It’s time again for a little personal finance made public!
Now that I’m well into the second trimester of this pregnancy, I can finally manage more than just feeding my family. The change in my energy and motivation is definitely evident in the budget. June looked much better than April or May.
I’ll be back to sharing grocery shopping trips in July and have other exciting posts in the works, so stay tuned!
We haven’t sold our old van, which means we still owe ourselves $5,791 (see last month’s update for the details). It came in extremely handy that we still had our old van when our new van (a 2007 Honda Odyssey) decided to immobilize itself on us. Grrr! Apparently it’s a great anti-theft feature, but it has caused us nothing but headaches tears. We’re still trying to figure out what to do about it. Thankfully we can drive our old van in the mean time.
With June’s income (details below) we will pay ourselves back for the new van purchase. Then when we sell the old van, the proceeds can go toward the mortgage.
Okay, before I get into our numbers I want to remind you to report your June progress in our community Debt Smash-athon by July 10th! As soon as you finish reading here, go to the June Debt Smash-athon reporting form to let us know how you did. You’ll get entered for the monthly prize! Remember, we’re counting your debt paid, your contributions toward retirement, and/or your saving for a big goal! Please report whether your month was a big financial success or not. There’s no shame in having a low savings month. It happens to all of us.
I’ll summarize our progress as a group and post it here when I get all of the submissions in. If you’re not already receiving Debt Smash-athon updates, sign up here.
—On to the numbers!—
Income Earned In June – $18,502
We live on last month’s income. This income section shows the money we earned in June (which is definitely more than we earn in a standard month) and will be spending in July. The spending section below shows the money we earned in May and spent in June.
Attorney Income $6,122 – Mike works as an attorney for the state of California. This is his take-home pay after taxes, social security, health insurance premiums, union dues, and parking fees are taken out.
Blogging Income $11,287 – June is generally my biggest blogging income of the year because it’s the month I get paid for a big annual affiliate launch. My blog expenses during June included buying plane tickets for Mike and I to go to Fincon!
Airbnb Income $1,093 – We had one unusual Airbnb expense this month. Remember a few months ago when we got a new HVAC unit for our rental? Well we got a $150 bill from the propane company for removing the completely full tank and pumping it out. I’m getting grumpy just thinking about it. Grrr! If you’re thinking about renting out your space, check out the details about our Airbnb start up costs to give yourself an idea of what to expect.
Spending in June
Each month we budget last month’s income down to zero. This is how we spent the money we earned in May.
Tithing – $987 We always pay a 10% tithe on our income. This tithing (like all of our June spending) comes from the money we earned in May. You can read about why we continued paying a 10% tithe even when we were in debt.
Fast Offering – $80 Each month we take one day to fast (go without food and drink) for two meals and make a donation to help the poor in our area.
Mortgage – $3,454 Our mortgage payment includes homeowners insurance, property taxes, and a small amount of PMI. We have a 15-year mortgage, but our big goal is to pay it off in 5. If you’re a numbers person, or are looking at mortgages yourself, Mike has a number-full description of our mortgage just for you.
Electricity – $244 This bill covered the electricity used in May. Our house (and our rental, which is on the same meter) is completely electric– no natural gas or propane.
Car Insurance – $283 Our insurance is higher than normal because we currently have three cars insured instead of two. Hopefully we’ll be back down to two vehicles soon. We have been so impressed with the service and coverage that USAA provides as both a bank and an insurance company. We’re able to join USAA because my father-in-law was in the service years ago. If you, your parent, or your spouse were/are in the military, you’re probably eligible for USAA too!
Internet – $70 We still remember what life was like when we moved into our new house and it took six months (and $5,000) to get internet access. We are so grateful to have an internet connection right here in the comfort of our home.
Water – $45 Our water bill comes every other month and varies, but we try to set aside half of what we expect the bill to be.
Trash – $34 Our garbage collection bill comes every other month, so we set aside half each month.
Cell Phone (Steph) – $17 Republic Wireless no longer offers my plan to new customers, but you can now get a 1 GB plan for $20/month. That’s pretty sweet too. It’s what Mike has, but it’s a business expense for him, so never shows up here! The nice thing about Republic Wireless is that any time you’re in wifi range, the phone uses wifi for both calls and data, so we very rarely get close to the 1GB limit.
I had a reader recently tell me about Mint Mobile. It looks like another really great option for affordable cell phone service, especially if you want to bring your own phone. You can get data for a lot less than Republic Wireless. Because we have no cell signal at our home, we use Republic and its wifi calling, but Mint Mobile looks like it’s definitely worth looking into if you have a good signal where you spend your time and your cell phone bill is through the roof!
