Our Budget

"Laura, what does your budget look like?"

I get asked this more often than you would think. Our family and friends know that we are striving to get out of debt and save, save, save for retirement!

So, I will use percentages as to not air everything out on the Internet:

Percentages are based on take-home pay with a four-week schedule after giving, health insurance and life insurance have been deducted. When there is a fifth week in a month, that income gets dumped onto debt.

Mortgage: 17% (this should not exceed 25%)
Internet: 1%
Auto Insurance: 0%
(paid in full via sinking funds)
Childcare: 11%
Gas for Home: 1%
Student Loan #1: 16%
(there is extra being paid on this)
Student Loan #2: 4%
Cell Phones: <1%
(we switched to Ting)
Electric: 2%
Tolls: 3%
Gas for Cars: 10%
Baby Expenses: 1%
Dining Out: 1%
Household Supplies: <1%
Groceries: 6%

Fun Money: 2%
Car SF: 3%
House SF: 3%
Clothes SF: <1%
Medical SF: 3%
Dog SF: 1%
Gifts SF: 1%
Water/Trash SF: 1%
Haircuts SF: <1%
Baby Stuff SF: 1%

The items in blue are budgeted items that fluctuate. I've budgeted them at the highest they've ever been. At the end of the month, I look to see how much surplus is left in each of those budgets, then I apply that surplus to debt the following month.

What is a Sinking Fund(SF)? It's a savings account that we've set up for expenses that aren't necessarily incurred each month. For example, we put 3% of each paycheck into a SF for cars. Annual plate renewal fees, oil changes, car repairs, etc. come from that SF. That way, those non-monthly expenses don't hurt our budget.

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