Now that our incomes are somewhat stabilized we’ve put together a new budget. His job has a base + commission and I have work + alternative income, so we decided to do a percent based budget. This way the constant fluctuations will not mean coming up with a new formula each month.
80% of all income goes into a shared checking account. From this account all household bills and rent will be paid. Starting in July we’ll be ‘paying’ what our approx mortgage (based on our target price) into the emergency fund. At the end of each month we’ll sit down and decide exactly where the surplus should go. We’re still going to keep the household expenses as low as possible, so we’ll have a nice surplus at the end of the month.
The big caveat is retirement funding for me. My job doesn’t match in the first year, so instead of a 403(b) I’m saving for a Roth. 10% of my base salary will pull from the joint account and go to my Roth savings account.*
The remaining 20% is ours to do what we please with. This includes all personal spending and date nights. I don’t know what Gameboy will do with his,** but mine will fund occasional nights out, business lunches, travel savings, snowflake account/debt, and some yarn, once the fast is over.*** I think I’m going to do 10% fun, 10% savings/debt reduction.
The budget started with our last paychecks and will cover all of the June bills. Our auto insurance (we do 6 months at a time) is up for renewal in June, which will eat up a lot, if not all of our surplus. But starting in July we should have a good amount at the end of the month for the emergency fund and debt reduction.
*I haven’t decided if I want to stick with the fund I have now or move to another one. While I decide the money is hanging out in an ING sub account.
**Though I can make some good guesses. Most will likely go to eating out and games/game paraphernalia- I call him Gameboy for a reason.
*** 145 days and going! The end may be near though because I need some more cotton for dishcloths.