If you’re a person who knows about budgeting, you may have looked at our budget and said something like: how much did you budget for savings? How much did you budget for education? Or for retirement? How much is going into your investments? Well…we didn’t budget for that.
Our budget is meant to itemize everything that we actually spend money on to get us through this year. Everything else is extra. Sunny’s going to graduate school, and we’re taking out some hefty loans for that. Because we’re saving money, we can pay back some of those loans right away. Paying back student loans isn’t in the budget; it’s something we can afford to do because we budget.
Same goes for the 5% of my income that now goes directly into my retirement account. And the money that goes into our emergency savings account. These things are not included in our budget. Textbooks we aren’t counting, but we are counting general school supplies. Pens and pencils; printer ink and paper. Maybe that’s a strange place to draw the line.
For Christmas I got a $25 Amazon gift card, and I got a $25 Trader Joe’s gift card from Dan Bane, the CEO, because I helped make Trader Joe’s the number one grocery store chain in the country for the third year in a row. When I used those, I did include it in the budget as money spent. But when we get our REI dividend, we’re going to use it to buy a bicycle trailer to pull the kiddos. That would be expensive to include in our budget, and since we’re using our dividend…we’re not planning to count it. Maybe that’s weird. We’re only getting the dividend because of all the money we spent last year. If we had been on this budget last year, our dividend would probably only buy us one Clif Bar.
So that’s us coming clean. We are spending a little bit of money that we’re not including in the budget, but I think it’s legit. Hope you still like us.