My Journey out of Debt

Featured customers currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Relief Plan, share journey to become debt-free; hear how they juggle family, finances, and more.

Can I Build a Surprise Proof Budget?

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Can I Build a Surprise Proof Budget?I make the budget in our home. I do a great job at it and I even enjoy it! I use Quicken software. I like the graphs and reports you can run. These are the backbone of my budget. I also like to download my banking every day. I do it first thing in the morning, even before I check Facebook!

OK, I may be wound a little tight!

Our long term budget in Quicken is set to automatically input certain things into the register on a schedule. For example, 30 days before our auto registration comes due, I know, because it shows up on my register. Theoretically, we have been setting aside a small amount of money each month for this. It is in the budget. Once upon a time, I did that. It worked.

I have also set up our monthly budget. Rent is our biggest bite. That comes out on the first, so I have to make sure the due dates for everything else are on the 15th. Once I pay our rent, I sit down and map out the rest of the month.

Quicken tells me if there is anything extra I need to factor in (like Halloween-for extra candy and the pumpkin patch!) There is not much movement financially in the first part of the month for us, so I start out full of hope. Sure, it is going to be tight, but we're going to get everything covered and make some progress this month!

Then I have the mid-month budget.

At this point I have received the bills and all the surprises have started popping up. Surprises I used to cover with what I called a "slush fund," but for five years that fund has been just a fond memory. I sit with Quicken and my Excel spreadsheet open on the computer, and pen and paper in hand, as I check minimum payments, list and prioritize wants and needs, and try to make our mid-month check stretch.

It is always something: a broken sprinkler line that caused the water bill to double or an incredibly hot month causing a higher electric bill. And with two kids, there are always unforeseen expenses. The long term budget areas are the first to go.

  • Auto registration? HA! I have a kid who needs allergy medication because he lost his.
  • Christmas fund? HA! I had to get a kid new shoes because the sole of hers literally came off.

I know how to make a budget, both for the long term and the short term. I even know how to live on a budget. But then there's that stuff that happens to us all. You know, that stuff called life.

I believe now that our proposals have been accepted there will be more room in our budget for that stuff. 

I just have to keep making my budgets, looking at my graphs and reports, and stretching my buck till it screams for mercy. 

Kimberly Davis, Debt Management Plan Customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services Inc. Kimberly Davis

I have been married for 15 years and we have two kids. We have had a rough few years; my Mom battled cancer, won, had a serious injury so she now lives with us. My husband was laid off for over a year. I don't know how I would have made it through the last few years without the ability to laugh, usually at myself, out lout, to the utter confusion of those around me! We are very eager to get our finances under control with the CareOne Debt Management Plan because our kids have BIG college plans. We have plans too and they include traveling with our trailer and being able to retire at some point, so this debt just has to go! You many know me in the Community Forums as Kimmer5000 and I am now a compensated blogger for CareOne! Check out my blogs under A Straight Talk and My Journey Out of Debt!

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  • You check your financial information *before* facebook?  You're hardcore, Kimberly......HARDCORE!  Ah those little surprises definitely keep life interesting.  Budgets need to be fluid in that you have to constantly be tweaking them to make everything come out right.  Slush Fund - I look forward to the day when that's more than a distant memory for us too.  :)

    Welcome to the CareOne Blogging team, Kimberly - looking forward to following along with your journey!

  • Thanks Travis! Oh the days of a savings account and a slush fund. How I miss them! We will get there again. 5 more days and we get a payday and we will actually be out of the red for the first time since signing up. Then maybe my budget will have some of that fluidity!

  • Welcome Kimberly to the blog world of CareOne!!  I see you got in. :-)  Reading your post brought back the days of my heart skipping beats because I didn't know where the next dollar was going to come from to get fuel or food etc...  You will get your "slush fund" back and it will get easier.  When life happens is the scariest thing I went through during the program.  Keep up the great work!!  Looking forward to reading more of your blogs!!!

  • Thanks! This is really exciting for me. I look forward to  getting to where you are! I can do it! Thanks for being an inspiration!

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