A Military Family’s One Income Budget – July 2016

I can’t believe this is our LAST budget dealing with the British Pound!!!

We have promised ourselves we would continue to budget during our PCS (military move). Three years ago, when we moved to England we got off track and stopped budgeting for 3 months. Our goal is to do much better this time around.

July is a bit of a CRAZY budget month. We have final bills from utility companies as well as some of our PCS expenses beginning to pile up. Some PCS expenses we are cash flowing and some are being paid with our PCS budget.

Are you ready to see our DEBT FREE/Mid-PCS budget? So were we! But first check out this cutie! 🙂

Budget Baby 4 months

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.

Background

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 have a four month old baby boy and we are now getting ready to move to Hawaii!

In June of this year we paid off our final debt, our mortgage (stateside home that is currently a rental property) and screamed WE ARE DEBT FREE!!!

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. We have successfully done BOTH! 🙂

july Budget

 

One Income Budget

Income

Husband’s Income – $6436.27

This is total take home pay for June. 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 = 1.40 US Dollar 

***Last month with two currencies!!! YAY!!!
****As many of you know the British Pound crashed at the end of June. However, we had already bought our British Pounds and need to clear out our British bank account. 🙁 So this month we are using a higher exchange rate than the actual rate (actual rate: 1 British Pound = ~$1.32).

Living Expenses 

Rent – $0

We moved out of our British home mid-June and paid for our temporary lodging ($1284.80) in full with June’s budget. We will also be staying a couple weeks with family in route to Hawaii. So no rent this month. YAY!

Electricity/Gas- $343.00

OH MY!!! Supposedly we used more electricity than estimated and had the above bill upon move out of our British home. 🙁 Oh well, at least we had extra wiggle room in our budget this month.

Water- $53.26

We had a quarterly bill due in June for March-May service. This is our bill for about a month of service.

Grocery- $172

This may seem low, but this is only for a portion of the month so it’s actually quite high. We did not include grocery expenses while we are visiting family. We do plan on helping pay for groceries, but budgeted it in a different category.

Car Repair/Replacement- $0

We are currently renting a car so we don’t have to worry about car repair/maintenance. We had $1722.29 left in this fund and we applied it towards our PCS budget towards buying new to us cars in our next location.

Gasoline- $75

We are only in England for part of the month and we are living much closer to my husband’s work. So this category is much less than our typical $200.

Renter’s & Car Insurance- $50

We are covering our belongings in transit and we are required to cover insurance on the rental car.

Dental Insurance- $11.68

This covers my dental insurance. My husband’s is 100% covered by his employer.

Baby- $0

Majority of our baby expenses come out of our grocery fund (diapers) and miscellaneous fund (unexpected fees or medicine, etc.).

Total Living Expenses: $704.94  (11.0% of Total Budget)

 

“Luxury” Expenses

Phones- $112.00

We called to cancel our phones mid-June because our plan was just to use our cheap “pay as you go” phone. However, apparently in England they have up to 30 days to cancel your phone after your request. So, we are still paying for our phones. 🙁

Internet- $0

We paid our final internet bill in June. Get this, they charged us a ~$30 fee to shut off our services. How silly!

Miscellaneous– $56.00

We had $60 left over from June’s budget. We are rolling it over to have a total $116 for July. This fund picks up random $5-$20 expenses that we did not foresee or helps cover categories we go slightly over budget.

Blow Money- $40/$60

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.

Restaurant- $144

We had $20 left over from last month which we will roll over to July’s budget for a total of $164. We are budgeting a lot more in this account because there are a few restaurants we want to eat at one more time before we leave England. We also know between moving and living in temporary lodging there is just less opportunities to cook so we eat out more.

Vacation Fund- $0

We are done vacationing while living in Europe. :( Our visit to family is budgeted with our PCS budget.

Computer- $347

Our only computer crashed last month. We were able to purchase a relatively cheap computer to get us by for the next few months.

