Budgeting with Irregular Income: May Edition [Part 2]

OHH May.

Budget irregular income like a boss (PART 2)

I had such high hopes for paying off a big chuck of debt.  Yikes.  Well, first off, our May budget TOTALLY changed once my husband and I sat down and had our first ever REAL budget meeting.  I warned him days in advance that I wanted him to make suggestions.  Hinting not so subtly at, “remember that part in Financial Peace University when they said the free spirit has to come AND make suggestions.”  ((Me and the Hubs went through Financial Peace University through Dave Ramsey and I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone.))  Anyway, I was not sure what to expect.

I had already made the budget based on the previous month in Every Dollar.  This function is essentially the best copy and paste you have ever used.  This is why it gets easier each month to budget! If you want to learn more about Every Dollar, I review it here.  I quickly gave an overview of our spending in April for each category.   We always spend a TON on gas and our electrical bill is persistently high.  Meh.  We also both kept over-doing it on personal spending money or fun money.  Both guilty.  ((This is what life looks like when you are both SPENDERS)).  Otherwise, we did well.   Good thing we are pretty good at learning from our mistakes.

Our big change?  All Cash for Fun Money in May.

I reviewed that most of our bills are on auto-pay, so the big changes would be any needs in the lifestyle category and how much money would go to debt.  Oh and big changes there were.  Our lifestyle category grew HUGE.  $2,474 huge to be exact.  It literally pains me to admit we casually decided to spend that much.   It was a lot, but we still used cash we had.  No credit cards.  No loans.  No debt.  Our purchases were ours.

If I had to sum up our May spending in two words it would be: Excessive Overconfidence.

For the first time in 5 months our income would be up.  We had focused so hard on cutting back and strapping down, it felt like a windfall to see some more funds.   Hello seasonal jobs with nice seasonal paychecks.  We let the reins go a bit and ended up dropping them all together.  We bought a lot of things that were not “NEEDS.”  Beans and Rice turned into steak and potatoes.  Overall, I was just beyond excited to have a plan that both me and my husband agreed on.  I decided that the health of my marriage was worth it for a bit of flexibility.  It is all about give and take.  The good news?

We still spent less than we made.

So what was the best thing about our budget meeting? Once we got down thinking about all the possible spending we would do and adding it quickly into Every Dollar, our meeting wrapped up in under a half hour.

The hubs even said, “Woa, so we are done here?  That is it?”

This was music to my nerdy ears.

The biggest Lesson from May: Counting your chickens before they hatch.

May was stressful towards the end because I violated my own Irregular income budgeting rule of planning the budget based on the minimum amount expected.  We got overconfident and planned for two more paychecks then usual.  And woa boy it came down to the very end.  It worked out fine in the end, but I will never spend money before it is in the bank again.  That is why this is a learning curve.  Let me explain.

So, we planned for about an extra $2,000 given the good weather.  So we planned from the start what we wanted to buy with this money.  Fish for our pond, a new lawn mower, plants for our garden, a new couch.  This list went on and on, as you will see below.  Two weeks into May, we had already bought nearly everything on the list.  But the paychecks would come later into the month.  Cue some week three panic on my part.  Okay maybe a meltdown.  In the end, all paychecks came in and we had replenished our account before our mortgage payment date (aka our biggest payment).  Phew.  Annnnnnnd, we are still married.  Yay!  (because my husband is a lovely and patient man)  So, words of wisdom:  don’t buy it until you have the money in the account for it.  If you do not have the money in, you can’t buy.  Period.

May Budget with IRREGULAR Income [Part 2]: The aftermath.

So without further ado, here we go!   Our final May budget.  By request, I have decided to share our income so other families out there can put our budget in prospective with their level of income.  Keep in mind that many families do not spend nearly as much on gas or electricity.  It is also just the two of us, two dogs, and a flock of chickens.  Income for May was $7,560.  

Overview and Percentages

May Spending Breakdown Irregular income

May Budget Details

May budget with irregular income part 1

pretty or not, this was our May.  Still proud we managed to put and extra $905 to debt for a total May debt payoff of $1,970.  Onto June!

If you are not happy with your May like I was (although I believe our April was nearly worse, ew!)  Remember that failure is a part of success.  Though failure there is learning.  Be depressed for a day or two.  Suck it up.   Move on.  June is a whole new month.  A clean slate.  It takes forever to build these healthy lifelong habits.  Good thing you have the rest of your life to practice!   If you are still in need of motivation, I recemmend joining my Instagram posse (@nerdsguidetowellness) or watching some debt free screams on YouTube.  This is one is a good one.

Happy Budgeting Ya’ll!

Sarah

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