I have had what feels very little progress on the divorce front (well, I got a huge envelope last week detailing info his attorney wants from me, so I guess that's "progress"), but I refuse to allow it to discourage me (I had hoped we could work things out and maybe be finalized by now, or have everything ready for Jan 1 since he wants to file taxes jointly). If he wants to fight things out, then I will simply ask for him to pay my attorney fees. The good news is, his kids (DD19 and DS16) are still talking to me (although I am not sure they tell him they still talk to/see me; we did Christmas eve service together minus him). Since I am not asking for any ongoing support from him, I can still do my 2016 budget!
I actually get child support every 2 weeks, so in May and October I get an extra 420 after tithe. I also have a small surplus this month that I will carry over to January. The only things I am sure I don't have in the budget are haircuts (mine is 75 cut/color/brow wax, and I will just plan to get them in January, May and October when I have the extra money if I can't cashflow it when I want it; no one else gets a paid for haircut) and car maintenance. I mystery shop for oil changes, and we just replaced the tires in February with 70K mile tires with warranty, so I will cashflow anything else. My utilities are estimates since I have only had 2 months of bills at the new place, except for electric which I have only had 1 month (but it was $41 for 24 days, so my estimate is still quite high). Anything extra goes towards monthly expenses (detailed below).
I also get 1050 a month in GI Bill (after tithe) but I don't budget spending any of that because it is being used to pay my student loans and fund BS3 when those are paid off. I guess technically we can call that my snowball I am mostly interested in being able to tread water until I graduate in September 2016, at which time I plan to find a part time accounting job and start on BS4 and beyond
VA disabilty 1738
Child support 940
missionary support 100
Life insurance 69
Auto/renters insurance 97
water (utility) 40
natural gas 60
phones 107 (3 lines, all prepaids)
planet fitness 20
*My sinking fund covers clothes (500/yr), homeschooling (750/yr), church camp, car registration, birthdays (both for my kids and for others) and Christmas.
**monthly spending covers everything not listed above, including grocery, gas, eating out***, entertainment and hba. Plus whatever crops up. For December, we should be at 635, but I also spent 35 on just the ham for Christmas dinner (because Kentucky Legend ham is worth it, and I hosted 14 total), so I definitely see this as doable. Just for perspective, when I was gazelle about paying off debt in 2009/2010 my monthly spending budget was under 400 (but I also didn't have 2 teens!). ***(we have probably $350 in gift cards for BWW, Texas Roadhouse, Papa Johns and other places that I can dole out over the year without having to hit the monthly spending budget, but obviously this will only go so far). I also currently pay the kids commission for chores, which averages to about 60 a month (haven't had to do without yet, but it is also a potential chopping-block item).
I did not include swagbucks in my monthly income. I have averaged 125/mo for the last 4 months. I will likely use that to supplement monthly spending, but don't want to count on it and spend it before I get it!
-Missionary support I could probably technically take out of tithe, but unless things get a lot tighter than they are now, I would prefer to keep them separate.
-My life insurance is high, and only for $400K, and will go up every 5 years, but I am un-insurable for a new policy (I have things in my brain that make insurers unhappy, it seems), so I'm happy to have what I have.
-We don't *have* to have 3 phone lines, but I like being able to reach DS15 and/or DD13 when I am out and about if one is at home. DD9 is never home alone, so she doesn't a phone (much to her disappointment).
-I also don't have to have onstar, but I like it.
-I am technically under contract with planet fitness through early March, but I also plan to keep that. I believe I have a year fee in June for it was well ($40), but that will come out of May's extra support. I lost 25lbs from late Feb-mid-May and have kept it off (I am 0.8lbs above, which after Christmas is a win!), so things would have to be worse than they are for me to give it up (it helps tremendously with my pain level to keep the weight off and stay fit, plus I'd hate to have to buy new clothes from regaining weight ).
I have nothing budgeted for medical/dental. STBXH's policy covers us until the divorce, so we all have fresh eye exams and will have new dental cleanings at the first of the year. We just had checkups in October after I filed for divorce. XH1 (my kiddos dad) had re-signed them to his policy starting Jan 1. It covers checkups fully and up to 600 a year in dental (so a cleaning each and maybe a cavity here or there), plus they would have to have about 10k in medical needs before we had to pay anything (they haven't had this in their lifetimes, between the 3 of them) and then I believe it would be 10% copay. I'm the only one on any prescriptions and my medical is fully covered by the VA since I am 80% disabled.
I don' have vacations in the budget (already paid for 2016s), but when I get a job I plan to use my income for my snowball and I will use my tax refunds for that years vacations (so 2017 refund will pay for 2017 vacation). I expect to be able to follow my 2016 budget long term (at least until kids are out of the house and child support ends), although it may morph a little as my vehicle ages and I have to eventually replace it (I have a 2010 GMC Acadia, so in a couple of years I can sell it and buy a smaller-yet-newer car).
So, there it is!