It sure felt like we blew the September 2019 budget. But we didn’t. We were spot on with our expenses, but for some reason it felt like we spent a ton. I think part of the reason why we kept things within budget is we have set up multiple sinking funds.

Sinking funds are used for things we want or need to save up for, like our six month car insurance premium or apartment decor. Here’s how we did for our September 2019 budget.


We spent $7,725.03

This isn’t too far off from our average monthly income of $7,500. I say average because my income fluctuates from month-to-month since I am self-employed. I recently polled my followers on Instagram to see if anyone might be interested in a Debt Free Millennials income report. An overwhelming 96% of you said, “Yes, I’m curious!” Be on the lookout for separate content around what I make with Debt Free Millennials.

The biggest reason our expenses surpassed our normal monthly income is we paid our six-month car insurance premium of $398. We save for this monthly by putting aside $68 per month into a savings account. Then when the premium is due in September and March, we pull the money out of savings, transfer it to checking, and pay our car insurance premium. It’s a great way to save money because we get a discount this way. Check out my post on how much car insurance you need to save even more.

We brought in a combined $9,783.57 income

Our income was up for September! I had a great income month with Debt Free Millennials. I was able to pay myself more in September which bumped us up from our normal $7,500 income average. Kyle also logged $1,000 worth of overtime. I don’t like that he has worked so much overtime lately, but he’s such a dedicated worker and really loves his job. He also travels a lot on weekends and after normal business hours so that can add up.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine our income beginnings when we just started out. I made around $2,400 per month and Kyle was a graduate student who brought in less than that. We have come along way, baby! I am so thankful that 22-year-old Justine decided that a life with payments wasn’t a life that she wanted and started the debt free journey. It got me to where I am today. 

When guests come to visit we spend more money

One of the best things about living in San Diego? Everyone wants to come visit you! Kyle and I are originally from the Midwest, so a lot of our friends and family still live in Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas.

Our best friends, Todd and Shara, came to visit us this month and we spent a bit more on food and fun than we normally do but it was well worth it! For starters, we spent $236 on Boat Day. Boat Day is a tradition started by our neighbors and close friends where we all pitch in to rent a boat and cruise around San Diego Bay. My girlfriend Ruchi also organized lunch boxes from a beautiful sandwich shop called Bread & Cie so we could have some much needed sustenance while we rosé‘d on Boat Day!

Swimming in San Diego Bay after sliding off our double-decker Pontoon!

We saved $4,169 this month

It’s crazy to think but we saved $4,169 from our take-home pay this month. Part of that is our normal savings. We built in $2,111 of savings for various savings goals. We are currently saving for a $70,000 down payment. We also regularly stock our vacation fund, Treat Yo Self Day fund, and contribute to Acorn and Stash. In addition, we started a Jeep Wrangler savings account which is our debt free dream car.

As I mentioned, we had an abnormal income month. We came out ahead by $2,058.54. We both agreed that we need to put all of this surplus towards our vacation fund because we are headed to Europe at the end of October!

Did I mention we’re going to Europe?

Every year, Kyle has a big conference that rotates destinations around the world. Last year, it was in Sydney, Australia. This year the conference will be held in Manchester, England! We have both been to England before, so we wanted to extend our stay so that we can travel to a few more countries after the conference is over.

This is more than likely a $10,000 trip for two weeks normally. But because Kyle is traveling for work, he gets his flight, hotel and food paid for while we are there. He also has a meeting in Amsterdam the following week so we get those things paid for as well! So far, we have only needed to pay for my flight and extra excursions we want to do on our own.

The rest of the trip we are headed to Paris (it’s been on my bucket list forever) and Vienna, Austria. We have friends at each destination so I am looking forward to seeing these countries like the locals! 

All this to say, I like spending money on the things/experiences I love

While it felt like we spent mad money this month, we really didn’t. Kyle pointed out we probably don’t feel stressed because we brought in way more money than we normally do. I agree and also, I think we have come to a place in our debt free life where we spend money on things we love, such as the Europe trip.

My reason to get out of debt so quickly was because I wanted to travel the world. Kyle and I are doing just that. So, it’s a ying and yang. I hope you find that balance, too, as you make your way through your debt free plan and live a life without payments.


The pros

  • We brought in a combined $9,783.57 income this month!
  • We used our Fun Money sinking fun to cashflow Boat Day with our best friends.
  • We booked our trip to Europe in October!

The cons

  • I went over the grocery budget by $67. This is mainly due to having guests come visit us.
  • We wiped out our vacation fund but thankfully we had the extra income to replenish it.

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Learn How to Pay Off Debt By Putting A Budget In Place

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