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Mid-October Budget Update


Since you all asked for it, I thought I’d update you all on the budget.

October is the first month of our new budget…as a recap:
-pay cash for everything (except online bills which come directly out of the account).
-only spend money that has been accounted for in the budget.
-maximize debt payoff (car and student loans).
-set up and establish our emergency fund ($1000).
Some things are much harder than others. Before, if I wanted to treat myself to something (we’re not talking huge here…a pumpkin spice latte, a treat, etc), it was no big deal. Now, I only have $20 blow money this month, so I can’t just do that.
Also, all of our cash is divided up into envelopes. So, each trip to the grocery store or out to eat, for example, must be accompanied by the corresponding envelope. It’s tough to remember. This week was the first week Mr. Serious forgot the grocery envelope. He used the debit card and we will reconcile our envelopes.
Target trips are such a serious temptations. Like brutal and borderline unfair. For example, when my sister was here, we went to Target for her birthday present, #2’s and #1’s birthday presents, laundry detergent and diaper rash cream. I walked in and saw the $1 cookie sprinkles. I touched them. I had to have them. Then I realized that I didn’t have a $1 for them, and I sulked and put them back!
Once it was time to pay for everything, I had to use three separate transactions. Diaper rash cream went on the flex spending account, laundry detergent came out of the “cleaning envelope” and the gifts came out of the “birthday/gift envelope.” Fortunately, the cashier was super nice and understanding (she actually thanked me for my patience!)
We’ve also had some other unexpected things, like two electric bills due this month. I tried to call and change the billing date and they wouldn’t have it, so we had to figure that out, too.
Otherwise, I think we are on course. We might even have a little extra money left over at the end of the month. If we do, we are going to pay it towards the van. We hope to have it paid off by mid-2010 (if not earlier).
On the student loan front, we are only paying the minimum as we hope to get the rest of the debt cancelled or significantly reduced because I have been teaching at a Title One school for 5 years.
And, the second mortgage has been paid off. WOO HOO! We got the paper work earlier this week and it is now hanging on our fridge.
So, there you have it. The mid-October 2009 update.
Thoughts? Opinions? Ideas? They will be greatly appreciated!
(And, I’m still looking for more sources of free Starbucks gift cards…I love those PSLs and my $20 will only buy 4 of them!!)


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  1. I think y'all are doing a great job. I have such a hard time with cash because I just want to spend it. I guess the same could go for my debit card but I seem to have more control with that. So, why do you have to have so many different envelopes?? Can't you just consolidate the money for certain things and keep a log of what comes out of it so that you don't have to make 3 separate transactions every time you go to the store?? I haven't read Dave Ramsey so I don't know how he works!
    Anyway, seems like y'all are on track!!! Keep it up!

  2. Wow looks like you guys are doing a great job! I need to talk my husband into this!

  3. You are my hero! Seriously, I LOVE people who are fiscially responsible! It's rare (although I think the recession has made it more common)! Just think about how great this will all be when you retire young and have lots of money for your kids education (or at least that is what I tell myself when I can't buy the pumpkin spice latte LOL)!!

  4. The having to do three different transactions would kill it for me.

    But, you are doing so GREAT!

  5. Awesome on paying off the second mortgage! It sounds like this is working out well. And know you see why I hate Target…it's a spender's nightmare! 😉

  6. Way to go!! I hope you're proud of yourself, because I think you certainly should be!! 🙂

  7. I'm thinking – wow! This is just wonderful! You should be very proud. Sticking to a budget is VERY HARD. I need serious helping with this sort of thing, as I'm a stupid over-spender and it's terrible. I'm broke. I know why. And I need to fix it. Your post has given me a bit of inspiration to start putting myself on a budgett, too. I need to cut out the little things I don't need… all the 'extra' stuff – like buying lunch out almost everyday when I'm at work – waste of money and always way more calories than I'd eat if I brough my lunch from home!
    Good for you – great job and keep it up!

  8. I have been wanting to do a monthly budget for Sidnei and I, but I have been trying to figure out how to record it and what goes where. Cash and envelopes sound like a really good idea. A really good idea.

    It sounds like you are doing really well and sticking to your budget! Even though it's hard it has to be gratifying to know that you are going to be able to be debt free! Yay for paying the second mortgage! That is awesome!!!

    If you are up to it…I would love to hear more about how you divide things…like how you decide how much you give each category, is it a percentage? Or what the categories are…basically I guess an overview of how you are doing everything!

  9. i am soooo proud of you friend. especially the putting back of the sprinkles at target 🙂 it's not easy is if??

  10. Smart A$$ Mom says:

    wow….I was curious if you had been inspired by The Ramsey…and low and behold there I find his name in your tag. Budgets are rough, but good for you. A friend of mine did the Ramsey thing, they paid off 70K of debts in 14 months, though they were miserable doing it. Now they are trying it again in hopes of plopping down a hefty amount on a new home. I don't know though-I am a skeptic. I tend to find a lot of this stuff is like binge dieting. It can work for a while, but for a lifetime? Have you read his 'Millionaire Next Door'? It's inspiring. Maybe I have a different belief because Mr.T is in finance and has a very set way of living on a budget and investing-I could talk circles around car buying and having down payments. Regardless-it's dedication and no arguing that you are rocking the socks of many by doing and posting!! GO YOU!!

  11. Krystyn, I am soo impressed and so proud of y'all.

    THat is spectacular! I can't wait for more updates!

  12. You are doing great!

    Target is hard to shop in, believe me. I went in today for a pumpkin cutter and I wound up spending $30.

  13. You are such a budget queen inspiration to me!! And where the heck are you getting free Starbucks cards!?! Fill me in!! 🙂

  14. I love the idea of the envelopes–may need to put some thought into this. Congrats on sticking to the budget. Target is SOOOO my downfall too.

  15. Wow!! you guys are doing a great job, i'm not sure if i could keep this up! keep us posted, i would love to try some or all of that!

  16. I love that you have separate envelopes for each category AND that you stuck to it in Target. This totally says a lot about your determination.

    Great job.

  17. Can I just say, "atta girl!" I know it's tough, but you are *so* doing the right thing. And I applaud you for it.

  18. Yikes! Kudos to you because I seriously could not handle that. I say this while looking at my PSL I got this morning. I blame the pregnancy and cravings 😉

    I have a way for you to earn free jewelry…but I don't have any outlets for a free Starbucks card. Sorry!

  19. My thoughts—-don't go anywhere or do anything while on the DR budget. I am still loosing sleep over that purse! It was $2.50…and I NEEDED it. I am really hoping you went back and got it for me for Christmas…it's all I want, for real. I was telling the girls about that purse at HH….quite a while after I saw it. As I type I have the urger to get in my car and go to Target, but I won't 🙁

  20. My friend Misti was just telling me about their envelope system too which she LOVES!!! Thinking I might start doing this as well so as to save us some money too. I know that I honestly don't think about what I spend that much when I go to target! And please share about this free starbucks card. I need that kind of information! 🙂

  21. Way to go – I'm impressed. I hope you can keep up with the envelope system. What do they say – 22 days and you've started a HABIT?! 🙂

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