Kristen recently blogged about writing a budget and I decided it was time to write a budget for our family. I suspected that if I did it on paper Ram's salary wouldn't come out to be enough. I know that God always provides. It seems like Ram always has a funeral with a small thank you check or gets reimbursement for mileage at just the time that we really need a little extra to pay bills. I was pleasantly surprised after writing the budget that his paychecks cover everything with a little extra left for other expenses.
Here are the different categories for my budget. This list is in no particular order, it is in the order that I thought of them. I think it covers everything and I have a few months to add anything else that I think of. It is very specific and if I stick to my grocery budget it will work. I love seeing how tight that budget is on paper. I will know exactly how much it is going to hurt if I go over my grocery budget or if we have an unexpected expense. That will motivate me to stay within budget in all areas.
There are a couple of other categories but I am not including them in my budget for a couple of different reasons. Some categories are covered with our Be Well rewards from our health insurance or Bing rewards. Some categories are gifts from family such as subscriptions to magazines. We get our annual membership to Costco with American Express rewards. (This program is changing so we will get rewards from a different credit card but I expect we will still be able to cover the Costco membership.) So there are a couple of other categories that are not included here but we do spend money on.
I keep track of our housing expenses for taxes and then I keep track of what else we spend for my own curiosity. I took what we spent in the last year in the different categories and divided by 12. I think my amounts are very close because I have documentation of what we spend our money on. There are a couple of categories that I know will cost more next year so I increased those over what we paid last year. I know the cost of everything is going up. Some categories are just an estimated guess because who knows what the price of gasoline will be in 2016.
Here are my categories:
- Offering for church
- Our portion of health insurance premium
- Our portion of contributing to H.S.A.
- Mortgage payment
- Estimated taxes on Ram's salary
- HOA fee (includes internet)
- Cell Phone
- Water, sewer, garbage
- Gas (heat/water heater/stove)
- Ram life insurance
- Ewe life insurance
- Lamb 1 life insurance
- Lamb 2 life insurance
- Lamb 3 life insurance
- Piano lessons (I am hoping that all 3 Lambs will take lessons next year. This will be a big expense but it is important to us.)
- PE Co-op for Lambs (This will only be an expense for 4 months of 2016 but I averaged it all year.)
- Ram Roth IRA (We have reduced our IRA contributions as compared to what we put in it when we lived in MN, but it is important to us to continue to add to our IRA even if it is a smaller amount. Some is better than none.)
- Ewe Roth IRA
- Ram's car service (in 2016 oil changes are still free for the minivan)
- Car insurance
- Groceries (food only)
- Other household supplies like laundry soap and toilet paper
- Gas for two cars
- Local newspaper subscription (Weekends $5.75 month deal.)
- Track (3 Lambs) and Cross Country (2 Lambs)
- Air filters for machines in two bedrooms (Some times during the year the air quality is horrible here and we really need the air filter machines.)
- Water filters for RO System (so worth the cost as compared to buying bottled water)
- Furnace filters (delivered to our door quarterly)
- Cost of professional doing our taxes
- 2 license plates for cars
- Lawn supplies like fertilizer
- Essential oils
- Savings for emergencies
I did this budget today and it really did not take long to figure it out and get Ram's input in a few areas. We should have done this a long time ago. Thankfully we have it done for our 15th year of marriage.