Thanks to our no-spend September, our spending was much lower than normal. When we started the challenge we didn’t know we would be putting those savings to a new car fund, but alas, such is life. In fact, there were quite a few readers in our Facebook group who had big expenses hit in September, but because they were doing a no-spend challenge in September they were able to handle the financial blows.
On the upside, my husband is now working as an attorney for the state, which has some great benefits, the primary one being that it is a 40-hour per week job! We are excited to have him home more soon.
In addition to his day job, he will have his own private practice. He has several clients who came with him and is in the middle of many cases, so he is still really busy. As that work gets finished up, he will continue working for himself, but hopefully just a couple of days a week. You can hear all the details in the post he wrote explaining the big changes. We are really excited about how this will help expedite our debt repayment!
During September, we put $4,310 toward our student loans. Because in September we spent money earned in August, and August’s income was higher than usual, we made a big payment toward student loans at the beginning of the month. We had planned to make another payment at the end of the month, but the car drama from last week turned our expected end-of-the-month payment into the beginning of our new van fund (more on that below).
We’ve taken a break from paying off our balance transfer since it only has $3,000 left on it and it won’t get any interest for a while. In the meantime we’re focusing on one of the four remaining student loans that is accruing interest.
I must say that we were thrilled to see the numbers this month. Not only did the “Debt Remaining” number go down to the 50s, the “Debt Paid” number went up to the 80s. It’s really exciting to see the gap getting wider between those numbers!
Our total net income for September was $4,822. Since we live on last month’s income, this is income that we haven’t touched yet. We will budget and spend it in October.
Attorney Income– $2,818 With Mr. SixFiguresUnder’s new job, he gets paid at the beginning of the month for the previous month. At the beginning of September he was paid for his first few days of work (the final days of August). He also got two commission checks from his old job. Next month we’ll see what a “normal” check looks like from his new job. We should also have some self-employment income to report. The first income he’s receiving from his own law office will be left in the business account as a buffer, but we’ll soon get to start paying ourselves from the business.
My Income– $1,804 My Etsy shop is on vacation while I finish my ebook, so this is just blogging income. This figure already has my blogging expenses taken out, but not taxes. My husband and I file jointly, so his withholding takes care of my tax liability and I don’t have to file quarterly estimated taxes.
If you’re interested in more details of my blogging income, as well as other tips and resources, you can sign up for my Behind-the-Scenes Blogging emails. Since most of my readers aren’t bloggers, I’ve decided to share my blogging details (income breakdown, blogging tips, answers to your burning blogging questions, etc) via email instead of here.
Prize Money– $200 My video won the Frugal Living and Money Saving category of the Money Minute contest last month. I won a $200 Visa Gift Card! Since it has to be used online, we have allocated it to our Christmas fund.
We use YNAB (YouNeedABudget) for our budgeting and absolutely adore it. Each month we budget down to zero using last month’s income. Our spending in September came from the income we earned in August. In addition to the debt payment above, here’s how we spent money in September:
Other Giving– $40 Other charitable donations this month.
Mortgage/Rent– $0 We are so thankful that my sweet in-laws invited us to live in their unfinished basement while we pay off student loans. It’s quite an adventure with four little ones, but it really is a huge blessing.
Internet– $70 We are still loving our unlimited internet! It’s wonderful not having to budget my bandwidth anymore! My in-laws take care of all the other utilities, so this is the only utility we pay and we pay it with a smile.
Republic Wireless Cell Phones– $38 We both have smartphones through Republic Wireless (you can read my review here). My phone has unlimited talk, text and WiFi data for just over $11 after tax. My husband doesn’t have WiFi access at work, so this month he changed his phone to the $25 plan which includes 3G data on the Sprint network.
Health Insurance– $152 We are in the process of getting insurance through my husband’s new job, but until then we are on our health insurance exchange plan with a subsidy. Mr. SixFiguresUnder is eager to get off of this plan because he is nervous about taxes. Our high subsidy is based on our income last year, but this year’s income has been higher, so we will have to repay some of the subsidy when we file our 2015 tax return next spring.
Car Insurance– $150 We still have insurance on all three vehicles. Hopefully by the end of October we will get rid of the two mildly functional vans and replace them with a van that makes us smile.
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– $0 We successfully lasted the entire month without buying any groceries for our no-spend month!
Gas– $435 We always set our gas budget at $500, but it’s really nice when we are under. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out with my husband driving even further now.
Fun– $0 We did have fun this month, even though we didn’t spend any money doing it. The highlight was going to the circus for the first time. I had some referral credits from Living Social (when I refer people, they get $10 and so do I) that covered the tickets.
Clothing– $22 The one planned expense for our no-spend September was a pair of running shoes for my daughter who runs cross country. I also had to pay the tax on a Thredup order I made. I had credits to cover the order and shipping was free, but I had to pay for tax.
Household– $28 We had to get a birth certificate for the baby to get her enrolled in our new health insurance.
Car Repair– $247 If you follow my blog, then you know that this is from taking the red van in to find out why it would randomly stop and why it wouldn’t start. They quickly found that a fuse was being blown, but they could not figure out what was causing it. It would cost almost as much as the van is worth to *find* the problem, and that doesn’t include fixing it. We’re on the lookout for a new ride.
Fund for Another New Van– $1,654 Instead of making an end-of-the-month debt payment this month,we set aside what we had left at the end of the month to go toward another new-to-us van. If you missed the story last week, you can read our cost analysis of our last van (not to be confused with the first used car case study).
Law Practice– $118 In addition to my husband’s law practice management software subscription that we pay each month, I ordered some business cards from Vistaprint for him. He also picked up a few small office supplies.
Parking– $187 Paying for parking downtown is painfully expensive! In the future, the cost of parking will come out of my husband’s check pre-tax.
College Savings– $100 We contribute $25 per month per child to 529 accounts. More on our decision to start saving for college in this post.
How about You?
- How did your budget go in September?