Club Thrifty July Budget Breakdown

Club Thrifty July Budget Breakdown - picture of back of woman looking at computer

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I just sat down to write this blog posts and realized that my daughter starts kindergarten in three weeks.  Where has the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday she was my baby, and now she’s my little girl.  So basically, I feel old.

On the other hand, I can’t wait for her to get started in school.  She is so excited for the new adventure, and I can only hope I have adequately prepared her for the challenge.  Fingers crossed!  I’ll be sure to post an update and picture of her on her first day of school.

tomatoesLet’s get down to business, shall we?  When it comes to last month’s budget, we did pretty awesome.  Our spending was almost perfect.  Hooray!  One thing that really helped is that I temporarily bumped our grocery budget up to $600 for the month.  I kept July’s food budget at $600 too, but I think I might bring it back to $500 next month because of my mad gardening skillz….  Say what?

My Garden is Insane

I recently wrote about how we are terrible at gardening, but oh-my-lawd, we must’ve done something right.  We’ve got all kinds of crazy food growing in there, even things I’m not entirely sure we planted.  I guess we’ll just have to see how it pans out.  We are going to have a ton of food!

Enough about that.  I’m sure you’re ready to read all of the explicit details of this month’s family budget.  You’re on the edge of your seat, I’m sure.  Wait for it…..

My friend took in a rescue horse….and it wanted my margarita!

Club Thrifty July Budget Breakdown

  • Mortgage: $1,500
  • Groceries: $600
  • Daycare: $510
  • College L: $25
  • College V: $50
  • Gas/Misc: $200
  • Cell Phone: $60
  • Health Insurance: $393
  • Car Insurance: $383
  • Electric: $120
  • Gas: $20
  • Sewer: $35
  • Water: $50
  • Anniversary: $100
  • SEP IRA: $1,000
  • Roth IRA: $1,000
  • Minnesota: $150

Total: $6,196

Monthly Budget Details

You’ve probably noticed that each of my budgets is slightly different than the last.  That’s because we use a zero-sum budget each month and tailor it to our specific expenses.  Here are some more details about the abnormal expenses that made it on the list this month:

  • My mortgage is not $1,500! However, I choose to pay extra so that we can pay this thing off once and for all.  My mortgage payment does include property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, however, so that is why I do not budget for those items separately.  They are paid directly out of my mortgage funds through an escrow account.
  • I pay my car insurance premiums to Allstate twice each year and July is one of the lucky months.  That’s why I owed $383.  Thankfully, that is not a monthly expense!
  • Yesterday was the ten year anniversary of the day we met, and we chose to go out with friends to celebrate the occasion.  I budgeted $100 for a really nice dinner.  That isn’t something we do often, but it was a nice treat.
  • We are heading to Minnesota to see Greg’s parents later this month.  Since we’re staying at their house, our only expenses should be gas and food.

In other news, I just opened a new Health Savings Account under Greg’s name since our old account had few investment options and is earning squadoosh.  Once his account is fully open, we are going to put $6,000 in it for 2014.  Since the Affordable Care Act has made health insurance unaffordable for my family, our plan is to join a healthcare sharing ministry called Liberty HealthShare later this year when our current plan expires.  Once we join, we will no longer be able to contribute to an HSA, but any funds we’ve contributed will still be ours.  That’s why we need to put the money away now.  We only have so much time left!  Don’t worry, I’ll complain endlessly write more about our choice to forgo traditional health insurance in a future post.  Stay tuned!

That’s all I got.  Happy Friday, peeps!

Want to cruise for free?  Check out this post:

Can You Get a Free Cruise?– VOSA

What does your July budget look like?  Any big expenses coming up?

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  1. Hey that’s awesome that your garden is rockin! Looking forward to hearing more about the healthcare sharing ministry- I don’t think I’ve heard of that before. Happy anniversary!

  2. I’ll have to look into HSA options, I wasn’t aware that any of them had investment options. Mine is with HSA Bank, so it probably earns even less than yours…

    1. I doubt it. Mine is not earning anything at the moment =/

    2. FI, you have investment options with HSA Bank. You can invest your balance through TD Ameritrade or DEVENIR mutual funds. There’s a $3 monthly fee unless your balance is over $4925. (I just opened an HSA with HSA Bank, which is why I know this.) 🙂

  3. Love that pic of you and the horse!! If you want more horse action when you’re in MN, stop on by and we’ll let the girls take rides on Stardust. I promise he won’t steal your drink. 🙂 Okay, I”m SO jealous of that tomato!! Our tomato plants are just starting to get blossoms! Everything is way behind here due to the stupid Polar Vortex crap. So glad too, that you found yourselves a good healthcare sharing plan. That’s the way to go!

  4. Looks like those tomatoes will be awesome with some greens to occopmany them in your belly. Ha. Good job on the budget, your paying off debt faster, and you still managed to save dollars for the future. I appreciate that strategy, but have you ever considered going all in on the debt and then save after you are debt free?

