Thursday, June 11, 2015

How to Budget for a one income household. Tiny-House EDITION

Recently I was offered a job [i had applied almost a year ago for] seemingly out of nowhere.
I was very torn. There have been so many times over the years that turning a job down wasn't an option I could have even considered.

Not that we are raking in the big bucks and rolling in dough; But we have finally began making progress, not only on the Tinyhouse, but on our credit, and our bills.

Also our relationship has grown much stronger since I stopped working. We enjoy having the same schedule, and i enjoy being able to do the extra household stuff that Justin doesn't have time for.

I enjoy being a stay at home problem solver. This morning Justin was annoyed with his clothing tote. So i built two shelves up by his side of the loft. I don't see myself having the drive to do that sort of stuff if all my energy was being used at a job.

One huge reason we do well, is knowing our plan and sticking to it. This means budgeting long term. My budget technique is as follows.

I divide our bills among two pay periods. 
As the year progresses the date range of each pay period changes, what was once the 'middle of the month paycheck' is now the 'beginning of the month' paycheck.
The subtracted values can be taken from either CC or Checking, depending on that months situation.
We have a credit card backed by a CD, which we put money in during the winter [when projects aren't as easy to do, cooped up inside.] This way, unlike savings, we have a true obligation to pay back our balance, not only for the sake of getting the entire amount of the CD back, but also, to keep our credit score improving.

I have this formula worked out until December as a go to guild. It gives us a cause and effect running total. This budget holds both Justin and myself accountable for our actions.

If too much is spent, it will cascade down the line all the way through, to our Incinolet purchase in December. Everything we buy outside of planned items, has an effect. big or small. Making it necessary to think through the things we want in advance, curbing impulse buys. Half the time we don't remember them after the fact, but if we still insist on having them, we work it into the budget.

A huge part of keeping the budget square is online banking. I spend hours looking at the numbers sometimes, and I couldn't do that at a walk in bank. I highly suggest finding a bank with a strong online cache of banking tools.

We use USAA which has so many great tools right there available on the website.

Wellsfargo also has decent online banking [I used Wellsfargo to keep my budget square while spending half a year in the Philippines, and it truly was invaluable. Although i cut it close, coming home with only $25 in my account]

 I sat down for two hours with my Wellsfargo representative and ironed out all the features I needed on my account. [When i closed that account, it was literally like breaking up with my representative, he was heartbroken. It wasn't him, it was me. ]

The budget is probably my favorite part of being a stay at home. I love finding ways to make what we want happen. 

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