It’s officially summer time and that means we are drinking something light and going over our June 2019 budget as a couple.
We have a friend, Alejandro Luengo, who is a talented videographer from Spain. Last time he came to visit us in San Diego, he brought us Estrella Galicia and it is one of the best beers from Spain! Kyle has been to the country a few times, and now that we can budget as a couple, we have talked about doing an international trip to Spain one day.
For now, we’ll enjoy an Estrella and get into our numbers. I’m so excited to share what we’ve been up to financially for June.
We are good at having extra cash leftover
We have consistently had cash leftover in our budget which is really cool. I work as a freelancer and influencer, so my income fluctuates from month to month. Typically, we budget for worst case scenario and for us, that’s $6,500 in income. Yours may be less than ours or more, but keep in mind–Kyle works as an engineer and I’m grateful his salary kept us afloat when I pivoted from a full-time job to self-employment.
Now that I have been paying myself consistently, we have seen a jump in income. We can make decisions to add to our retirement funds, supplement our vacation fund, and make some big purchases (we just bought a brand new mattress. KING size!).
$500+ towards car repairs
One thing that my dad instilled in me was to stay on top of regular car maintenance. If your car takes care of you–such as driving you to work, the grocery store, and maybe even a road trip–you should take care of it!
Our 2015 Subaru Forester, unfortunately, was due for new brake pads on all four brakes. Luckily, we had money saved up for car repairs in our couple’s budget, but it completely depleted our car repair fund.
We also replaced two filters that only cost us $32 online and Kyle replaced it himself. It easily saved us $70 had we chose to have the auto repair shop do it for us. Looks like we’ll need to get the car repair fund built back up in case anything happens down the road. (Which it will, as is the way with cars. They are a terrible investment.)
Fun money, shopping, and restaurants
There are a few categories that us millennials tend to blow mad money on: fun (entertainment), shopping, and restaurants. We also love spending money in these areas. Luckily, we have figured out how to do it within budget.
So, how do we avoid overspending in these three areas? We actually came up with a list of contentment activities which are fun and free things we love to do that are either free or cost very little. Here’s a few of my favorites:
- Surfing at the beach (Pacific Beach is my favorite place to go in San Diego)
- Yoga or Zumba
- Going to the pool (find a friend or crash someone’s apartment pool!)
- Reading my Kindle
- Walking through the park
I built a contentment activities sheet in the How to Control Your Spending workbook. It also includes spending trackers for your problem areas, like restaurants and groceries.
Budget as a couple: how we split his and hers expenses
Obviously, there are things that I like to spend money on that Kyle doesn’t, and vice versa. If that’s the case, we will add categories for things we want to spend money on. For me, I wanted a budget for apartment decor, and we agreed on contributing $100 per month.
Kyle likes to spend money on golf, but because he doesn’t go every weekend, we decided to keep that as part of our fun money category. Talk to your S.O. about what makes sense for you. You can either split it up or keep it together.
We found that it varies depending on what the expense is. For example, we split our clothing budget because I spend money on clothes more frequently than Kyle. We keep running totals for those categories. That means, if Kyle doesn’t spend any money on clothes in the month, it rolls over to the next month. His clothing budget is currently at $174. Wanna gimme some money, love??
We use Acorns and Stash money-saving apps
We currently have $1,283.44 in our Acorns account. That’s a jump of nearly $200+ from last month. The video review helped us gain an extra referral bonus from Acorns. Side note, we don’t recommend Acorns for investing, but it’s really good for saving.
In our budget as a couple, we also are tracking Stash which is another money-saving app. Right now, we are contributing $20/month from our checking account into our Stash account. The total in Stash is $67.56. Last month it was at $38.33. Somehow we earned an extra $9 and we need to understand how!
The “Everything and the Kitchen Sink” Fund
So, we have a lot of sinking funds that we contribute to. This includes insurance, car tags, clothes, shopping, car repairs, haircuts, etc. Think of this as expenses that we may or may not always spend money on every month.
Since we got married in 2015, we basically had all this cash sitting in our checking account that wasn’t working for us. We don’t earn any money in our checking account, and all of our sinking funds was adding up to a lot of money.
We decided to take an extra step and open a savings account with Ally. The savings account is earning 2%+ which means we get extra money for that money just sitting there! You might consider doing that for all of your sinking funds. I keep track of running totals in my budget so that I can “earmark” how much money goes towards each category.
- We have an extra $1,300 leftover in our budget! This will most likely go towards our vacation fund. But I’d also like to see it go towards our retirement.
- We bought our flight home for Christmas using our Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card. We have Companion Pass so I’m flying free!
- Our down payment fund is now at $65,048.06. We are aiming for a $70,000 goal which would include a 10% down payment and an additional $10,000 for closing costs.
- We spent more than $500 in car repairs. Necessary, but not fun. We are in the negative for our car repair fund.
- We aren’t maxing out Kyle’s 401k. He has a TSP which has the lowest expense ratio (even lower than Vanguard in some cases). We need to make changes to my IRA contributions and work on maxing out Kyle’s TSP. Check out JL Collins’ The Simple Path to Wealth. Amazing book on simple investing and step-by-step instructions on what to do.
Do you have a kitchen sink fund? What all is inside of it?
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