    1. The only debt we have is a small mortgage on our house! But no, I would not want to sacrifice retirement saving at this point in order to pay off my mortgage.

  5. Great month Holly! I love when everything falls into place and you can stay in budget. July isn’t looking too great for me. Work has been very slow and I don’t think I’m going to get close to my projected budget. First month since the beginning of the year it will happen. Hope the rest of the month is great for you!

    1. You win some, you lose some. Hopefully August will be better for you!

  6. Happy Anniversary…. 🙂 Your budget is working for you and that’s great! Before you know it your mortgage will sail away… it feels good!! I had to laugh about your gardening skills and I hope you take piccies and share with us just what does grow in your garden. Ha, ha.
    Enjoy the weekend mate.

    1. I do need to do a garden update with pics. My garden is growing out of control!

  7. 1. You have a type in the caption of your picture (I hate being that guy to point it out, but I kept laughing about a hose wanting a mararita)

    2. I am really interested in how this health share thing will work out. The idea is very interesting

    3. July/Aug is going to be a little expensive for us, since we just had a little girl who decided to come a little early and she has had to spend some time in the NICU. So those bills will show up at some point. I am just glad my wife has really good health insurance!

    1. and then I typo myself… Karma got me!

  8. Looks like a great month, congrats! And yay for anniversaries! I love the horse after your margarita. Our hound always seems to know when we’re drinking cocktails and runs over to stick her drippy snout in…

  9. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel says:

    I’ve heard about those healthcare ministries. What sort of requirements do they have?

      1. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel says:


  10. Looks good to me! Does Greg have a 401k? If not, should he open an IRA?

    1. We keep Greg’s income and retirement savings private since he works with other people at a 9-5 job. We’re not sure how every is paid there and we wouldn’t want anyone to know how much he makes and/or saves.

  11. Aww, I bet your baby girl is going to love the school adventure. Congrats on the garden too. Ana and I planted our first one this year and it’s really blown up. Looks like you’ve got a pretty solid budget…I love that 2 thirds of your budget is dedicated to saving/investing…that rocks!

  12. I definitely remember the first day of kindergarten for the girls, such a momentous occasion. And fun and hard. 🙂 I can’t believe school starts so soon. Glad your garden is taking off and I’m jealous of all the fresh veggies and fruits you’ll be enjoying soon. Have a great weekend!

  13. Oh boy…the first day of kindergarten. How fun! Even more fun is kindergarten graduation. Our private school always puts on a production for K5 graduation…it’s about as big a hit as the high school graduation ceremony.

  14. Well, I’m really jealous of you’re $383 6-month insurance premium….we just paid ours and it was $796….seriously. It’s mostly because were not yet 25, and therefore are not responsible even though we have a kid, mortgage and jobs……6 more months until the Big Guy turns 25 woo hoo!

  15. Looking good Holly! I’m waiting for our garden to finally ripen up, although we’ve had a pretty amazing haul of cucumbers and tomatoes so far, so I can’t complain!

  16. Congrats on the garden and being on budget. What a great feeling. June was alright for me, but July is going to be better. I am doing a cash diet right now and it’s really working!

  17. Please don’t talk about that you feel old because your daughter will start to go to kindergarten, my daughter is already in grade 2, and I’m feeling older than you Holly! 🙂 I remember before, when my daughter started to go to school, I’m much more excited than her!

  18. Congrats! I hope you’ll get good harvest from your garden 🙂 Good luck with everything this month!

  19. Kid growing up – what can you do but embrace it?
    Free food – awesome!! (Well technically it’s not free but the seeds and plants are sunk costs now aren’t they?!)
    Manniversary – coolio!
    squadoosh – is a freakin’ fantastic word!!!
    Margarita drinkin’ horse – pretty smart 😉

  20. I think it’s awesome that you are trying to pay your mortgage back early instead of letting it ride out. It will cost you a lot less in the long run! That’s so cool that your daughter is starting kindergarten so soon. It must be bittersweet!

  21. Wow! That’s one big ass tomato! Congratulations on another good month of budgeting. I’ve come to believe that animals are alcoholics. My dog is always hoping l spill beer so he can lick it, and l notice the same thing with friends dogs as well, beer , wine..they are all over it! Lol!

  22. Happy anniversary! I know its sappy, but my wife and I still (softly) celebrate our first-date day.

  23. I cannot wait until my budget looks like yours! Specifically, lots more savings and waaaay less toward student loans – right now my student loan payment is as much as your mortgage! And happy anniversary!

  24. Your little girl must be already excited on her first day at school! 🙂 I also have a garden here at home with a variety of vegetables and fruits. Actually, having my own garden helped me cut down my grocery expenses since I don’t need to buy anymore vegetables and fruits at the supermarket.

  25. $383 for bi-annual premiums! I hate Michigan auto-insurance rates… my semi-annual insurance premiums are in the lower $600’s.

    Also those health sharing ministries seem intriguing, but I am not sure how well they work for paying claims.

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