I cannot believe September is over! After living on a very tight budget for 2.5 months, at the beginning of September we finally received our Basic Allowance for Housing and Basic Allowance for Subsistence back-pay. (Insert praise hands emoji!) The BAH came in just in time, because our rent was due the next business day after we received it. Thank you again to my sweet husband and one of his co-workers for sorting it out with Finance! Since then, we’ve been feeling a lot of relief financially and even able to do things like go out to eat, go on dates, and each have our own “fun money.”
September Income- $5,932.20
We live off last month’s income. For an explanation of why we do this, check out this post.
Wow! It’s amazing to see how much God has provided for us this month! Our income came from a few different sources, so I’m going to break this down.
Andy’s August Paycheck- $1,846.00
This is Andy’s net (take-home) pay. 10% of his paycheck is automatically deducted for his TSP (retirement fund.) This post explains why my husband and I are comfortable sharing our salary information on my blog.
Army Backpay- $3,100
When Andy and I got married, we lived off post for 6 weeks and paid our rent and groceries out of pocket. This is the amount the Army reimbursed us.
Various Sources- $446.20
This month we had income from quite a few unexpected places: a refund for our electricity bill, some extra money from wedding gifts, a dividend from our credit union, and cashing in my 403(b). I know some of you disagree that I shouldn’t have cashed in my 403(b), but Andy and I felt that cashing it in was the best decision for us.
We believe that “our” money is not ours, but God’s, so we give a 10% tithe on Andy’s paycheck. Read our thoughts on tithing here.
We spent $100 on a raffle ticket to proceed the private school back in Owensboro. We bought a family in need some groceries, as well as brought snacks to church for our Sunday morning worship service. I also have a sponsor child, Veronica Sarah, through Compassion International.
Total Spent- $190.44
This includes our rent, cell phones, internet, and Netflix.
This category went up in comparison to last month’s category, but we received our BAH to cover rent. Our cell phone bill dropped to its regular price (last month we had activation fees.)
Total Spent- $1,121.65
This includes groceries, fast-food meals, household items like toilet paper, home improvement, and renter’s insurance.
Our grocery bill was lower than usual, but the home improvement category was unusually high because my husband built me a hammock stand. We ate out fast-food 5 times in September, 3 of which were in Owensboro.
Total Spent- $596.65
Rolling over to next month- $53.17
This includes my dental insurance, chiropractor visits, and any over-the-counter medicines.
No medical expenses this month– hoorah!
Total Spent- $0.00
This includes gasoline, car insurance, car repairs, AAA membership, and car taxes.
Our car insurance bill went up a bit because we switched to USAA and added my car on to the policy in addition to Andy’s truck. We came in 80 cents under budget for gas, thanks to on-post prices taking an extra day to raise as compared to off-post prices (it’s like seeing into the future!) We allotted $200 towards repairing Andy’s headlights, but he hasn’t had time to work on them so we rolled this over to next month.
Total Spent- $407.90
Rolling over to next month- $200.00
This includes new uniforms, college classes, haircuts, and everybody’s favorite– mandatory “fun” events.
Nothing out of the ordinary has been happening on the work front, so the only expense this month is two haircuts. We still have a good chunk of Andy’s uniform fund set aside for unexpected work-related emergencies.
Total Spent- $22.30
Rolling over to next month- $180.38
This includes anything related to Bailey’s work and education.
I’m taking a SHRM-CP (Human Resources certification) prep course for free through the MyCAA program (I’m also taking an Income Tax Course for free through H&R Block through a scholarship they have for military spouses.) I’m planning to test for the SHRM-CP exam either in February or May, so we’ve already set aside money to cover the exam and some study materials. The only thing I bought this month was a new pack of highlighters and lunch at the Women’s Mentorship Meeting.
Total Spent- $11.14
Rolling over to next month- $480.00
This includes any and all Gracie-related expenses.
Cat litter was on mega-sale at the commissary, so I bought 3 20-lb bags. We should be stocked up on cat food and litter for a while! We noticed that we’ve significantly cut down the amount of cat litter we’ve used since buying a Litter Genie.
Total Spent- $7.35
This is for any date-night related expenses, including activities and eating out.
We went to dinner at Applebee’s and Pizza Hut, rented a canoe from MWR, and rented a Redbox movie.
Total Spent- $97.73
This is for Andy and Bailey’s individual fun money allowances. They can spend them however they please.
I bought a $80 Shutterfly scrapbook with my money, but didn’t plan well because I also went to dinner at Pizzaroma, bought some books from ThriftBooks, started an Audible subscription (for $1.06 for the first two months!), and went to lunch with the ladies from church. I also bought Andy’s birthday gift, which did not come out of my personal fun money but instead our overall budget category. No idea what Andy spent his money on, except he didn’t go over budget so good job!
Bailey’s Total Spent- $203.64
Andy’s Total Spent- $82.28
Andy’s Rolling over to next month- $17.72
Like most military families, we’re on the move every 2-4 years, so we try to save in advance for these moves.
We’re not planning to PCS for another year and a half, so we will start saving money in 6-8 months.
Total Spent- $0.00
Super Secret Fund
The purpose behind this fund will be announced in the future.
So, I had some extra money leftover this month, so I decided to create a Super Secret Fund. I plan to surprise my husband with something, but can’t reveal what just yet 🙂
Update: This “Super Secret” Fund was a surprise puppy fund for my husband! Meet Lily, the newest member of the Cummins clan!
Rolling over for future- $15.42
We’re hoping to go on vacation soon (no clue when), so we wanted to start saving towards it now.
All extra money this month went towards our vacation fund. Ideally we’d like to get away for a night or two this winter and possibly a longer trip next year.
Rolling over for future- $391.20
We’re working to pay off our debts, so I decided to list these with more detail than our other budget categories.
Discover Card- $101.00
This is for the minimum payment on my Discover card.
Student Loan- $72.54
This is for the minimum payment on my student loans.
Personal (Wedding) Loan- $230.39
This is for the minimum payment on my personal loan, which we used for the wedding.
Debt Snowball- $25.00
This is for any payments above our minimum payments.
We allotted $25 extra towards debt repayment (our Discover card), but we won’t actually pay this until the October bill.
Total Spent- $428.93
Andy and I keep a $1,000 emergency fund in our savings account to cover any major unexpected expenses that we can’t cash-flow in our monthly budget.
We finally got our emergency fund established! We both feel so much comfort knowing if anything major were to happen, we could cover it without having to charge it.
Rolling over for future- $1,000