Monthly Budget Jan 2014

Monthly budget, let’s do this.

This month I included the Jan budget and recap, plus Feb budget.

Please see below for another round of explanations.

Download the same Google Doc monthly budget spreadsheet that Carrie and I use!

(This post explains why we post our budget.)

Budgeted (Jan) Actual (Jan) Difference (Jan) Notes Budgeted (Feb)
NET Income 2600 2966.94 366.94 See below 5520
Church giving 230 280 -50.00 See below 280
Cash withdrawal 600 210 390.00 200
Rent 0 0 0.00 See below 0
Gas 120 136.18 -16.18 180
Electric 80 96.76 -16.76 100
DirectTV 90 148.94 -58.94 100
Water 100 61.48 38.52 70
Google Fiber 70 70 0.00 70
Taxes 100 0 100.00 0
car registration / title / tax 300 723.45 -423.45 See below 0
Car Gas / Oil 400 349.68 50.32 See below 400
Car Insurance 316 315.66 0.34 See below 0
Car repair 250 403.68 -153.68 See below 200
Cell phone 135 134.43 0.57 135
Grocery 400 646.71 -246.71 see below 400
Restaurant 200 81.23 118.77 100
Household items 0 38.92 -38.92 50
Life insurance 0 54.4 -54.40 55
Medical 0 0 0.00 100
Health 0 44.25 -44.25 30
Vacation 0 0 0.00 0
Student loans 300 179.58 120.42 300
Entertainment 100 55.59 44.41 100
Gifts 80 161 -81.00 100
Investments 0 0 0.00 See below 0
Baby 300 1700 -1,400.00 See below 1700
Clothes 50 54.75 -4.75 60
Cosmetics 15 0 15.00 15
Braces 256 256 0.00 256
Wifi Hotspot 160 286.72 -126.72 See below 150
Business 0 61.63 -61.63 600
Violin / Music 40 0 40.00 40
gift/giving/charity 0 985 -985.00 See below 100
Other 9 0 9.00 0
Education 0 11.67 -11.67 20
Post office 40 58.11 -18.11 100
Groupon 80 45 35.00 200
Unexpected 100 216.99 -116.99 200
TOTAL Spending 4921 7867.81 -2946.81 6411
Left overs -2321 -4900.87 See below -891



Carrie and I had total expenses of $2896.00 that will be paid back to us, some with cash and some through Carrie’s paycheck. I mention this if you are wondering why we “outspent” our paycheck again. (Last month we bought a car with cash from our savings account.) The reimbursements through Carrie’s job will appear as income in the next few months. Several hundred dollars will be given to us as cash which will not show up on our budget at all. However, our cash withdrawals will appear artificially low during the month of Feb as a result. Make sense? 😉


Our Dec income ($9627) was the highest of 2013 and will be the highest for many more months to come. Jan income was “artificially” low (I got paid in Dec for some work that normally would have been part of Jan income.) Feb 2014 income will bounce back again to a more normal range.

We are filing our taxes in Feb and I really don’t know what to expect. Carrie and I both earned the largest amount of 1099 income during 2013 than any year before. We paid quarterly taxes as advised by our accountant, so we will see. We also cashed in some investments in early 2013 to make it through the rough patches. When I cashed this investment out, I paid a large amount to the Fed in anticipation for tax season. (I over paid.) I wanted to get a large return rather than having to pay more taxes out of pocket. We shall see, stay tuned next month.

Giving: Carrie and I increased our monthly church giving by $100/mo.

Rent: Yup, zero. No, we do not own our house. See last months budget for explanation.

Cars: Cars are a b!tch.Cars are a liability, even if you don’t have a car payment. We own both cars. Cars break down. Cars cost money. Cars are always more expensive than you think they will be. So plan for it. Carrie and I are temporarily living 10 miles further away from where our house is. This is adding around two or three (maybe four) hundred more miles a month to our lives. Makes me miss the good ol days when we didn’t have a car at all.

Grocery: Our grocery bill is something we are taking a closer look at. We just go to the store and grab stuff, we really don’t plan or watch prices. Carrie bought over $100 of food for a freezer-meal workshop. That food will be about 25% of everything we eat in Feb. Our Jan grocery bill looks artificially high and Feb grocery bill will be lower as a result.

Investing/Retirement: We are investing 10% of Carrie’s paycheck, pre-taxes. We have several investment accounts and might post that info in a quarterly report, stay tuned.

BABY!: YAY! Carrie and I are soooooo excited for this lil boy or girl to come along. We are due April 2nd. The $1700 is half of what we are paying our midwife. A very high percentage of this cost will be reimbursed through Carrie’s paycheck, we will simply include that money as income when it comes in. (This is part of the $2896.00 that is coming back to us later on)

WiFi: Yeah, crazy. We aren’t living in our house right now, so we needed to get some Internets, fast. I have to download and upload large files for my audio production night job. It is what it is. My justification: As long as we are living rent free, any extra we spend as a result that is lower than what our rent would be is a bonus.

Gift: The Gospel community that Carrie and I are a part of was able to help a family get out of a jam. It is a long and beautiful story. God is good and He used our group to do a good work. (This is part of the $2896.00 that is coming back to us via cash. We fronted all of the money and are being payed back with cash from several people.)

Left overs: Again, it appears like we are overspending like crazy. We aren’t. Getting paid early in December instead of January is partly why this looks crazy. Buying a car in Dec made it look like out-spending our paycheck too. And of course, the $2896.00 that will come back to us makes it all look much better and more realistic.

Feb budget says we will again out-spend our paycheck by $891. At least $1700 of that will show up in Carrie’s paycheck in the next couple months. We also expect a large tax return. So, stay tuned for the Feb recap.

Another day, another dollar.

How is your budget coming along?

-Derek, Carrie, Amelie

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  • Mick Lathrop

    God is good! It’s nice having a bit of financial wiggle room where you can help someone out spur of the moment like that, huh? Great job!

    • Derek C. Olsen


      Thanks for your reply.

      Part of our giving/charity plan includes saving, saving, and more saving.

      What does saving have to do with giving? Isn’t saving the opposite of giving?

      We give on a regular monthly basis. But we also save up and hold back so that we can step in and cover larger needs when they show up. In this case we were able to front $980 to help out. If we had not be holding back (saving) and we had given all of that money away already we wouldn’t have been able to help.

      When a person or married couple develops the personal financial discipline of regular saving it allows for the ability to help out when the time comes.

      We save in order to give.
      We save in order to save too.

      I find it really interesting that your own ability and commitment to saving can directly lead to your ability to help others when the time comes.

      Saving = giving.

      Developing strong financial habits that include regular saving isn’t always about you, it can have an outward affect on others too.

      (I feel a podcast episode on this coming up!)


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