I just got back from an amazing trip to Vegas where I was able to visit family and go to my dad’s retirement party. I definitely have a lot of new thoughts spinning around in my head, and I plan to share soon.
Despite July being our most expensive month (mainly because of property taxes), we did pretty well with controlling our expenses.
Our water bill should be a doozy next month, and not just because we let the kids play with the water hose. I noticed that our sump pump was emptying every 10 minutes, and after searching outside for a while, I found a huge puddle against the side of our house. We had a broken sprinkler pipe that had been gushing water for who knows how long. So that’s awesome.
Last month’s income consisted of my regular paycheck along with a little bit of side work offset by some website expenses.
Amanda’s violin income was offset by lodging and travel fees for a teacher training she attended last week.
Encore Careers for Stay at Home Moms (post in the works)
She dedicates most of her time to homeschooling and raising our kids, but she is keeping her music & violin skills sharp by continuing to teach her students and attend trainings (which are not cheap). She is now certified in Suzuki violin books 1 through 4 (in other words, she’s awesome because that’s a big deal).
I think it’s a wise investment. Sometimes stay at home parents get so caught up in their kids that they forget to invest in themselves. Continuing to invest in her professional development will position her to do just about whatever she wants within her field by the time the kids are gone. And then I can quit my job :). That’s more than worth a little bit of red in the budget to me.
401k: Nothing unusual here. Just cruising along contributing 15%.
529s: We finally opened up 529s for the kids, and I was going to put it on a monthly direct deposit of $500 per month, but they currently have my account frozen because they haven’t received my W-9 yet. Figures.
Property taxes $2,008 ($8 worse): The biggest expense of the year finally came. I didn’t really realize that when we “bought” our house, we were really just buying the opportunity to rent our property from the government.
We pay our property taxes separately from our mortgage payment. I have money automatically set aside each month to pay this bill every 6 months, so I don’t even have to think about it.
Mortgage $950 (spot on): If I paid property taxes and home insurance along with our mortgage payment, the total payment would be closer to $1,250 per month.
Giving $833 ($54 better): We give 10 percent of our income. I am usually able to budget the exact amount because it is usually based on the prior month, although this month I overestimated our income. I talked about why we give a few weeks ago.
Personal Care $113 ($2 better): My wife has historically gotten her hair cut once a year. She finally had it done again this past month, and she looks fantastic I might add.
Sporting goods $65 ($65 worse): We got some new life vests for the kids. The oldest is a pretty good swimmer now, but you can’t be too careful when you’re going to the beach all the time with 3 little ones.
My Featured Bare Budget Series
I am excited to have begun featuring the budgets of people and other bloggers who are in all different stages of life! I know there are people out there as curious (or nosy) as I am who enjoy getting a deeper glimpse into the financial lives of normal people.
If you are one of them, consider pitching in by posting yours!