Natural Gas - We have a $400+ credit with them so that the winter bills won't be so high. They brought our budgeted amount from $145/month down to $77/month. I'm expecting after the winter, we'll be bumped back up to $100/month based on our yearly usage averaging that.
House Phone - DSL is $10/month for 6 months and bumps up to $20/month for 6 months. Best deal we could get last month.
Groceries - Higher at Thanksgiving/Christmas time with dinner parties at our home.
House Maint - This November we need to wrap up the insulation project by blowing in (ourselves) insulation under the kitchen and in the attic. In April we have to take down at least one big tree in our yard, if not all the big ones. I cut off as much as I could on my own, we'll need someone with a bucket truck to come and cut the rest down for us (I'll take care of it on the ground).
Clothing - Our baby will need another set of cloth diapers near the beginning of the year, which my wife is sewing to save $$$. Clothes everyone is good for a while (including her).
Med Expenses - At the start of the year, we will need to start paying for coverage for my wife and daughter (getting off of Medicaid). For our daughter, IL has a cheap program for kids, so we'll be doing that. My wife with her medical conditions though it will be $300/month for the $2.5K deductible plan with Illinois CHIP.
Vacation - We'll be doing a small camping trip during the summer as well as me serving on a missions trip.
Gifts - Christmas we budget $300 total, my birthday and my wife's is in September, our daughter is in May, $50 for each of us.
Other Income - Mystery shopping mainly.
Rental Income - That fluctuates, but I'm estimating we'll have 3 out of 4 rooms rented on average, that's where the $1K comes. November we should have a full house at $1300.
Options For $5K Shortfall:
- Stop or reduce tithe, this for us is a last resort option.
- Drop cell phone coverage. I know our bill is high (part of that covers someone else on our plan in case they don't pay). It's a complicated situation, hopefully we can act on it soon (that's what this table is all about).
- Life insurance. Search for a cheaper quote than we have right now (the one we have is with my wife's previous employer and we went with it because it would be bad for her to be promoting something if she didn't carry that something herself).
- Increase income. I haven't been looking much, but once I get a huge project I've been working on for my employer live, I'm considering using it to either find consulting projects on the side that provide more work than my on-call computer repair job or find a better paying full-time job. My current job gives me a lot of flexibility that I'm uncertain I could find with better pay.