Gifts- $99.29

We purchased our nieces and nephews small gifts to give them when we see them in a few weeks! 🙂

Entertainment- $58

This covers my husband’s going away “party” with his co-workers.

Visiting Family- $750

We are estimating $250/week to be spent while visiting family. We will help cover costs with groceries and “welcome home” parties. There are a few American restaurants we can’t wait to visit. We also have a couple of entertainment activities scheduled (going to the zoo and bowling with our nieces and nephews).

Clothing- $150

While packing our clothes my husband and I realized how desperate our clothes looked. We have allotted a small clothing budget to pick up a few items. However, once we get settled in Hawaii we will do some MAJOR wardrobe replacement!

Wedding- $40

My husband will be in the wedding party for his brother’s wedding this fall. While we are visiting them in a few weeks they plan to buy shirts for the groomsmen.

Total “Luxury” Expenses = $1856.29   (28.8% of Total Budget)

Work & Education Expenses

Husband’s Work- $0

Husband’s College- $0

My husband is taking a break from college courses until we are settled in Hawaii.

Total Work & Education Expenses: $0   (0%)

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   (11.2%)

Savings

PCS Fund- $3152.58  

After July we will have saved $10,832.58 in our PCS (military move) fund. Our goal was to save $9000. This is not including the deposit refunds and profits from selling our car. By the end of July we should have slightly MORE saved than our estimated “fully funded” PCS budget. YAY!!! 🙂

Total Savings: $3152.58 (49.0% of Total Budget)

 

Debt Payments- $0

WE ARE DEBT FREE!!!!

 

***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 June Budget Meeting?
Trying anything new with your budget this month?
What would you change about our budget?







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Our Journey to Mortgage Freedom: June 2016

Oh my, what a CRAZY and busy month June has been! Just in the past week we have moved THREE times! I don’t recommend it!

Anyway, I have put off this post after mid-month because I knew we were going to make TWO mortgage payments this month… AND….

if you are part of The $1,000,000 Challenge you already know WE ARE DEBT FREE!!!

Yep, screaming it from the mountain tops… WE ARE DEBT FREE!!!

 

Do you want to see the break down of how we made it happen this month? Good! You are in the right place.

Looking Back at May

As of May, our mortgage principal was $4,629.14! Let’s take a look at how we made our PAY OFF THE MORTGAGE, 2016 Financial Goal a reality!!!

June 2016 Mortgage Freedom 

 

June’s Journey to Mortgage Freedom Payment

June 1st 2016 Payment:

Principal Reduction:

Normal Payment:      $628.52
Interest:                              $2.11
Blog:                               $178.49
Fuel:                                  $32.79

Extra from Budget:   $1318.78

Total Principal Payment: $2160.69!!!

Category Breakdown

Interest ($2.11): This was the monthly interest that accrued on our savings accounts (mostly from our emergency fund). Nothing to brag about, but every dollar counts!

-Blog ($178.49): This is two months worth of blog income from advertisements in the sidebar and within blog posts. Expenses are not considered in this figure. Thank you for your continued support!

-Gasoline ($32.79): We budget $200/month for gasoline expenses. Last month we had a little extra left over and so we applied it to the mortgage!

Extra from Budget ($1318.78): We had a few less expenses last month and so this is ~$300 more than the previous month! You can take a look at our May Budget to get a better idea how we came up with this “extra” money.

New Mortgage Principal… $2,468.45!!!

During the last weekend of May we had our June Budget Meeting. We knew our expenses would be slightly less because of how our rent payment falls mid-month and that we would be moving out of our house leaving all those expensive bills behind.

Let me remind you that we pay our mortgage with the previous month’s income.

The June 1st payment was paid with May’s budget and income from May 1st and May 15th paychecks.

The following June 15th payment was paid with June’s budget and income from June 1st and June 15th. This is the reason we could make two large payments in a single month and claim DEBT FREEDOM!!!