Home phone – $5 Since Mike works at home a day or two each week, we have a home phone for him to use. It’s Ooma, which is internet-based, not a traditional land line. The monthly bill is a minimal $4.50 and the initial set-up (hardware, etc) was under $100. If you want to give Ooma a try, I think that link should also get you a $20 credit (let me know if it’s not working).
Food – $375 I’m glad to be back down to a normal grocery budget. The past couple of months have been high for us (hello pregnancy!), so it’s good to be back in control!
Fuel – $397 We’re happy to have spent over $200 less on gas than we did last month!
Houshold Misc – $317 In addition to the normal household expenses, we had some chain saw maintenance expenses, an HVAC checkup, quilting supplies, and various supplies for a pioneer re-enactment trek that Mike and I participated in.
Clothing – $16 I bought a few things at the thrift store and on Thred-up.
Animals – $267 We bought 4 bags of chicken feed and some cat food. I bought a large water trough for the goats. This includes some plastic fencing (about $100 worth) that I bought and need to return.
Kids’ Activities/School – $0 No expenses in June!
Allowances – $60 We give our kids “practice money” as a weekly allowance. You can read all about why we decided to pay our kids allowance that’s NOT tied to chores, as well as all the details of when and how much in this recent blog post.
Fun – $6 We went to a dollar movie. If you need some cheap indoor summer fun, the Regal theater in your area probably has $1 kids movies on Tues and Wed too!
For most of our budget categories, we zero out what is left at the end of the month and send it to our mortgage payoff goal, but in our sinking funds we set aside money each month and let it build up until we need it.
The amount in bold is the amount that was added to the fund this month. Any spending is noted in the comments along with the current balance of each fund.
We do not have separate bank accounts for these funds. All of the money lives in our checking account. I’m not worried about getting the money mixed up because we spend according to our budget category balances, not our checking account balance. We seriously never even look at our checking balance unless we’re reconciling the account. We track our budget categories and spending in YNAB.
Medical/Dental – $400 This month we didn’t spend anything. Current category balance is $3,145.
Car Maintenance – $300 We spent $591 for some work on Mike’s car. Current category balance is $1,755.
Christmas – $100 We spent $0. Current category balance is $490.
Life Insurance – $75 Our premiums aren’t due until November, but if we put aside $75 each month we should cover them. Current category balance is $505.
Birthdays & Gifts – $40 We spent $35 on kid birthday gifts. Current category balance is $212.
Car Registration & Smog – $40 We didn’t spend anything. Current category balance is $263.
Home Projects – $0 We aren’t actively putting money toward any home projects right now. Current category balance is $706.
Family Fun Fund – $66 Formerly referred to as the Kids’ Fun Fund, this is where we put money that the kids earn together. The money added to this fund is from the OhmConnect program where you earn money for reducing your electricity during designated hours a few times a week. I have a blog post and a YouTube video that explain how it works if you’re in California or Texas and are interested in earning some easy money. Current category balance is $380.
Kids’ 529s – $125 I know that $25 per kid per month invested for college looks piddly, but we’re just not as concerned about college costs as a lot of people seem to be. Scholarships, grants, loans, and jobs during school worked for us. We may accelerate this savings later, but it’s not our highest priority. You can read about our decision to start saving a little for college in this post.
IRA (Steph) – $500 $500 monthly will max out my $6,000 IRA contribution for 2019. Mike has about $700 each month deducted directly from his paycheck into a pension fund.
Mortgage Payoff Goal Progress
If you’re new here, our big goal right now is paying off our mortgage. We want to pay it off in 5 years, even though on paper right now it looks impossible. You can see all the numbers and details about our big goal here.
Our normal May mortgage payment of $3,454 includes principal, interest, property tax, homeowner’s insurance and PMI. Of that, $1,677 went to principal. In addition to the normal payment, we paid an additional $450 of principal.
That brings our totals to:
Original balance of 15-year mortgage: $372,700
Balance at start of 5-year goal (Nov 2018): $363,171
Current balance (after June 2019 payments): $332,443
Percent of 5-year goal reached: 8.46%
Percent of 5-year time elapsed: 13.33%. Yeah. We have some catching up to do.
You can get this hand-drawn brick house printable progress chart here. I love that it has LOTS of spaces (365 in total) so that we can color it in often and celebrate our progress! It would work great for paying off your mortgage OR saving for a down payment.
Whew! That was a lot of numbers. Thanks for reading our personal finances made public!
If you haven’t already done so, take a sec and report your Debt Smashing progress for June! 🙂
How About You?
- How did your budget and/or debt repayment go in June?
- Any big plans for July?
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