Now that we are using YNAB and living on last month’s income, it’s so much easier to make sure every dollar has a job. At the beginning of the month we took all the money we had earned in February and assigned it to our budget categories. We put $1,200 toward our debt on the 1st of the month.
As the month went on the amount budget to our categories changed around some, which is completely normal (who spends exactly the budgeted amount anyway?). At the end of the month we emptied all the extra from our categories and put it toward debt as well.
This month we put $1,306.92 toward debt. To put it in perspective, that’s 36% of March’s available income (income earned in February).
Our total net income for March was $3584. It’s just chilling in the bank waiting to be spent in April (though we did pay a chunk of debt with it on the first just like we did in March). It’s really nice to know exactly how much money we have to spend/save/pay debt at the beginning of the month. Here’s how it breaks down:
Regular Income: $2969-– This is my husband’s regular monthly after-taxes take-home pay.
For those who are new here (or haven’t read the details of our income here), my husband is an attorney at a small law firm where he makes 30% commission on the work that he does. In order to regulate what would otherwise be a very irregular income, the firm gives him a draw. They keep track of how much he has earned versus how much he has been paid. When he consistently meets his draw he can ask for an increase. Since he is also in charge of his own marketing and bringing in his own clients (and he doesn’t have an assistant), there is some catching up to do from the beginning months when he was just starting out (just over a year ago).
Etsy Income: $518— This is my net income for the month. I spent $60 on supplies this month, which is much more than I normally spend.
Other Income: $98— Once again, I didn’t get to the (small) things I have to sell locally and on ebay. I did make a little side income from my blog though.
Tithing–$342 We pay a full 10% tithe on our income. To make it match up with our living-on-last-month’s income budgeting, this is paid on February’s income. It’s convenient to know what our tithing check will be on the first of the month.
Fast Offering– $10
Other Giving– $20
Mortgage/Rent– $0 We have rent-free basement accomodations thanks to my generous in-laws. While our unfinished basement dwelling isn’t much to look at, it’s a huge blessing for which we are super grateful.
Utilities– $0 Just so no one thinks we’re leaving anything out, the utilities are covered in our rent. We try to conserve water and electricity as much as possible to show our gratitude (which is why I’m wearing a hoodie with the hood on as I type this post).
Cell Phones– $20 We have dumb phones on my parent’s family plan that’s nearly a decade old. This is really the only category in our budget that rolls (a “sink fund”). Since I don’t write and mail my dad a $20 check each month I just let it grow until it’s worth writing a check for. I offered to pay him through PayPal, but he doesn’t have a PayPal account. He does do a lot of Amazon shopping, so I think I can set up a payment through Amazon. Does anyone do a person-to-person money transfer on Amazon?
Health Insurance– $114 This is through our ACA plan. You can read about our change in health insurance thanks to the ACA.
Dental– $23 Our dental discount plan.
Car Insurance– $195 This was a two-month payment. We just switched the payment schedule to paying monthly though, so it will be $97 every month from now on. We have our car insurance through USAA and love it. Besides awesome, easy to reach customer service, I love that they give us a dividend at the end of the year.
Food– $298 Our goal is always to keep our food budget under $300. We went right up to our limit because we were planning for April being a no-spend month.
Gas– $502 Our goal is always to keep our gas budget under $500 and we just barely went over. That might sound outrageous, but my husband drives an hour to work each day and sometimes meets clients around town. The commute is worth the free rent though. For the record gas is around $3.79 here.
Clothing– $25 The majority of our clothing budget ($21) went to dry cleaning. My husband wears a suit 6 days a week (M-F and Sunday). I thought buying suits was expensive, but that’s nothing compared to what we spend cleaning those things! I also bought some kids’ rain boots and a shirt at the thrift store.
Household– $40 We bought some toilet paper and a few random household things. We put our Dollar Shave Club subscription on hold– I love that you can do that. Since my husband makes each cartridge last a month, we are stocked up for a while. I ordered a 10 lb bag of citric acid to split with my mother-in-law. Any guesses what I’m up to?
Lawyer Marketing (Food)– $12 This is my husband’s food budget for a weekly networking meeting he attends. He usually spends $6 per week, but he missed a few meetings this month because they conflicted with court appearances.
Lawyer Marketing– $161 We have a year-long contract to put an ad in a local publication. It’s not having much in the way of results, so we downsized to the smallest (cheapest) ad to ride out the rest of the contract.
Law Practice– $44 Monthly subscription to my husband’s law practice management software.
Etsy Supplies– $60 (only $20 from the budget, the other $40 was on Amazon with gift cards). I was out (or so I thought) of two sizes of bubble mailers that I regularly use. After I placed my order on Amazon, I remembered that I had moved the box still partly full of the larger size when I was reorganizing the room. I should be good on that size for a while!
Etsy Fees– $60 This includes listing fees, transaction fees, and all the shipping labels that I buy and print through Etsy. I know my Etsy bill at the beginning of the month (it’s calculated for the previous month), so it’s easy to budget the right amount and not have to guess what it’s going to be.
Birthday & Gifts– $21 We didn’t have a friend birthday party for my daughter this year, just a family one, but she did bring birthday treats to school. Since they won’t let you bring anything homemade we had to (gasp!) buy something. She brought suckers and clementines (we drew funny faces on them). I also mailed a package to my sister for her baby shower. I used my own strategies on the gift, but I had to pay $6 to mail it Priority because I’m a procrastinator.
Car Repairs– $350 Ugh. Save the worst for last, right? On March 31st my husband took his car in to have the brakes checked. The pads were gone and the rotors were damaged and had to be replaced. They were fine at the last oil change. Grrr. They replaced some belts too. This is half of the bill since it came right at the end of the month, we decided to divide the damage between the March and April budgets, though he paid in full with a credit card.
Well there you have it folks– all the gory details of March’s budget! Stay tuned to see how we spend March’s income in April and how our debt payment turns out. So far it’s looking better 🙂
How did your finances go in March?
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