June 15th 2016 Payment:

Principal Reduction:

Normal Payment:      $637.07
Car Repair Fund:       $498.69
Extra from Budget:   $1332.79

Total Principal Payment: $2468.45!!!

Category Breakdown

-Car Repair Fund ($498.69): We sold our British car the first week of June meaning we no longer required a car repair/maintenance fund. This fund now sits at $1167.86 which will be applied toward our PCS budget.

Extra from Budget ($1332.79): This is the “extra” we had left over in our June budget after all of our expenses and our monthly $1500 savings towards our PCS budget.

After July our PCS fund should be completely funded. Now that we do not have a mortgage we will be able to pad our PCS budget and hopefully get slightly nicer cars than anticipated. YAY!!!

New Mortgage Principal… $0!!!

WE ARE DEBT FREE!!!

It is taking some time to get accustomed to being debt free.

We’ve had this “attack debt” mentality for so long that it has become part of us and I think it will take some time to let it go. I am sure when we hash out our July budget this weekend our DEBT FREEDOM may become a little closer to feeling like reality when we realize how much “extra” we have in our budget.

Have we splurged or celebrated our debt freedom?

Honestly, we have been so busy with moving and getting ready to PCS we have not had a chance.

Our baby boy had his 4 month “birthday” the same week we became debt free and we splurged and bought him a ~$20 toy for his upcoming first international airplane ride.

What’s funny and maybe a little scary/sad… we went to several garage sales and a “like new” community sale with the plan to get him a used toy. Once we couldn’t find anything that was age appropriate. We wandered into the toy store and had a difficult time selecting a toy without feeling guilty about purchasing something unneeded. I suppose old habits die hard.

Our Debt Freedom Plans

  • Successfully complete our PCS to Hawaii and visit family in route all while staying within our allotted PCS budget.
  • Establish a workable Hawaii budget.
  • Dramatically boost retirement investing. We currently invest $722.46 each month and we would like to at the very least double it.
  • Splurge a little. There are many purchases we have put off because of our financial goal of becoming debt free. Nothing huge, but we will be purchasing a new bed, linens, computer, and clothes!
  • Save for our “Forever Home.” My husband should retire from the military in the next 7-9 years. Once he retires and we both have jobs in a location we LOVE. Then we will purchase or build our second home. The goal is 100% CASH!

 

New Mortgage Statistics

Daily Interest: ZERO!!!

After the bank tacked on $100 of “processing fees” I am SOOO HAPPY to be done with my 2nd to least favorite bank! We get rid of my ultimate least favorite bank (the one we have in England) in less than a month! YAY!

Number of Years Extra Payments have Knocked Off Mortgage: 25 Years!!!

We paid off our 30-year mortgage in exactly 5 YEARS!!! Our very first payment was July 01, 2011.

Our Journey to Mortgage Freedom Visual

Here is a breakdown of our  Month by Month Progress

Untitled design 

Looking Forward to July Budget:

Our July budget will be a bit CRAZY because we won’t have “regular” bills but will have some PCS expenses we are cash flowing. Expenses such as the entertainment/food expenses while visiting family in route to Hawaii and “going away” and “welcome home” events.

We will have a better idea after this weekend’s budget meeting but my best guess is we should be able to save an additional $2500-$3000 to our PCS fund, which will give it $1000-$1500 more than anticipated.

I hope to give you all an update to our PCS budget soon, but with our little one and trying to PCS I’ve come to find out extra time isn’t in abundance.

We are Leaving England DEBT FREE!!!

 

What do You Think?
Do you plan to pay off your mortgage early?
How should we celebrate our debt freedom?

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Our Journey to Mortgage Freedom: May 2016

Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Yes, I’m a guilty American that uses this holiday as an excuse to drink tequila and eat Mexican food. LOL! Perhaps not this year… but next year, bring on the Margaritas and nachos! LOL.

