The month of January is rather boring financially. We made mostly smart financially decisions. I didn't screw up paying any bills and didn't blow our entire food budget in a week. Which is exactly how December went. One thing we did learn was that we need to build up and set aside the full amount of our bills a month or two in advance. The reason for this being that if a bill needs to be paid and we haven't been paid yet, it can be without a panic. Kevin's paycheck didn't come in until January 4, but our phone bill was due January 3. We ended up using the Canadian Credit card to pay the bill, paying the lovely exchange rate. So a bill that should have cost us $114.35 USD actually cost us $163.92 CAD. That's a loss of $49.57! Having to lean on that credit card frustrated me as I would rather work without. It does make the matter of getting a US Credit Card that much more important for me. However if we had the money already set aside, it would have been a no brainer.
Due to no credit score in the US, delaying the payment was not an option. If you don't have a credit score there is no leniency on paying the bill. The phones would have been cut off at midnight on the 3rd if no payment had been received. Even though we were going to pay it the very next day. There would be no charge to reconnect the phones. But it's the idea of it. And while we could have lived without our phones for 12 hours, if something had happened we would have no way of calling for help.
Moving Onto the Categories
Here's where we sit. It goes down a little every month. And every month I stress over the fact that it is not going down fast enough. But it's a work in progress and eventually it will be gone!!
What we have done
- We have one month of rent and phone bill cash set aside
- We have settled with the Canadian Insurance Company for our car accident
- We did not go over on my House Budget for the Month of January
- Need to work on grocery budget, we were short the last week and a half. Better planning on my part to avoid this.
Since moving, we have filled the house with items that we didn't bring with us. So I have broken down a month by month plan of what we can buy and when. January was a success. With the following Purchases
$145.59 Book Shelves $67.09 TV Shelf $35.99 TV Mount $181.98 Kitchen Stools $380.75 Picture Frames $27.00 Curtains for Office $15.88 Watering Can $68.52 Shoes for Kevin $922.80 TOTAL
Things we still need
New Cellphones for both of us Desktop Monitors New Computers Shoe Rack More Frames Kitchen Table, bench and chairs (a table big and sturdy enough for gaming)
What We are Prioritizing this Month
Cellphones - my battery will barely last an hour and if it shuts down take 6 to 8 to get back running. Kevin's can't multi-task. Phones are a life-line, as mentioned above.
What I'd love
- Six months of bill expenses saved up
- $5000 Travel Fund
- $5000 Pet Fund
- All accounts to have a consistent balance of $500
Reality - Work Expenses
Kevin has to take 3, 4 to 5 day business trips. His flights are paid for upfront but otherwise we pay and he is reimbursed. This was just brought up to me three or four days ago and will probably get a dedicate section in next months budget.
Reality - DEBT
Have all that money saved up? OR be at zero?
I would rather put it towards debt, but I tend to random spend loads when I'm bored. This is to prevent that from happening or at least to control it better.
The plan is
$50 for Kevin
$50 for Me
$100 for us - for dates
Let me know if you would like a better look at our monthly budgeting plan. While I won't enclose all numbers, I am open to sharing more details if you are interested.
What do you do for budget?
How would you answer the questions I have asked throughout this post?
I'm a lifestyle blogger, covering deep subjects including body images, battles with food, and overcoming how I was raised. I try to be as authentic as possible and I don’t sugar coat how I see things.