Monday, July 13, 2009

A $400 monthy budget for a family of ten

My finance goals for May, June and for July has been a $400 budget to cover all groceries, cleaning supplies, and all H&B items for a family of ten and all baby items for my 21 month old. In May I spent$491.65 for these categories and in June I spent $425.88 (not including the cost of a graduation party). And now here comes July...

It’s July 13th. We spent as much of last week as possible with my DH’s family from Iowa and Northern Virginia. We had a wonderful time!

Without any regrets, I spent more than half the month’s budget in the first week. I used a lot of stockpiled foods to help, but I wanted to celebrate, not skimp! We wanted to see our family whenever we could, so we hosted as much as possible. DH & I both bought extras for the week and some of my trips were unplanned (read no sales and no coupons).

So, $240.82 of the $400 July budget is gone. I am not deterred. I am still going to try to keep my budget at $400 for the month. Maybe all of these months not being able to hit $400 will convince me to raise my budget to $450. We’ll see. For the remainder of the month my weekly menus will be made up of only what I already have on hand. I expect to need a stray ingredient here and there, produce, bread and milk. We are completely out of paper towels and are only using towels for wiping hands and rags for clean-ups.
I am concerned about our milk consumption pushing us over the budget. If I only budget $50 each of the last three weeks of July I expect to spend at least $20 of this each week on milk. This leaves $30/week for anything else. I do have a $25 gift check for Walgreens that I may use to purchase milk if I need to.
I lost my CVS coupon folder three weeks ago. This might also affect my July budget because I will have to use real money for H&B items. My folder was filled with coupons, a CVS gift card with a balance of about $15, my CVS card, my DH’s CVS card, my DD’s CVS card (she is headed off to college in the fall & I was helping her to “CVS”) and there were also $30-$40 in ECBs in there. I have avoided CVS since my folder went missing with the exception of popping in to the three CVS’s that I frequent to see if it might have been found and turned in. I plan on getting some ECBs this week on the free school supply items – this expense will come out of my Education budget, but I can use the ECB’s they generate on H&B items.

One thing that will help me for the rest of July is that I am officially on the cash system. It should be easier not to spend extra when I can see exactly how much (little) is left in the envelope.