Monday, January 14, 2013
Well, for starters, we took SCB off my work insurance plan because they wanted almost $550 a month for me... and another $550 for him... plus dental... and even with the generous benefits I receive at work (I get $825 in cafe cash to select my benefits with it) we still couldn't afford it. It was just going to be too much out of pocket for us to pay.
It would make us a paycheck to paycheck family and I don't think I'd sleep well at night if we had left him on there... but we have to have insurance... and SCB takes medications daily just to breathe so we had to find a plan with good prescription coverage too.
SCB got an individual plan at Kaiser for $178.00 a month. It's a hybrid plan that gives us a $40 co-pay for a doctors visit and prescription coverage, while also being a high deductible plan. This major change means that instead of paying out of pocket for his medical after using all my benefit money like we did this past year, we'll actually be cashing out the extra benefits to pay for his plan and...
drum roll please....
Have more money leftover at the end of the month then before! I'm kicking myself for not researching this last year and doing this sooner!
We ended up keeping me on my work plan because its like the "Austin Martin" of health insurance plans (and we were worried about cutting my insurance in case we unexpectedly started expecting)... plus we would have only gotten an additional $90 more added to my take home pay a month and there was no way we could find me a comparable plan for less than $90 a month.
We also have built our budget around our 2 main goals for 2013... Our Mortgage and Our Retirement.
We have decided that at a minimum we will make one additional mortgage payment this year. Without property taxes and mip payments, that means forking over $650.64 to Bank of America. The easiest way to do that is to to add $54.22 to our mortgage payment each month.
As for Retirement, this will be the first year that I don't max out my Roth IRA... Why is that? Well the government expanded the maximum amount you can put in there from $5,000 to $5,500... and while I would love to be able to toss in an extra $500, between the $5k we already plan to put in there and the almost $1700 I'll have to put into my pension--- we are already putting in a bit over 15% of our combined income into retirement... and we have more pressing matters to worry about.
We have dubbed this year, the year of the mortgage. The only way we can refinance and have it make since is to get our loan to value down to 78% so we wouldn't be required to pay any fees... and that's a large undertaking. I think the only thing we will be doing this year outside of trying to pay down our mortgage is saving up some money for SCB's dental work and putting together a Car emergency fund.
So without further ado,
The January Budget:
Paycheck 1: $1,355.88
Mortgage (P&I, Property tax, MIP, & $54.22 in extra principle): $857.08
Fast Offering: $10.00
Groceries/Food/House Items: $240.00
Prescriptions & Doctor' Visits Fund: $50.00
Date Night/Discretionary Money: 62.80 (We keep this in here because even when money is tight, its important to invest in our marriage and sanity... Nothing extravagant mind you, but having money to grab a frozen yogurt or a quick bite after a long week can do a lot for morale...)
Paycheck 2: $1,355.88
Insurance (2 Autos, Earthquake, Homeowners): $129.00
Bills (2 Cell Phones, Electricity, Internet: $230.00
Christmas Savings: $50.00
Health Insurance: $178.00
Roth IRA: $233.34 (we make 2 one time payments of $1,100.00 from the "extra" checks I get twice a year since I'm paid bi-weekly.)
Birthday Savings fund: $12.96
Even with that all laid out there, we are currently trying to replace $571.83 that we had to take out of savings for some last minute car repairs so any "extra" money left at the end of the month will be diverted to filling in this hole.