I apologize for the extended absence. Little man is keeping me busy… good thing he’s a cutie. 😉

Budget Baby

I hope everyone had a wonderful April, full of financial progress!

Looking Back at April

As of April, our mortgage principal was $6,577.18! One of our 2016 Financial Goals is to PAY OFF THE MORTGAGE!!! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can pay it off before we leave England.

May 2016 Mortgage Freedom

 

May’s Journey to Mortgage Freedom Payment

Principal Reduction:

Normal Payment:      $620.81
Interest:                              $2.04
Road Tax:                      $213.36
Fuel:                                  $23.70

Extra from Budget:   $1088.13

Total Principal Payment: $1948.04!!!

Just shy of $2000 paid on our mortgage this month all while saving $1500 for our upcoming PCS (military move). Definitely something to celebrate!!! We paid about $300 more this month than we did last month.

Category Breakdown

Interest ($2.04): This was the monthly interest that accrued on our savings accounts (mostly from our emergency fund). Nothing to brag about, but every dollar counts!

-Road Tax ($213.36): We budgeted to pay 6 months of the British Road Tax. However, when we received the bill we realized it didn’t save us much to pay 6 months vs. a monthly (~$38/month). Plus this way we will not have to wait for a reimbursement when we sell our vehicle in the next month or two.

-Gasoline ($23.70): We budget $200/month for gasoline expenses. Last month we had a little extra left over and so we applied it to the mortgage!

Extra from Budget ($1088.13): We had a few less expenses last month and so this is a couple hundred dollars more than the previous month! Here is to hoping we can have a couple more similar payments in the upcoming months!

New Mortgage Principal… $4,629.14!!!

WOW!!! We have a mortgage less than $5000!!! In all honesty it is so difficult to wrap my brain around how little amount of debt we have left. For so many years we had HUGE numbers staring back at us. 

We could easily use some savings to pay it off. However, we are saving for our move. I can’t believe how close we are to DEBT FREEDOM!!! Two to four months remaining… CAN’T WAIT!!!

New Mortgage Statistics

Daily Interest: $0.60 ($0.26/day reduction!)

Our monthly interest is now $18! LESS THAN twenty dollars a MONTH! When we started paying off our debt, just over 4 years ago. We were paying $24 EVERY. DAY. in interest! Incredible!

Number of Years Extra Payments have Knocked Off Mortgage: 24.5 Years!!!

Minimum Payment Amortization: January 2017! 8 months left… even if for some reason we need to go back to paying minimum payments.

Our Journey to Mortgage Freedom Visual

Here is a breakdown of our  Month by Month Progress

MortgageApril2016-page0001

 

Looking Forward to June Mortgage Payment

Challenges:

  • Saving for PCS – We are saving $1500/month until ~July to pay for PCS (military move) expenses. This takes up a large portion of our “extra” income that has been previously applied to our mortgage payment.

Good News:

  • No Major Expenses as far as we can predict there shouldn’t be any BIG extra expenses this month.
  • Blog Income – I should have a small amount of blog income this month to apply to our mortgage in June. Every little bit helps! Thank you for your continued support!

Will We be Mortgage Free before Leaving England?

We will be moving from England to Hawaii this summer. We should have two more mortgage payments before moving. This means we would need to average a $2314/month principal payment on our mortgage. This would be $300+ more than May’s mortgage payment.

Considering these numbers, it will be EXTREMELY difficult to pay off our mortgage before leaving England. It appears we will be $700-$1000 short from paying off the mortgage. Considering these numbers, you better believe we will be scraping up any extra change and trying to trim down our PCS budget to find some “extra” money to PAY THE MORTGAGE OFF!!!

What do You Think?
Do you plan to pay off your mortgage early?
If you were in our shoes… would you pay the mortgage off now or wait to make sure you have plenty to cover our PCS move and have plenty in the event of an emergency.

