October’s budget

It’s the middle of September, and all September bills are paid. One of our paychecks has already been distributed to our different October sinking funds, and our October credit card payment. The next September check will be used to pay all October bills.

Before diving into October numbers, I wanted to mention our new bank account system. We have a total of four accounts – two checking and two savings. We turned one checking account into our “grocery, gas, and spending money” fund. The other checking account is for bills.

One savings account has about $1,500, and it’s only for emergencies. (We want this fund to be much, much healthier in the near future, but, right now, as we’re paying off our final credit card, that’s as good as it’s going to get.) The second savings account is set up for other sinking funds: car insurance, property taxes, Christmas spending, car repairs, and home fixes.

Thanks to our budget, we were able to afford a full tank of propane long before winter hit. And since we’re committed to heating with wood again this year, the propane is only needed for the cooking stove. So we don’t need to continue adding money to the propane sinking fund each month for the rest of the year. We’re also hoping to create a family trip sinking fund, but for now, that’s getting zero.

Also wanted to mention that because of the property taxes sinking fund, we have enough cash on hand to pay our fall taxes at the discount rate. This is a pretty big deal for us.

Okay, here’s October:

NOTE: Most numbers are rounded for easier reading.

*** BILLS ***

Car payment … $290

Health insurance … $310 (This is for me and our son. Julep’s health insurance is covered through his work.)

Garbage/recycling pickup … $85 (We’re billed quarterly.)

Other insurances … $140

Credit card … $400

Mortgage … $500

Verizon … $85

AT&T … $50 (We have one cell phone, and we’re on a family plan.)

Electric … $150 (This is an estimate. During the farm season, we have a walk-in cooler and grow lights for plant starts. While these are farm expenses, we absorb them into our personal electric bill.)

Netflix … $13

TOTAL BILLS … $2,023

*** GROCERIES ***

$400 ($100 per week)

*** GASOLINE ***

$160 ($40 per week)

*** SINKING FUNDS ***

Car insurance … $55 (We switched from Liberty Mutual to Geico, and cut our insurance cost in half.)

Property taxes … $210

Christmas spending money … $50 per month (I’ll do a whole separate post about how excited I am to have money to spend on Christmas gifts this year.)

Car and home repairs … $85

*** OCTOBER FUN ***

$150 … We have a family birthday to celebrate in October, a festival we’d like to attend, and some Halloween fun planned. So we’re budgeting more than usual in the fun money category.

OCTOBER EXPENSES: $3,133

OCTOBER REVENUE: $3,360

SURPLUS: $227

Now, we have two family members with scheduled dental visits, and we also have a pet who may need a trip to the vet. That means the $227 will possibly need to go toward one of those costs. (We do pay for dental insurance through Julep’s work.) Hopefully, we won’t need to dip into the emergency fund. There’s also wiggle room in the other sinking funds, if need be.

So there’s October!

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