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Making a Contingency Plan

May 25th, 2008 at 09:05 pm

We have been going over our budget to anticipate increased expenses in our food and gasoline categories. We have kept the food budget under $350 to $400 a month utilizing coupons and store circulars. A phenomenal feat with DH, 20 yr old and a 16 yr old sons! To put it bluntly we gave up the processed junk food. This at first was not a popular action but after two months the young men stopped complaining about it. I guess they use their own money for the junk food addiction or they prefer the home made cakes,cookies and fruit.

The gas budget increase resulted with DH using the metro for his daily commute to work. Unfortunately, the metro is not an option for me. I will start to telecommute from work once a week starting in July. My DS#1 work and school is only 15 - 20 minutes away from the house. DS#1 normally fills up his gas tank at least once every 2 1/2 weeks. DS#2 commutes to his part time job by bike.

Our game plan is to cancel our premium channels on our satellite subscription in the event of gas prices are $5 or more. This expense was a luxury that can be better utilized for a necessity. The young men are hardly home anyway due to their activities during the summer. I am pretty sure they will notice it by the time football season starts.

2008 Household Budget Goals

March 24th, 2008 at 10:43 pm

We began a spending plan this month for our household to hold us more accountable. Our main goal is to stay within the spending plan with some degree of flexiblity. Here are some of our goals for 2008.

Pay $125 a month ($75 is the minimum at 0%) for $4200 credit card. (We plan to pay this by Feb 2011 or earlier. Any excess house funds left at the end of the month will be added to the monthly payment.)

$174 a month for ($2088) extra principle payment for the mortgage at the end of 2008.

$218 a month ($2616) to the emergency house fund (our goal is to maintain $5000).

$400 a month grocery budget. (We spend approximately $50 - $80 a week by shopping at the military base. I may have to readjust this due to rising food prices)

$60 a month ($720) for house maintenance fund.

$50 a month ($600) for vacation fund.

We plan to reassess this spending plan at the end of April 2008. I hope this will get us on the right track.

March Family Finances

March 15th, 2008 at 01:35 pm

Our house budget for March is looking a little tight. I projected that we will have an excess of $10.84 at the end of the month. We scheduled our periodic spring heat and air maintenance which cost us $254 ($95 to blow out air vents and $159 for periodic maintenance agreement). Okay, I knew this was much cheaper than waiting for the system to break down in the middle of a muggy Washington D.C summer. DH handled the maintenance guy because I am a push-over. The guy started nickle and diming us that we needed our air conditioner unit pressure wash for an additional $69 because he had special cleaning solutions! DH told the guy no thanks and that we can pressure wash the unit on our own. Found out that the damper handle needed repair but everything else is fine. The guy will order the part and reinstall at later date for an additional $69. (Note to self: maintenance guy loves the price of $69) Just thankful that this not a $1,000 repair job!