February 2017 Family Budget Update

You know what was the one thing I always wished someone would say to me as I was trying to decipher the personal finance world? As we were trying to figure out how to get our family budget under control so we could get out of debt and work towards buying our first home!

“Come on in and take a look at our bank account!” Don’t you think that would be nice?

I always felt like if I could see the real numbers of a family in similar situations, it would be super helpful in setting our own family budget.

Real life numbers of a one income family budget! FREE PRINTABLES and VIDEO breakdown of what this one income family does to set a budget while living in one of the most expensive cities in the US.

Welp, we are at a point now where we feel extremely comfortable with our finances. I’m not a finance guru. That is for sure! What I do know is that we figured out how to stop overspending, thanks to our cash envelope system.

Then there was that time when we paid off over $20,000 in debt. $18,000 of that was in under one year!

We were able to figure all this out all while living on one income in one of the top 5 most expensive cities in the United States. We have picked up some tips along the way and want to share them with you! 

Why do we share our family budget?

I personally find it very motivating to learn about other family budgets and what they do to manage them. Learning about their tricks on how to make their pennies stretch and what they do when obstacles come up.

One problem I have seen though, is that a lot of articles out there are families that live where the cost of living is a lot less then where we live. Making their budget a lot less realistic for us to follow.

I want to show you guys how to live on one and that it is completely doable, even if you live in an area where the cost of living is high.

Our family lives in San Diego, which is one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. But we are finding ways to make it work on one income and I want to help you do the same thing!

Check out our previous month’s budget updates here to find out what we have been learning along the way.

February 2017 One Income Family Budget Update

Update #1
There are two main topics that came from our February family budget. The first being that we made another decision based solely off what hubby and I currently value most.

This is mostly true for all months, but this decision might come off as a little less “responsible”. You might know that we are currently in the process of looking to buy our first home!

The current plan is to put $1,700 each month in savings in preparation for closing costs and a down payment. B-U-T… it was our ten year anniversary this last December and we have been wanting to go on a “real” vacation. Hence the internal struggle! 

We originally had the dream to go to Hawaii for this celebration. But as we did more research we decided that the trip would cost too much for what we are willing to spend currently. Maybe for our 15 year anniversary…

BUT we have been doing some major research and think we have found a really amazing alternative! Nothing is set in stone but it looks like we will be going to Costa Rica this summer!!!!! 

What does this have to do with our budget for last month? At the beginning of the month we had $1,300 in savings set aside specifically for our vacation. After speaking with several travel agencies and a little research online, we decided we needed $3,000 to cover all expenses (including passports). 

So we needed an extra $1,700 fairly quickly so we can jump on the current sales and get our vacation booked! Ultimately what we decided was to bump our house savings plan one month and use the $1,700 savings for our February family budget and put it towards our trip. 

Nothing responsible about the decision, just simply we want to enjoy a really great vacation, on a relatively modest budget and now, WE ARE GOING TO COSTA RICA!

Side note: this is only possible because we have worked our booties off to become debt free! Have we not done that, nothing I am chatting about today would be an option!

Pennies Into Pearls is bringing home a paycheck baby! So this calls for a big fat THANK YOU to YOU! Anytime you like, share, or comment helps my business grow! In return, I try my very hardest to provide you with valuable (and free!!!) tips and tricks to help you live your dream life on less! So I sincerely want to say, thank you!

As far as our lifestyle goes, nothing is going to change a bit. Any and every dollar that comes home from Pennies Into Pearls into our family budget, is going straight to savings. Helping us to reach our goals much faster!

Breaking down the real numbers!

If you are interested in seeing exactly where our family spends every single dollar each month and exactly how much, then you will want to watch this video.

Please let me know any questions you might have about how our family runs our budget. I always find it helpful to see what other families do so I can find ways to apply what they have learned with my own family. 

Hopefully you can do the same thing!

Thanks for stopping in and I will talk to you soon! xoxo

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  • Rhonda
    March 16, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Y’all are doing great!
    I’m an older married woman and I think investing in your marriage is a wonderful decision.
    Hope you have a special and memorable 10th anniversary. We will celebrate our 37th this month 😍

    • Brittany Cooper
      March 17, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      Your 37th!?! That is amazing!! Congrats!! Anniversaries are my favorite thing to hear about!!! 💜

  • Libby from New England
    March 17, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Hi Brittany – the video link in the post isn’t working – I did figure out how to find it though and I love your energy!

    Your 10th anniversary celebration sounds FAB! You might want to check out the blog Points with a Crew. He’s also LDS and takes his 8 person family on AMAZING vacations every year using reward points.

    Such great news that you are able to take home a paycheck!

    Will you explain someday about how you handle things in your budget such as:
    routine maintenance for cars i.e., oil changes, new wiper blades, air filters
    medical co-pays
    toner cartridges
    trash & recycling
    pet expenses – I think you have a dog

    Also are each of your savings accounts separate bank accounts or all in one account and you track the money in Excel?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Brittany Cooper
      March 17, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      Thank you so much Libby!!! These are all great questions and suggestions! I am writing them down right now!!

  • smore traiolit
    May 8, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Some really fantastic posts on this website , thanks for contribution.