These are the categories that I picked out for our budget. My husband and I put them in order of importance to us.
School Books: Student loans pay tuition directly to the school so the only school expenses we have are books and computer related expenses. My husband does a great job ordering used books online to save money.
Postage: I still like to pay my bills by snail mail so we set aside a small amount that covers stamps and our Christmas letter that we send out each year.
Medical: I’ve started setting aside money for dental and medical bills so we don’t have to keep on putting it on the credit cards.
Clothes: I put a small amount aside for clothes. We get Toddler Girl hand me downs and used clothes from thrift stores. We also use gift money to buy clothes for ourselves. I’ve gone to a few clothing exchanges and gotten rid of old things that I didn’t need and returned home with slightly used stuff.
Homeschool: I decided to put aside a small amount of money each month so we could order curriculum and a few supplies for preschool. I’ve saved in this area by asking for art supplies for Toddler Girl’s birthday and Christmas gifts. I usually buy picture books and board books used at library sales. You can find them really cheap.
Vacation: Being able to go on vacation is great. Our vacations so far have been one camping trip and a few road trips to see family and friends. Most of our expense is gas for the car. We pack our own food so we don’t have to eat out every meal while on the road.
Presents: We both like to give gifts. I thought it would be a good idea to set aside a little each month. I’m starting to think of ideas for wedding presents this year that don’t involve a lot of money. I’m thinking of knitting kitchen items or something like that.
Entertainment: This area of the budget includes eating out, movies and day trips on weekends. We save money by getting movies at the library, eating out rarely, and not going out for coffee. We make most of our day trips simple like an afternoon at the park or beach.
Allowance: This is for us not Toddler Girl. This is our mad money that we can spend however we want to. If my husband wants to buy soda and junk food then I’m not going to criticize him. We can save it to buy a gift for someone or to do something or buy something that we just can’t afford.
Savings: If there’s money left over then I put it into savings for when we have a hard month or extra expenses.