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Fixed, Variable and Non-recurring

May 3rd, 2010 at 07:49 pm

As I go through this process everyday of planning and budgeting I can see so clearly now why having a slush fund is so important. If I didnt keep money in a separate account for non-recurring items, they would have been put on the credit card without a thought. The fixed and variable expenses were not a problem in the past but the non-recurring is what ran up the cards. I can imagine that it would be hard to build one up if a budget is already tight. Im lucky that I was able to start this slush account with a couple thousand dollars of our refinancing funds in January. Then I put all our tax refunds in it as well as a bonus check from work. I try to put as much as possible in every month as well after all bills have been paid, but as you can see, some months you just cant do it when non-recurring items sneak in.

SON1 makes good money at his part time job so I rarely spend any money on him. But in months to come the following will be coming out of the slush fund in honor of his high school graduation:

$250 Senior Prom Tickets
$160 Decline his monthly payment for car insurance and phone service which I will add to my budget this month. Just to be a nice mom!
$160 Fee for orientation at the University he will attend in the fall.
$200 Dinner for the family at our favorite local restaurant after graduation ceremonies on the 26th.
$1,500 A college send-off party for him in July. We have a big family and he has a lot of friends.

Total - $2,270.
Ouch!! :O

And the faucet keeps dripping

April 27th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Additional expenditures not expected today:

$20 for SON2 for Yankee tickets - two games upper deck Cheap entertainment for a 16 year old. Couldn't say no.

$30 copay for last minute Dr. appointment for DH.
$47 for medication.

A little history:

After refinancing in January, we wiped out our equity line and major credit cards and created a detailed budget which obviously includes fixed and variable expenses. Additionally, I included a category for misc expenses, those you can't really think of but know you will have, with a few hundred dollars allowance. It has been amazing to me to see what the "misc" expenses are and how fast they add up. I have been keeping a record on my spreadsheet. Sometimes up to $1,000 in one month. In hindsight I can see how we racked up credit card debt over a 10 year period. The equity line was mostly for renovating the house and educational expenses. We were able to pay the bills before refinancing but it was getting extremely time consuming. Even though we increased our mortgage I'm much more comfortable having all that consumer debt paid off. I like to prepay the principle anyway.

Eliminating the multiple monthly credit card payments leaves room in the budget for the college loan repayments that have recently ensued -- help!