I love the accountability that blogging about our debt journey provides. As usual, here is a look at what we earned, spent, and paid-off in debt last month!
Our beginning of the month payment was $1,459, just what we needed to pay off our balance transfer that we used to save on interest. At the end of the month we paid $150 for a grand total of $1,609 this month.
Our total net income for May was $3,927. Since we “live on last month’s income,” this is all sitting in the bank waiting to be budgeted and used in June! Here’s the breakdown:
Husband’s Extra: $200— Mr. SixFiguresUnder opened a Chase checking account with a coupon we received in the mail to get a $200 bonus. He had to jump through some hoops, like going into the branch to link a checking account so he could put money into the account (I don’t know why they can’t do it online like every other institution), but all said, it was a pretty easy way to earn $200. You have to have a balance of at least $1,500 in the account to avoid paying a fee, so we put $2,000 (half of our emergency fund) in the account.
Etsy Income: $396— It was a pretty average Etsy month.
Other Income: $362— This is income from blogging and ebay. I sold two ebay listings at the beginning of the month: a pair of capris that I found at the thrift store with the tags on them, and a set of Playstation Portable UMD movies that I got for free.
Each month we budget down to zero using the previous month’s income. Our spending in May comes from the income we earned in April. In addition to the debt payments above, here’s where we spent money in May:
Tithing–$387 We pay a 10% tithe on our income. During May (while we are living on what we earned in April), we pay tithing on what April’s income.
Mortgage/Rent– $0 We are grateful to live in my in-laws’ basement rent-free. It may not be pretty, but it’s practical and allows us progress toward our debt-free goal much faster than if we had to pay rent somewhere.
Utilities– $0 We don’t pay any utilities. We’ve offered, but my in-laws want to allow us to pay off our debt as quickly as possible. We try to conserve resources and not be wasteful.
Cell Phones– $20 We might have the last dumb phones in the state, but for $10 per phone per month, we can handle any un-coolness associated with not having a smartphone.
Health Insurance– $114 We have an ACA plan. You can read more about our health insurance here.
Dental– $23 Our dental discount plan that we are planning to cancel soon (you can cancel and re-sign-up anytime). We really are planning to have appointments in June!
Car Insurance– $98 Our monthly car insurance payment.
Food– $298 Just coming off of a no-spend month in April, we needed to restock our fridge and some things in the pantry. I am extra careful to not overspend the month after a no-spend month. That’s how we make sure our no-spend months really save us money. Lots of people are surprised that we can feed our family of five on $300 or less each month. You can read about some of the ways we save on groceries without using coupons, if you haven’t already.
Gas– $478 We were under on gas even though gas is over $4 here. It’s probably because we started the month with full tanks and ended with empty ones!
Clothing– $23 Dry cleaning a suit costs $21. I also spent $12 on a few clearance items at Old Navy. I used a $10 gift card that I got from MyPoints (I almost always get Old Navy gift cards with my MyPoints points), so only $2 came from the budget.
Household– $31 We didn’t need too much this month, even though we spend $0 on household last month. Half of this was buying a new giant roll of plastic wrap since we finished off the roll we bought at Sam’s Club right after we got married. It would have lasted another decade if I didn’t use it to package some of my Etsy items. The other half of our spending was toilet paper.
Fun- $11 We went to the book fair at my daughter’s school and let the two older kids each choose a book and we paid for half. The kids each paid for the other half with their own money. We also borrowed Frozen from Redbox for a couple days.
Lawyer Marketing (Food)– $0 We usually budget $24 so Mr. SixFiguresUnder can spend $6 on breakfast at a weekly marketing meeting. The budget is pleased to announce that the location of the meeting has changed to an office instead of a cafe, so he will no longer be buying breakfast! This category will disappear!
Lawyer Marketing– $442 Besides the print ad (which we have a 1-year contract for), we put on a small seminar. We rented a room at a local hotel. I took care of the decorations and light refreshments myself. It went well and some of the attendees have turned into clients!
Law Practice– $44 Hopefully the firm will eventually pay for Mr. SixFiguresUnder’s law practice management software subscription, but until then we’re picking it up.
Emergency Fund- $200 We added $200 to our emergency fund for safe keeping, which brings our emergency fund total to $4,394.
More on Budgeting
Here are a couple articles that explain some more details on the way we budget:
How did your finances go in May?
PS- Thank you!
This is my 100th post! Time has flown since I started sharing our finances with the world at Six Figures Under. Thank you for reading and following along! It is so encouraging to hear your stories and have you read ours. Thanks for being a part of our journey!
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