I got another great question. There were some "gaps" in my Expenses Breakdown. So here are the things we do not budget for, and here are the things that go "somewhere else" in our budget.
We do not budget for:
Life insurance - Yeah, we're not covered, and yes, we know the risks. My husband had some coverage through his old job. I'm not sure that Walmart gives any coverage.
Dental Insurance - I consider it a luxury. We take care of our teeth.
Vision Insurance - I have glasses. I wore an old pair, from high school. My mom offered me new ones. I got a discount at Walmart's Vision Center and a nice Christmas present last year.
Retirement - My husband wants to be a pastor. He says servants of God never retire. I tend to agree. Barring senility, this is our plan. For those wanting to retire, I agree that money should be budgeted for this.
Health Insurance - This is a tricky one. As I said before, we paid for our midwife out of pocket, and I am quite proud of that. But, we are covered by low-income state health insurance. We don't use it; it is for emergencies only.
Here is how I justify it (Some may say I don't need to justify it, but I think I do):
We plan on having a large family, not a frugal decision, I know. I will pop out my third baby before I am 25, so I would say it is not unreasonable to expect 10 kids. We are a hard-core homeschool family as well. By not sending our kids to public school, we are saving the government almost $1.3 million dollars. No joke, and that's at the current rate of cost per kid. It will have gone up by the time my youngest graduates.
(10 kids x 13 years, K-12 x $9,866, the national average cost per kid per year = $1,282,580)
So, each family member could stick the government with a $100,000 emergency medical bill and we would still be saving the government money. We take the responsibility of health seriously as a personal responsibility. But we thought it would be unfair to not have our kids covered in case of a car accident or fire. My husband didn't want to be on it, but they automatically put him on it when our first baby was born. My husband and my son have the same name, so I wonder if there was a mix up and they thought we were applying for him, too, but I'm glad he's covered.
So, things that we pay for, that are not on the Expenses Breakdown:
Savings - We do not put a consistent amount in savings every month, because each month's budget fluctuates. If I see beef at $1.22 a pound, I buy it all and may not put any money into the savings account. This is a form of an investment. It allows me to have more money in the long run.
We also have a bank that has a Keep the Change program. If I spend $26.08 in gas, $27.00 comes out of my account and $0.92 goes into savings. We've saved $350 through this program alone this year. With discipline, we probably would have saved the same amount anyway, but I like the program.
We also "snowflake" our savings account. Extra bits of money from any work I do, as well as Christmas and birthday money all go into savings. We aim for a $3000 savings. It is currently under $1000 (for shame!) due do the midwifery expenses. We are working hard to build this up.
Tithes - I was not asked about tithing, and I'm actually surprised. We tithe annually when we get our large tax refund. We do not have state and federal taxes withheld, but we get a large return for Earned Income Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit. Tithing annually cuts down (somewhat) on us fighting with God.
Total cost: $2000
School Bills - Dan is in college, which is expensive. I have looked into the scholarship program that his school offers. The first question on it is "How much of the school bill can you pay?" Although our income would qualify us for this scholarship, the honest answer is "All of it." With the tax return, we pay Dan's full school bill for the following year.
Total cost: depending on class load, $4000
Renter's Insurance - We do pay renter's insurance. It is not a monthly bill, but an annual one.
Total cost: $140
AAA - I love AAA. We often have a clunker car, although we love our current 1998 Mazda Protege and it hasn't given us any problems. AAA is our roadside assistance that also offers discounts for various vendors. This is another annual bill.
Total cost: $50
So, is it a lie for me to call this blog "Under $1000 Per Month" if we get a large payout at tax season? I say no, because we don't have much left after paying these annual expenses, and the school bills and tithe are expenses most people opt out of. For our basic living expenses, we have under $1000 per month.