You may have noticed I’ve been a little off my normal schedule these past couple of weeks, so posts aren’t on their normal days. Thanks for your patience while I get my ducks back in a row!
This month we paid $1340 toward debt. That includes a payment from SmarterBucks. This was smaller than we had hoped because our expenses this month included the cost to replace the items stolen from my husband’s car. We hope to receive a substantial reimbursement from the insurance company soon, so next month’s debt repayment will be higher.
For those of you curious about what happened last month with our debt, we’re right there with you. Last month we paid $1762 toward debt, but our debt totals only went down $14. Super disappointing! My husband called the federal loan servicer and talked to someone in the call center who didn’t have a clue. He has sent off two written inquiries as well. We’ll see what happens. We suspect it has to do with what one reader suggested, that when we were off IBR for part of a month (see last month’s update for that drama) the interest capitalized and became payable as part of the total loan amount. For now, we’ll wait for a response.
Our total net income for July was: $4490 For those who are new here, this is income that won’t be spent until August since we live on the last month’s income.
Etsy Income: $516 –My Etsy shop kept me about as busy as I can handle being this month. It’s kind of crazy how there will be a slow week and then a crazy one right after it.
Blog Income: $1005– In my blog income total, I include referral credit that goes directly toward budget items. A big thank you to those of you who signed up for Republic Wireless after reading my experience and review. We love our phones and our phone plan, and many of you have joined us now. While it’s not cash income, the referral credit will cover our cell phone bill for a good while.
Each month we budget down to zero using last month’s income. Our spending in August comes from the income we earned in July. In addition to the debt payments above, here’s how we spent money in August:
Tithing–$439 One of the expenses that we never cut out of our budget is a 10% tithe on our income.
Utilities– $0 Our utilities are included in our “rent.” We do pay $30/month for extra Internet bandwidth (our Internet options in the boonies are few and expensive), but that comes out as an expense from blogging income, which is deducted before it gets to our family budget.
Republic Wireless– $213 In August, we got our 2nd Republic wireless phone after our successful trial. We are on the $10/month plan. In future months I’ll continue to include the cost of our monthly plan here even though it’s actually covered by the referral service credit I mentioned under our income.
Health Insurance– $114 This is through our ACA plan. You can read the details here.
Car Insurance– $97 It’s kind of fun that the insurance for our two ’97 vehicles is $97.
Renters Insurance– $14 I haven’t included this in our budget here before, because last year we prepaid for a year. I thought it was ironic, that it renewed (and thus, was added to the budget) just a few days before my husband’s car was broken into. We are grateful to have this coverage!
Food– $255 Summer months make it easier to keep the grocery budget low because we’re getting produce from the garden and fruit from the trees. We even went to In-N-Out this month when we were out as a family and weren’t going to be home before we all turned into hungry monsters (and cheeseburgers sounded really good)! It was pretty funny because the kids were all confused about this strange change in our normal eating habits.
Gas– $520 Because we live rent-free in the boonies, gas is one of our biggest expenses. We are usually just under $500, but this month we met some friends for a long weekend camping trip that was 5 hours away from home, so we had an extra 10 hours of driving.
Clothing– $22 We made a trip to my favorite thrift store! They tag their items with colors and assign a discount to each color of 25%, 50%, and 75% off. We went on the first day after the new discounts had been assigned, so there was still inventory available at great prices. We got lots of great clothes and shoes for the kids (and a $3 pair of almost-new dress shoes for my husband) for $22. I also got a few free things for myself by signing up for two gently used designer clothes websites: Twice and ThreadFlip. Twice gives you $10 credit and ThreadFlip gives you $5 when you sign up through a friend’s link (yep friends, those are my links there). Twice had a free shipping code that I used and ThreadFlip always has free shipping. Twice is more reasonably priced and you can filter search results to start with the lowest price, which is my style. I love it when I can get something totally for free and try out a new website as well.
Household– $42 This month we bought a second booster car seat for my kindergartner so that we can have one in Grandpa’s car. Grandpa drops my two older kiddos off at school on his way into work. We also bought shampoo, trash bags, and school supplies.
Fun– $12 We had lots of free fun camping, hiking, and visiting the ocean. I bought a couple things at a thrift store when we were out of town. From my notes it looks like they were clothing items, but I categorized the shopping as fun, so it must have been a blast! I also spent $5 at Wal-mart that apparently qualified as “fun.”
Lawyer Marketing– $177 We are now done with our year-long contract to put an ad in a local publication. Next month this expense will be reduced, or we’ll at least be spending on something useful instead.
Law Practice– $44 Monthly subscription to my husband’s law practice management software.
Car Registration– $89 The van registration was renewed in August. Thankfully it’s an off-year, so it didn’t need a smog test.
Car Maintenance– $0 Remember how the van was going to need nearly $500 of work (but that paled in comparison to my husband’s bad news)? Well that will be done in September. They had to order a part, and we had to catch our breath after dealing with replacing all of my husband’s things that were stolen.
Emergency Fund– $0 We were hoping to add another $200 to our emergency fund, but we put that money straight toward our bad day drama instead. The emergency fund should just feel happy that we didn’t touch it at all when handling this month’s drama. Instead, I made a budget category “replacing stolen stuff” and used funds from our regular budget that would otherwise have gone to debt repayment. We look forward to reimbursement from the insurance company.
Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links. For more info check out my disclosure page.
How did your finances go in July?
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