Part 5 - Budgeting - Living On One Income

I've blogged about budgeting in several series before - Financial Budgeting 101 and Living Debt Free.  I did want to touch on a few things about budgeting in this series for those who haven't read the other series.  Your husband can do the budget or he can defer that to you.  My husband always did the budget until the past year when he let me take over.  I'm very good with numbers and so, he has given me reign over it now.

In Part 4, we talked about the home management fund, which includes food, necessities (toilet paper, etc.), clothing and some maintenance (cleaning supplies, light bulbs, etc.).  There are still other categories left to budget for and they are:

Tithe - should always be first and foremost! Here's why:
Tax (federal, medicare, social security)
Savings/Retirement (emergency fund, college funds, etc.)
Housing (mortgage or rent)
Housing maintenance
Housing insurance (home owner's or renter's)
Utilities (electric, gas, water, garbage, sewer)
Phone & Internet (cable if you use that)
Cell Phone(s)
Security system monitoring
Gasoline for car
Car insurance
Car maintenance (repairs, oil changes, etc.)
Personal Insurance (life, disability)
Health insurance
Health Savings Account or Fund for medical bills
Vision costs (contacts/glasses, solution, exams)
Dental Insurance
Medications and/or Supplements
Job fees or Union dues
Entertainment (Netflix, books, etc.)
Home Management (clothing, food, necessities, small maintenance)
Miscellenous expenses (gifts, toys, etc.)
Music lessons
Vacation or trips

DEBT - should be zero but if you have it, get rid of it!

Yearly Expenses
Homeschool Legal Defense (if you homeschool on your own, you need this!)
Memberships (like Amazon Prime)
Car tags and registration
Property taxes
Homeschool curriculum and supplies
Identity Theft Protection

I may have missed something or there may be things you pay that aren't listed.  You need to find ways to cover the above categories based on your income.  The best way to do this is by first subtracting tithe, offerings, tax and other payroll deductions and then budgeting your take-home pay.  Most families of 4 pay anywhere from 11-15% tax, so make sure you allot for that and thank the government for their continued wise spending of your money and take joy in the increases to help them. <-- You didn't think I was being serious there did you!?

Once you write down everything you need to take care of monthly or yearly, you will get a clear picture and then be able to budget your money and purposely budget for savings instead of wondering where your money went each month.  Dave Ramsey has a new, FREE program for budgeting called Every Dollar and I use it and love it!  It includes some tutorials in the help section if you need them.  Or you can simply budget on paper - I do both.

Work on lowering the categories and eliminate those you can, to bulk up your savings.  Create funds for whatever you need or will need - car, clothing, furniture, etc.  Make sure you have an emergency fund to cover 3-6 months of expenses if your husband loses his job or until disability becomes available.  Fund your retirement so you will not burden your children when you are older (and to have something to leave them!) and so that you can support the both of you.  Fund or don't fund your children's college - that is up to each family.