April is a crazy month for us with lots and lots of activity. There are 6 family birthdays and all three of us have April birthdays in the same week. It’s our baby’s first birthday and first Easter so those events will be a big deal as well!
Obviously because our lives are so packed full of fun and happy plans we aren’t planning to be super focused about paying off debt this month. I’ve made a reasonable budget however and we plan to stick to it strictly which means any extra income earned over the planned amount will go straight to debt.
Having a plan at the beginning of the month makes you feel so much more confident with your money!
April 2019 Budget
This month I’m anticipating $5,300 in income, which includes $500 of extra/online income. Because I have a variable income from my job and all my side hustles, this final income number will be flexible and flushed out during each paycheck to paycheck budget during the month.
What comes out before our budget:
- Health FSA
- Childcare FSA
- Health Insurance
Here’s the monthly budget for our take home pay so far for April 2019:
- Mortgage – $1,200
- Daycare – $600
- Utilities- $200
- Phone – $160
- Internet – $72
- Debt Payment – $265
- College Fund – $25
- Healthy Wage – $25
- Furnace Cleaning – $130
- Groceries – $600
- Eating Out – $150
- Gas – $125
- Personal – $175
- House – $100
- Medical – $80
- Birthdays – $300
- Sinking Funds – $1,125
Creating the monthly budget with an outlook for all the upcoming expenses helps us create a more accurate paycheck to paycheck budget once we get paid. I know a lot of people love doing either monthly or biweekly budgets but I really do love doing both!
We’ve dabbled in sinking funds but it wasn’t until last month when I paid for my car tags from the car maintenance/replacement fund that I realized how useful sinking funds could be. You can 100% plan out your yearly costs and most “unbudgeted” costs by using sinking funds. My “unbudgeted” category stressed me out every month because it’s always ending up at least $100, sometimes several hundred. I think sinking funds will eliminate that stress and bring more peace to our financial lives.
Here’s how we’ve set up our sinking funds for April:
- Therapy – $260
- Car – $250
- Wedding – $200
- Beach Trip – $150
- Life Insurance – $35
- Birthdays – $50
- Pets – $80
- Tech Replacements – $50
- Clothes – $25
- Events – $25
Future sinking funds will also include home repairs/maintenance, Penny items, and Christmas gifts.
We keep all our sinking funds in savings accounts at Capital One 360 (referral link w/ $25 bonus!) and split them out individually since the technology at Capital One makes it so easy.
Planning for many of these expenses months in advance may slow down our debt snowball progress this month but it will ultimately prevent a ton of stress when it’s time to pay for these items! That is the main reason why we are starting to use sinking funds!
What I Use To Budget
Below are some of the items I use to budget with! I get a lot of questions about what I use with my planners and the apps I use to keep my budget on track every month so I want to share the budgeting tools I use to make budgeting both functional and fun.
Budget Stickers – I use a variety of budget stickers in my videos from Me And My Big Ideas, Erin Condren and various Etsy shops. I’ve linked my favorite budget sticker Etsy shops I use all the time below (affiliate links):
- Caffeinated Cait (script budget stickers)
- Elaine Michelle Studio (youtuber & budget stickers)
- Planner Kate (matte budget stickers)
- A Happy Blue Tree (kawaii budget stickers)
- HoneyInked Planner Paperie (clear budget stickers)
- Planner Envy (bright budget stickers)
Every Dollar – My husband and I both use a shared Every Dollar app account where we actively track our spending. This works best for us since my husband doesn’t use a planner and we have joint bank accounts and expenses.
Mint.com – I’ve used Mint for over years as a passive net worth tracker. It’s a more passive option and I don’t actively update it except for once or twice a year when I want to gauge my net worth progress.
Hopefully these tools will help you with your budget whether you love pen and paper or technology!