The week before Christmas, I learned my boss was going to be out of town for the entire following week. So what did we do? We went on a spontaneous family trip to Washington DC of course! And we did it on the cheap.
Did anyone else get rained out on Halloween? Although not ideal, I think our neighbors gave my kids some fairly generous candy portions since not many kids were out. Aside from some cheap face paint, we didn’t shell out much money for costumes. We got a witch costume for our youngest daughter at a consignment sale, used dress-up clothes and made a crown for our other daughter, and just used an old cape for our son. We did, however, spend plenty of money in other areas. [Read more…]
September has come and gone, and now October is the only thing standing between me and my vacation/scout trip to Nicaragua in November. I can’t wait. The only thing that can distract me from thinking about it is talking about money. So let’s talk about the September numbers. [Read more…]
I just got back from an amazing trip to Yellowstone for my family reunion where I was able to visit with my parents and families of my 3 siblings. We saw some wild bald eagles, saw Old Faithful, had late night treats, shot beebee guns, played ping pong, sat in the hot tub, ate amazing food, and made a few of our nephews cry (they were asking for it)–everything I could have hoped for.
Summer has come and gone again! We feel like we did a better job this year taking advantage of the beautiful southwest Michigan beaches and really letting our kids create some good memories. Now we will just brace ourselves for the impending winter, but not before taking a 9-year anniversary trip to Nicaragua (that only cost me $217 dollars I might add. More on that later).
August was a pretty quiet month as far as income & expenses go, except for some surprise trips to the pharmacy. [Read more…]
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. [Read more…]
Lots of momentous happenings this past month in Bare Budget Town as evidenced by all of the red in my June budget. I feel confident, however, when I say that most of the areas of overspending did not involve frivolous expenses but rather investments from which we are already seeing benefits (new couches, trampoline, hitting the gym, etc).
This is why you love the Bare Budget Reports: I’m a normal guy with a 9 to 5 (more like 7:30 to 6, but who’s counting?) job who doesn’t make thousands of dollars online that you can actually kind of relate to. Reading the financial details of “Personal Finance Joneses,” as I’ve heard them called, is inspiring for some but discouraging for others.
We here in the Bare Budget Guy household are grateful to be on a solid financial path as we make slow but steady progress on our baby steps, and we have nothing to legitimately complain about. We have everything to be grateful for. The trick is to not let my desire to amass more wealth diminish my gratitude, which isn’t always an easy balance. [Read more…]
This is why you love bare budget reports: You like that I’m a normal guy with a 9 to 5 (more like 7:30 to 6, but who’s keeping track?) job who doesn’t make thousands of dollars online that you can actually kind of relate to. Reading the financial details of the “Personal Finance Joneses,” as I’ve heard them called, is inspiring for some but discouraging for others. [Read more…]
Spring is finally here! We can actually feel a hint of warmth shining down on us in Michigan. Now that tax season is over, I hope to shift some focus to barebudgetguy.com, but the beach is so beautiful! We’ll see what happens…
It is that time of the month again, when I post the results of how our actual finances for the month stack up against our budget. I discuss the items on the budget on which we significantly over or underestimated along with any other items I think are relevant to highlight for the month.
Highlights this month: We hit the big milestone this past month of increasing our retirement contributions to 15% (our baby step #4). This month we will shift our focus to opening 529 Plans for the kids. [Read more…]
It is that time of the month again, when I post the results of how our actual finances for the month stack up against our budget. I discuss the biggest budget misses along with any other items I think are relevant to highlight for the month.
Highlights this month: We hit the big milestone this past month of attaining our $30K emergency fund. This month we will shift our focus to increasing our 401k contributions and building up a $10K spend fund. We also got some 86 percent-off tickets to South America! [Read more…]
It is done. Finally. Or at least it will be within the next few days. We will have built our emergency fund up to the nice round number of $30,000. The general rule of thumb is to keep 3 to 6 month’s worth of living expenses on hand for emergencies or unexpected events. So much of our life has been focused on saving money and paying off debt, it’s different to now be thinking more about increasing retirement contributions, opening 529 plans for the kids, or just buying a bunch of useless stuff. (Note from wife: In other words, can we buy a couch yet? Is anyone with me? At what point do you/did you decide to start buying the “stuff” that you didn’t buy when you were in debt or working up a savings?) [Read more…]
January was a decent month. The good things offset the not-so-good things, and we came out a little bit ahead, no thanks to the electrician. [Read more…]
If you only look at my after-tax expenses, December appears to have been a pretty good month. We only went over budget by $31. But (and it’s a big but), when you look at our budgeted income, you realize December wasn’t so great after all. We brought in less income than we planned, and it had a big impact on our December budgeted savings. Focusing on expenses without taking a hard look at your income is a huge pitfall that I don’t think gets enough attention. [Read more…]
Amanda is convinced that the posting of our budget is a plot to make sure she sticks to it, but I assured her it is not. I do think it will affect our behavior positively though. Let’s dive in. [Read more…]
Before tearing apart my budget, keep in mind I don’t post my financial details as a recommendation. I simply share with the hope that we can mutually benefit and encourage each other to improve. That said…I bought an unbudgeted $500 TV. [Read more…]