doesn't seem like there is a huge amount of judgment in this ongoing thread, and if the rest of the F&F readers barge in to tell me I'm a hopeless yuppie and should just give up, I will just have to ignore them and keep on keepin' on.
So, my budget in Quicken after the latest round of tweaks is $4808 coming in the door (post-tax, post medical FSA, post 401(k) contribution), $5,158 going out. I am not a mathematical genius, but that seems like a problem to me! Cuts must be made! Money must be saved to pay my MIL the interest on the loan she gave us to buy the house we live in now!
Celebrations (kids' birthdays!): 300
Preschool Tuition: 294 (FSA ran out for this fiscal year)
Entertainment: 50 (pretty sure we'll spend this, lots of good movies coming out!)
Eating Out: 100
Grooming: 50 (might avoid this, MIL gave me gift cert as shower present)
Holding Costs on house in Seattle: 700
Cleaner: 300 (No, I can't give this up! Not in the baby month! Noooooo!)
Yard Guy: 70 (Me: are you planning to mow the lawn any time in 2009? DH: no.)
Other household: 500 (normally some considerable wiggle room here, but I hired a mama I know to paint a huge mural in the kids' room, because I am effing crazy, but my God it is gorgeous and just what they dreamed of. She finishes tomorrow! New bedding for kids' room and guest room is something that is just very likely to happen as my nesting kicks in...)
Tax: 475 set aside to pay state property taxes due in December
Cable: 98 (DirecTV contract nightmare, stuck with it until December)
Gas and Electric: 220
Internet and Phone: 89
Principal Payment on Seattle house: 250
Car Loan: 661.21
Get this household in the green for May!
Get set up to spend 4k per month starting in June, so that the money may be saved up to pay MIL in December. (Note: I do HAVE the money, set aside in ING earning interest, but I do not want to have to use that money! I want to truly live on what we're making this year!)