November 2016 One Income Family Budget Update

Figuring out a family budget can be super challenging, especially if you are just getting started.

The hardest part for our family when we were just getting started was learning that we need to continually be adjusting our budget to make it fit with our changing life.

This month our family budget is the perfect example of that. We made a few temporary changes based off of what we currently value the most.

Tell your money where you want it to go with this FREE family budget worksheet printable AND FREE digital excel spreadsheet download. Take a look at the real life finances of a one income family budget to help you fine-tune your own family’s budget!

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 that living on a one income family budget 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.

Ready to see the real numbers? Let’s get to it!

Make sure you watch this video if you want to see exactly where our family is spending our money!

In it, I walk you through our family budget number by number.

Free Budget Spreadsheet and Printable! 

You guys have been asking for weeks now and I finally have it ready for you! My hope is that you can use this free budget starter kit to help you get moving on your financial freedom journey!

Download your FREE budget starter kit here. I have a digital download of the exact excel spreadsheet template that our family uses on a weekly basis to keep track of our budget.

Also I am including a printable version for anyone who likes to use pen and paper. Which, I totally get! There is something very satisfying about writing your budget out by hand! 

Now that our debt is GONE! 

THE biggest news in our family budget update this month is that it’s our first month living debt free!

November is our first month 100% debt free since we first got married 10 years ago! Whew! That was a long time to live with debt hanging over our head.

If you are new here, you can read our entire debt free journey right here. You will learn that we once had over $22,000 in debt and in the past 12 months worked our booties to the bone to pay it off! As of October 20, 2016 we became DEBT FREE! 

In that article I share with you what helped us (and hopefully can help you!) pay off our debt in record time and things we would do differently if we were starting over (like refinancing our student loans).

Let me tell you, I knew that having that debt gone was going to feel great, but I didn’t truly understand how freeing it was going to be!

When we get a paycheck we get to decide 100% where our money goes. Yes, we have our bills. But in a way, we make those choices. We choose were we live, we choose to have cell phones. We “choose” what bills we are willing to spend money on.

With debt, you don’t have a choice. You can’t call up your lender and tell them that you are done paying and want to end your contract. It doesn’t work that way. You have to pay it.

If you are currently buried in debt and feel like you are barely keeping your head above water, I feel you! I know very well what that feels like. Remember that there is hope! You can get out of debt! You just need to start paying it off now! Start now!

I plan to start an entire debt free series, maybe once a month, write about strategies our family used to get out of debt. Our hope in sharing our story is to help motivate and share tips that you can start implementing now to help you get out of debt ASAP!

Would that be something you would be interested in learning about? Maybe that’s a silly question but if you would want to learn more about exactly what our family did and what we would have done different to get out of debt, leave me your request in the comments!

What do you want to know?

Changing your budget based on what you value most 

The other main difference in our budget this month and also in the coming month of December, is that hubby won’t be working as much overtime.

We decided as a couple that it really wasn’t worth the extra money to have him working so much during the holidays.

SO… he turned in the request for vacation time and we get to enjoy some quality holiday family time! I am super happy about this decision!

When you are working on your budget, you have to decide what you and your family value most. Once you have that figured out, it’s a lot easier to move forward.

Don’t misunderstand me, we are huge believers in “the hustle”! Workin your behind off to reach your goals. BUT… there is a season for everything and you have to decide, as a couple/family, what you currently value most.

For our family, we didn’t feel like it was worth having hubby missing out on Thanksgiving just so we could reach our savings goal a little faster.

We made a temporary adjustment to our budget and savings plan to reflect what we currently value most.

So there you have it. That is what our one income family budget looked like for the month of November 2016.

Please let me know if you have any questions at all! Don’t forget to watch the video above to see exactly what our numbers looked like and where we spent every single dollar!

Talk to you Pearls soon! Xoxo


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  • Joanie
    December 20, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Brittany! I am so, so excited about this spreadsheet! We are a one income family and I’ve been trying to recreate your spreadsheet and have no idea what I’m doing. I found you through YouTube and have been so inspired to get back on the bandwagon and start paying off debt, again! Lol. I say that because we have tried before and it can be so, so difficult! Anyway, thanks for the inspiration. Also, I think Convertkit is being a pain because I signed up and still haven’t gotten a confirmation email. My readers have also been complaining about not getting the emails with their freebies. Hopefully the email will come through soon!

    • Brittany Cooper
      December 21, 2016 at 5:27 am

      Hi Joanie! You are so sweet! Thank you!! It sounds like you are doing great!! All you can do is keep trying. One thing that helped to keep our family motivated was to have “mini milestones” and mini rewards. An example, when we got half our debt paid off we went out to dessert as a family. Things like that! And yes, ConvertKit was having an issue but I think it’s fixed now. Did you get the freebies?

  • Libby from New England
    December 22, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Hi Brittany – We’ve used Republic Wireless for three years and it has worked great me. My teenage son was not quite as thrilled as he watches videos on his phone and his data usage was very high. Overall though our monthly bill has been $50 plus tax.

    Other people rave about Ting as another option.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Brittany Cooper
      December 28, 2016 at 6:44 am

      Hi Libby! We watch video on our phones a lot. Does Republic Wireless limit that? Thanks so much!

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