I can’t believe we are down to our last few budgets of dealing with two currencies. I’m sure budgeting will be a piece of cake after we move to Hawaii. Ha! Only one can hope. There always seems to be “surprise” expenses that make budgeting challenging.
Military Family Budget Meeting
My husband and I have a budget meeting before the beginning of each month to hash out our budget. Even if he is deployed, half way across the world. We still have our budget meetings via a phone call or some type of technology. After four years of budget meetings, we can cover everything financially related and be in 100% agreement in about 10 minutes.
Trust me. It was NOT always this painless.
The Purpose of Sharing our Budget:
We share our budget with the hope to encourage and inspire our readers who are on their journeys to financial freedom. We share our budget with the hope that it opens up a financial conversation, to create an opportunity to learn from each other.
If you are new to Budget Loving Military Wife, you may be wondering a little bit about our situation. We have been seriously focused on our finances, getting out of debt, and budgeting for four and half years!
My husband serves in the U.S. military and we have been stationed in England since 2013. We began our marriage with two good incomes, which was extremely helpful to pay off our consumer debt. However, our England move made us a single-income household.
We are debt free besides our mortgage (stateside home that is currently a rental property). We have three month old baby boy! We also recently found out we are moving to Hawaii this summer!
Our financial focus while living in England has been to pay down our mortgage as quickly as possible and to take advantage of our once in a lifetime opportunity to travel Europe.
One Income Budget
Husband’s Income – $6539.78
This is total take home pay for April. We budget and live on last month’s income. Our income is in US Dollars, but most of our expenses are in British Pounds. For simplicity sake, we budget everything in US Dollars (using current exchange rates).
Current Exchange Rate: 1 British Pound = 1.44 US Dollar
Rent – $1728
Our overseas housing allowance is £1350 (~$1920). However, the overseas housing policy is “use or lose.” The ~$200 difference is “forfeited” by us. I mention this because in state-side locations, if you rent a home for less than your housing allowance you get to keep the difference. If we were not forced to forfeit the difference. We would definitely find a place less expensive, to apply more towards our debt.
This bill is the same every month, although fluctuates with the currency exchange rate. Our service provider sets a monthly price based on our estimated future use. Every six months it is re-evaluated and our monthly bill changes accordingly.
This is a quarterly bill, which is typically ~$120-$180. June will be our next bill.
Our community’s garbage, recycling, and yard waste was paid by taxes. However, they began charging for yard waste. This is a annual fee. It’s a bummer since we will only be using this service ~3 times before we move. Oh well, at least it’s not a much higher cost.
We had $14 left from last month. We will be rolling it over to May, creating a total grocery budget of $254. Our grocery budget pays for all food and household supplies (as well as diapers).
Car Repair/Replacement- $0
This fund covers all car maintenance and repairs. Our car fund currently sits at $1722.29. We will be selling our British car in the next month. This fund will be plenty to keep the car maintained and running during this time. Any left over money after we sell the car, will then be applied to buying a car in our new location.
We purchase most of our gasoline on the military base for a much lower price. On the British economy gasoline is ~$7/gallon.
Renter’s & Car Insurance- $50
We only cover liability insurance on our car that is worth less than $2000. Otherwise car insurance is quite a bit more expensive in England than in the U.S.
Dental Insurance- $11.68
This covers my dental insurance. My husband’s is 100% covered by his employer.
Majority of our baby expenses come out of our grocery fund (diapers) and miscellaneous fund (unexpected fees or medicine, etc.). Our baby budget currently sits at $50.00. I will be updating our$1000 Baby Budget to reflect all the purchases made since our little one was born.
Total Living Expenses: $2373.68 (36.3% of Total Budget)
This is for our two smart phones. One has international calling.
This may seem low for internet service. However, we pay an annual fee (nearly $300) for a land-line rental in order to have internet service. If you break it down, it would be roughly $50/month for internet.
We had $28.80 left over from March’s budget. We are rolling it over to have a total $117.60 for May. This fund picks up random $5-$20 expenses that we did not foresee or helps cover categories we go slightly over budget.
Blow Money- $20/$68.80
This covers all of our individual purchases. Clothes, Haircuts, Make up, Lunch with Friends, Snacks/Coffee, etc. We “allow” a maximum of $75 each per month, however we try to keep this expense as low as possible.
We had $57.60 left over from last month which we will roll over to May’s budget for a total of $86.40. We budgeted a bit more this month so we can go out to a Mother’s Day lunch and a birthday meal for me.
Vacation Fund- $0
We are done vacationing while living in Europe.
We will be visiting family this summer and autumn. We are budgeting these expenses with our PCS budget.
Total “Luxury” Expenses = $348.96 (5.3% of Total Budget)
Work & Education Expenses
Husband’s Work- $20
My husband is required to go out to lunch with some high ranking head honchos this month. At the very least we knew about it in advance. Typically these expenses come out of our miscellaneous fund because my husband isn’t typically informed until the week or two prior.
Husband’s College- $0
My husband is taking a break from college courses until we are settled in Hawaii.
Total Work & Education Expenses: $20 (0.3%)
Investments – $722.46
We have selected to invest in Roth investments because our taxable income is currently very low. We would rather pay taxes now, rather than paying taxes when we are retired millionaires. 😉 We invest approximately 10% of our gross income.
Total Retirement Investments: $722.46 (11.0%)
PCS Fund- $1500
After May we will have $6000 in our PCS (military move) fund. Our goals is to save $1500/month through July for a total of $9000.
Total Savings: $1500 (22.9% of Total Budget)
Mortgage- $1544.73 (23.6% of Total Budget)
As promised, our mortgage payments will be much smaller for the next few months because we are saving for our upcoming move back to the U.S.
This budgeted amount plus what we receive in rent from our current renters and any “extra” we can scrape up with extra income or lower than budgeted expenses will be our June Mortgage payment. This includes insurance and taxes for this property. Check out our most current Mortgage Freedom progress!
***Please remember I am only sharing our budget to learn from each other. It is no attempt to make anyone feel sorry for us or to brag in anyway. I would love to hear your tips or what you would do differently if you were in our shoes. I am all about making our budget better and more efficient.
What do You Think?
How was your May Budget Meeting?
Trying anything new with your budget this month?
What would you change about our budget?
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