The back-to-school month of August is always a budget buster, even when I plan ahead. So, for next year, I need to remember to have funds for several forseeables throughout the year:
- School supplies -- dry erase markers to start the year, pink erasers, pencil top erasers (200), markers (one pack thick, one pack thin), BIC mechanical pencils (4 packs), red pens (40), glue sticks (30)
- Achievers Team lunch -- approx $8 for one day of lunch with my team members during planning week
- School lunch -- need approx $30 in my account to start the year (would love to have $200-$250 for the year)
- Clothes -- this isn't a need, but this year I needed jeans since all mine were too big or torn up; next year it might be something else, but I sure would love to take advantage of tax-free weekend if I can (first weekend in August), so approx $50?
- Team t-shirt -- approx $12 to buy new t-shirt
- Baby/wedding shower fund -- $40, each team member puts $5 for a gift card per event
- Birthday lunch fund -- we order in on team member birthdays and pay for their lunch, ~$40
- Birthday celebration fund -- we celebrate birthdays for students once a month, I'm responsible for snacks for those twice, ~$60
- Relay for Life Fundraiser Lunches -- $20
Anyway, the debt thermometer this month looks good. I'm not so sure about the paper budget, but the debt thermometer looks good. Did I already say that? :)
This month is month twelve of the debt thermometers, and I can't wait to share our total at the end of month--how much we have been able to pay off in a year. It won't be as phenomenal as some people who call into the Dave Ramsey show, but it will still be awesome. Why? Because it's money we don't owe anymore! And we only have ~$36,000 left in student loans!! Until next month!
Note: After writing this, I realize that I probably sound like such a dork to people. Yes, $36k is a lot of moolah, but it's so much better than the $105k we started with in 2008. I seriously feel like a "debt marathoner" when I say "only" before naming a large amount of money. Before we started training for our marathon in 2007, we could barely run a mile; after a few months we talked about having to run "only 12 miles" for our long runs, when we worked up to 15-16 miles. We were crazy. So, yes. What we have left is a lot, but it just takes a mental shift in knowing we will overcome rather than be buried by it. :)