Hope’s $2,500 Budget

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Here’s my first take on a $2,500 budget. This was so hard and I cannot reasonably get it down below the $2,500 at all.

Spending CategoryMonthly Amount


Utilities – Water, Gas, Electric, Trash

Auto – Gas

Auto Insurance


Pet Food140


Cell Phone55


Annual/Quarterly Payments

Life Insurance (Qtr)


This budget doesn’t include everything. I kept eliminating line items and reducing budgeted amounts. But ugh, I can’t. I have to make more money.

And this does not include a single dollar of debt payments. This is terrible.

It’s a great exercise, I get that. But not realistic at all.

Mortgage Modification

You will notice that my mortgage is higher. I signed the paperwork for a modification I applied for back in early November yesterday. It was to increase my payments beginning in January. I had applied back in early November when I wasn’t sure how I was going to make October, November or December payments. And I got approved after I paid the $1,300 to cover October and part of November. I’m not sure yet how that is going to play out. It may apply the payment I made in the between time to January or ? So I’m in a waiting period to see how the modification affects future payments.


You will see a new line item for health. Over the last few months, I have put this last and let the things I had begun doing for my health over the last couple of years slide. This primarily consists of daily 10K steps and an assortment of supplements. As a result, my mental and physical health has suffered greatly. And I have realized that even in the worst of times, I have to prioritize my health. So this is now a non-negotiable to me, I have to be able to purchase the supplements that have greatly improved my health and over all well-being. While I have come off all but one prescription, I do take a variety of holistic supplements. And I can’t just skip them. I’ve tried that on a few of them over the last couple of months in an effort to save money and it is not good.

Car Maintenance Needed

My biggest concern outside of just covering minimum payments is that my car is about to hit 100,000 in miles and needs an assortment of maintenance. For sure, it needs new front brakes. The dealership gave me a list of things and prices when I last got my oil changed along with pricing so I could plan. In total, it needs about $1,600 in work. I believe the brakes are the most urgent. But I’m going to have to find someone to review the list and advise on what to prioritize. And, of course, none of that cost is even kind of reflected in this budget. Nor is the cost of registration, which although nominal in the state of Georgia, is due this month.

Car Insurance

When the kids are here at Christmas, we are going to sit down and compare costs for getting Princess and Gymnast onto their own plans. I think that will end up being higher, but we need to do the research and they are struggling to do it on their own. Beauty shares my car so no reason for her to be on her own plan, but starting in the new year, I will be asking her to contribute more.


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