2020’s Budget Breakdown

In my 2020 Goal post I broke down the Haynes’ family goals, so this month I’m breaking down our 3 goals for the first half of the year with some more detail on what we are doing to meet that goal.  Plus I’m always looking for feedback on what you guys have found useful in hitting goals like this!

So first up is our Financial Goal–Stick to the Budget and Save for Hospital Expenses.

I think the number one most important thing when wanting to really knock out some financial goals is to set up a realistic budget. (Make sure you set aside some money for something fun for you and the family.)  There are many ways you can set up a budget, and the one we use is pretty detailed. (I mean my dad is in banking and my hubby is a CPA, it kinda comes with the territory.) My husband and I have 2 separate accounts we use to pay our bills. The first account is the one that all our paychecks get deposited into and the “fixed” expenses (the ones that never change) get automatically withdrawn from. We also use this account for food.

Our second bank account is for what I call “discretionary expenses”. These are things we control how much we spend on each year: such as clothing, gifts, vacation, etc. For this bank account we budget how much we want to spend in each category for the entire year. (I have 19 categories in total this year.) Then we have a spreadsheet that tells us how much of each paycheck gets transferred to this account.  It’s the same amount every time.  The spreadsheet divides the total amount budgeted for the year for all the categories by the number of pay periods there are this year and give us our amount per pay period for this account. We do this to save for big expenses such as back to school shopping or Christmas a little each month instead of it hitting us hard when it pops up.

Anyone who wants more details on the categories we use or how we decide how much to put in them I’d love to talk to you! Just send me a message, and we can connect!

 

From there I put our budget into an app so I can track expenses throughout the month. We use Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar app, but there are many other’s you can use such as: YNAB (You Need a Budget, my dad uses this one), Mint, or others out there.

Every Dollar is a $0 based budget where you allocate all your income for the month to something, so it’s really easy to plan for saving for goals! That’s one of my favorite things about this app. Since they released the “Fund” function I’m able to easily keep track of my discretionary account as well as make an account for saving for the hospital bills for our new baby because any money left in those categories roll over to the next month as is (over or under budget) and it’s easy to see how we are doing at a glance.

So that’s how we budget, but sticking to the budget is a different story. One thing that kept coming up in 2019 is we had a couple of things we kept having to spend money on that weren’t in the budget. That was an easy adjustment for 2020 because we just created new categories for this year. This year we added 2 categories: membership subscriptions and holiday–decor/supplies. These are things that pop up yearly that just didn’t fit into any of our current categories, so we added them to the list.

The other budget buster we kept running into was FOOD.  We are the worst at eating what’s in the fridge. From busy schedules to not being in the mood for what we had planned on, we go for a quick bite more times than I care to admit.  I also may be known to get up too late in the mornings to pack my lunch on my workday, so we have some lunch expenses as well.  So that is this year’s big budget goal–eat the food we have at home.  We are planning on doing this through proper meal planning and encouraging each other to go ahead and cook when one of us is having a weak moment and wanting to go out.  But budgeting isn’t about what you CANNOT do, it’s about using your money for your big goals.  It’s not all about deprivation so we do have some money budgeted for some nice meals out, so we can do something we enjoy and have it not blow the budget.

I’ll keep you posted on how we are doing in a few months and see what adjustments we can make!

 

What about you guys?  What are your budget hacks? Do you have any tips of getting in that kitchen instead of the drive-through??

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