We had a great May! It was one of our higher months for income and debt repayment! The weather has been gorgeous (though we could use some rain). We have most of our garden planted, though we still have to put in our potatoes and sweet potatoes. We’ve been picking strawberries and the raspberries should be ready to start picking by the end of the week.
On a personal note, I’ve had a lot of people ask me how the adjustment to four kids has been. Honestly it hasn’t been bad at all! It has been much easier than going from two to three kids. When my third was born the other two were 2 and 3 1/2. Now my other kids are 3, 5, and 7. The older two are especially helpful. They can hold and entertain the baby while I make dinner! That alone makes a world of difference!
Now onto the finances!
During May, we put $3,147 toward our student loans! I’m pretty sure this is our biggest payment yet. This went toward the 0% APR balance transfer that we’re using to save money on interest. On Income Based Repayment with our current income and family size, we don’t have any payments due, so we can focus all our attention on the balance transfer.
Our total net income for May was $6,348. Since we live on last month’s income, this is income that we haven’t touched yet. We will budget and spend it in June.
Tax Return– $1,270– Our federal tax return. Pretty self-explanatory.
Blog Income– $1,877 This is the income I actually received this month (minus my blogging expenses), which means I earned it a month or two ago (payments always lag a month or two). Taxes are not taken out yet.
Some of you have been curious about how I make money with my blog and how that income breaks down by monetization type (ads, affiliates, sponsors, etc). Since most of my readers aren’t bloggers, I’ve decided to share my blogging details (income breakdown, tips, answers to your burning blogging questions, etc) via email. If you are interested, then please sign up for my Behind-the-Scenes Blogging emails and I’ll start those coming soon!
Etsy Income– $229 I was enjoying a little maternity break from my Etsy shop, but I opened it back up a couple weeks ago because I had some people requesting custom orders.
Other Giving– $20 Other charitable donations we made.
Mortgage/Rent– $0 We don’t pay any rent living in my in-laws unfinished basement. This not only frees up money in the budget to put toward debt, but it provides a constant reminder of our goal to get this debt paid off as fast as possible.
Internet– $70 Hooray for getting new internet! It’s wonderful not having to budget my bandwidth anymore! My in-laws pay for all the other utilities, so this is the only utility we pay.
Republic Wireless Cell Phones– $22 We both have smartphones through Republic Wireless (you can read my review here). With tax, each phone (with unlimited talk, text and WiFi data) is around $11. You really can’t beat the price and service they offer.
Health Insurance– $156 We think having health insurance is pretty important. Ours is an ACA plan.
Car Insurance– $97 We have auto insurance through USAA for our two older vehicles (both 1997) with a $250 deductible.
Renters Insurance– $14 We also have our renters insurance through USAA. It doesn’t cost much and it’s really great to have when you need it.
Food– $224 Our grocery spending was less than our normal $300 grocery budget because we never took a trip down to Winco, where we get most of our staples. During the last week of the month, we were out of quite a few things, but by holding out and being creative with our meals, we saved money in the food category.
Gas– $428 We ended up just under our estimate of $450. In case you’re new around here, our gas budget is so high because we live in the boonies and my husband commutes. That might not seem financially wise until you consider that it also means we don’t pay any rent or utilities.
Fun– $21 We had an impromptu date night earlier this month when a friend offered to take our three older kids for the evening (we had stopped by her house for something else and she told us to go have a date). We went to a biking/walking trail we had never been to and walked several miles. It was really fun and we had a great time talking and enjoying the beautiful weather. I was craving some ice cream (it’s a daily battle for me), so we stopped by the store and bought a carton and ate it (not all of it) in the car. We had a great time and the whole date cost us $2.97.
I also bought some feed for our ducks. I know it probably seems weird to categorize duck feed as fun, but that’s how we see it.
Household– $26 We bought toilet paper (nope we don’t do any of those things from my April Fool’s Day post), dish soap, and blank DVDs.
Gifts– $6 Books were on sale at the thrift store on the day we went, so I got some to save for gifts and some that I’m reading the kids now. We love books around here!
Clothing– $9 I got some kids clothes at the thrift store earlier this month.
Medical– $35 The jury is still out on how much the hospital bills will be for having a baby in April. I’m guessing we’ll be paying those next month, so we will put a hefty sum in the medical category for next month.
Baby– $40 I have been eyeing Ergo baby carriers for a while, but wasn’t ready to spend $100 on one. I found a deal on Zulily earlier this month where they had a girly one (this one) for $59.99. That was still more than I wanted to pay. I have a Baby Bjorn and a Moby Wrap, so I definitely couldn’t justify it as a need. I peeked at my Zulily account and saw that I had $50 of credit in my account, so I only paid $9.99!
I also bought a couple packs of diapers (we waited until about 6 weeks to go to cloth diapers). I also bought a couple of girly cloth diapers on Ebay, just for fun.
Everything in the “baby” category was paid for with gift cards or cash that we received as baby gifts. I wanted to be sure to spend the money that was intended for our little lady for her (and not have it mix in with our regular finances). I put a “baby” category on our budget and put the gift money in there and just let it roll over to the next month.
Law Practice– $44 Monthly subscription for law practice management software that we pay for out of pocket.
Kids Chores– $11 We have been off and on about chores. We will be getting in a better routine this summer. We have some chores that the kids do without pay, just because they’re a part of our family. If they get those done, they can do other chores for money. They are very interested in working to earn money. Two days into summer break they won’t stop begging for more jobs to do. I found myself saying “Let’s take a break from chores for a while. Why don’t you go read a book.” That’s something I never thought I would say!
College Savings– $200 We finally started saving for college for our kiddos. We started a 529 plan for each of our kids this month. We plan to contribute $25 per month per kid, though we started out with $50. I’ll explain more about our decision in an upcoming post.
How did your finances go in May? How are you doing on your 6-month goal?
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