 


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A Military Family’s One Income Budget – April 2016

How are the first few days of April going for everyone? The weather here in England was beautiful last weekend. Definitely starting to feel like spring! YAY! 🙂

I’m having a difficult time believing after this budget, we only have TWO more budgets dealing with two currencies! The past few months have just flown by and I can’t believe our time here in England is coming to a close. We have LOVED our England “adventure” but are so ready to back in the states. We are beyond thrilled to see family and friends and of course eat at our favorite American restaurants! 🙂

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.

Background

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 nearly 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 one child and he will be 2 months in April! We also recently found out we are moving to Hawaii this summer!

Our financial focus while living in England has been to pay down debt as quickly as possible and to take advantage of our once in a lifetime opportunity to travel Europe.

April Budget

A Military Family’s Budget

Income

Husband’s Income – $6365.01

This is total take home pay for March. 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 = 1.41 US Dollar 

Living Expenses 

Rent – $1692

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.

Electricity/Gas- $84.60

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.

Water- $0

This is a quarterly bill, which is typically ~$120-$180. June will be our next bill.

Grocery- $161

We had $69 left from last month. We will be rolling it over to April, creating a total grocery budget of $230. Our grocery budget pays for all food and household supplies (as well as diapers) which is bought at the grocery store.

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 ~2 months. 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.

Gasoline- $200

This will be the first month this year that we don’t have multiple doctor appointments (YAY!). Meaning most of our gasoline expense is just my husband commuting to/from work. With that being said, we should be well below this budgeted amount. Any extra will be applied to next month’s mortgage.

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.

Baby- $0

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… all I can say is “Holy Moly he goes through A LOT of diapers!”

Total Living Expenses: $2199.28  (34.6% of Total Budget)

 

“Luxury” Expenses

Phones- $112.80

This is for our two smart phones. One has international calling.

Internet- $26.79

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.

Miscellaneous– $68.20

We had $28.20 left over from March’s budget. We are rolling it over to have a total $96.40 for April. 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/$50

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.

Restaurant- $56.40

Last month was one of the first month’s in a long time we actually used all of our restaurant fund. My mom was visiting so we ate a couple meals out. Plus our baby boy sleeps right through all the extra noise in restaurants at lunch (the evening is a different story).

Vacation Fund- $0

We are done vacationing while living in Europe. 🙁 We may squeeze in a short get away over Memorial Day or Independence Day weekend. However, our baby boy does not have a passport so it would be limited to the UK. If we do, we will just budget the trip that month.

We will be visiting family this summer and autumn. We are budgeting these expenses with our PCS budget.

Overall, we are completely satisfied with our European adventure and vacations. We have seen and experienced things I never thought I would get to in my lifetime.

Gifts- $40

This is for a wedding gift for one of my husband’s co-workers.

Total “Luxury” Expenses = $374.19   (5.9% of Total Budget)

Work & Education Expenses

Husband’s Work- $0

All of my husband’s work expenses should be covered until our PCS this summer (fingers crossed).

Husband’s College- $0

My husband will be taking a basic computer test for college credit. He was able to borrow study material from the library. He will then take a break from college courses until we are settled in Hawaii.

Total Work & Education Expenses: $0   (0%)

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   (11.3%)

Savings

PCS Fund- $1500  

After April we will have $4500 in our PCS (military move) fund. Our goals is to save $1500/month through July for a total of $9000.

Total Savings: $1500 (23.6% of Total Budget)

 

Debt Payments

Mortgage- $1314.08   (20.6% of Total Budget)

As promised, our mortgage payments will be much smaller for the next ~3-4 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 May 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 April Budget Meeting?
Trying anything new with your budget this month?
What would you change about our budget?




You May Also Enjoy:

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early How Investing Small Amounts of Cash can Pay Of in Retirement Military Life and Money Financial Success StoriesCreate a Budget that Works for You