Budgeting

Personal finance is just that – personal. These are some posts about budgeting that have worked for our family. Over the years our process has been based on the advice put out by some authors and speakers, but our personal plan has been tweaked for what works best for our family.

Being a Month Ahead in the Budget

The very strict rules and forms of the Baby Steps helped to establish some discipline for us very early on, but in the long term aging our money to the point that we could budget on the previous month’s income was a lot easier for us to work with and eliminated a lot of headaches.

beach, shoreline, coast

Side Hustles, COVID-19, and the Tide Going Out

Over the course of our marriage, Summer and I have ran several small side businesses between the two of us, including: A photography business Web / application development Childbirth education classes Doula (childbirth support) services We learned a very hard lesson with our very first customer for our photography business. It was a small wedding, and we were just starting out, so the total was …

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Pausing the Baby Steps for a Baby

I started writing this back in 2015 when we still had a balance on our mortgage, but for some reason never hit the “Publish” button. Back then we had a refinanced mortgage of $120,000 that we were aiming to pay off before 2020. Around 2015, our monthly interest payment was somewhere around $300. We ended up having no surprises with the birth of #4, so …

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Vacation on a Budget – Part 4 – Recap and Lessons Learned

This is part 3 in a series about vacationing on a budget. Recap I’ve said it before, and will do so again – by budget I do not mean “cheap”, I mean “a plan” – on paper, on purpose, before the trip began. There are many people who take far more expensive trips than we did, but our trip was far from being a “budget” …

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Vacation on a Budget – Part 3 – Remaining Expenses

This is part 3 in a series about vacationing on a budget. As a quick recap, our budget for the entire trip was $2,400. We broke it down into the following categories: $1,200 for lodging (50%) $300 for gas (12.5%) $400 for food, groceries, supplies (16.7%) $500 for activities (20.8%) As I covered in part 2, we spent $1,188.84 out of our budgeted $1,200 for …

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Vacation on a Budget – Part 2 – Where to Stay

In part 1, I went over our budget for our 2013 Family Vacation. Our total budget was $2,400 cash. We had saved up that amount in a savings account, and had no more than that to spend. Our rough breakdown was: $1,200 for lodging (50%) $300 for gas (12.5%) $400 for food, groceries, supplies (16.7%) $500 for activities (20.8%) Location, Location, Location Our family enjoys …

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Vacation on a Budget – Part 1 – Establishing a Budget

Our family loves to travel. During the first 3 years of our marriage, we would travel over 500 miles from home at least 3 times a year. One year we went to Hawaii, San Francisco, Texas, and it seems like at least one other place in that year. One year we drove out to Colorado from Missouri to see some property that has been in …

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Cutting Back

I will post a little bit of what I posted to Summer’s blog. I am hoping that we can all help each other out and find ways to cut back in ‘tough economic times’. Cutting Back Another key to getting us back on track was to find ways to trim back. One of our frustrations is that every time we saw a ‘top 5 ways …

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