I joined a #debtfreecommunity challenge recently by sharing our November budget on Instagram.

Our budget is unusual, so it’s not surprising that this post received several comments (some more blunt than others) and created quite a bit of confusion about our budget.

I decided to turn this into a blog post to provide some clarification on exactly WHY our budget is so weird.


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Our November Budget

Here is our November budget breakdown by the numbers!

150 – rent
107 – student loans
130 – car insurance (50 for Jen, 80 for Ben)
260 – gas
56 – cell phones (2)
11 – Netflix
25 – Adobe
100 – 1 and 1
600 – groceries
700 – Ben’s spending
50 – Ben’s birthday
40 – Jen’s spending (I forgot to include this on the Instagram post)
100 – miscellaneous
6,000 – debt snowball


Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about our budget!  If your question isn’t answered here, feel free to leave a comment. :)

Q: What does DINK mean?

Dual income, no kids.

Q: Why is your rent payment so low?

It’s abnormally low because we live with my parents.  They are willing to charge us so little for rent because they know that the less money we put toward rent, the more money we can add to our debt snowball.

We are so grateful to them for this. It is because of their generosity that we will be able to pay off $127,000 of debt in just four years. We currently have only $5,700 of debt remaining and we plan to have this paid off soon.

Q: Why is your student loan payment so low?

We have paid off the majority of our student loans.  We started with $117,000 of student loan debt. At that time, our payment was $1,400 per month.

Now that we only have less than $6,000 left, our payment is much lower.

Q: How do you spend $600 per month on groceries? What do you eat?

I’ve never actually totaled the exact amount we spend per month on groceries. $600 is a guess based on an estimate of $150/week.

We are working on trying to lower this amount, but it’s an ongoing struggle for us – groceries have always been our biggest budget buster.

I eat a mostly whole food diet, neither of us cook, we both buy a lot of pre-made items, and we’re both snackers. I’m actually thinking about tracking every penny we spend on groceries for a month and turning that into its own blog post, so stay tuned for that!

Hopefully, that will help to give us a better idea of exactly where our money is going so we can control our grocery spending better.

Q: Why does your husband get $700/month for spending money?

Good question!  ;)

This is another topic that could be a separate blog post of its own. For years, we struggled with getting out of debt because of my husband’s spending.

At one time, we managed money separately.  My husband used his income to make extra payments on his loans, and I used my income to make extra payments on mine. This didn’t work well.

There were times when I would actually put more money toward debt than he did even though my income is much lower than his. I often considered taking over managing our money, but I didn’t want to. I really don’t like the idea of one spouse controlling the other.

It just didn’t sit well with me and I didn’t want to do it, but eventually we realized we had to make a big change or we would never get out of debt.

Now, my husband’s paychecks our deposited into my account and I transfer $900 to his account each month ($200 for gas and $700 for spending).

We chose $700 after calculating how much we expected he would spend on his daily trips to Starbucks, frequent lunches at work, beer, medical expenses (medications, co-pays, etc), toiletries, and other miscellaneous items.

$700 is much more than I would like to give him, but we chose this amount because we knew it would work. I could try to pretend that he won’t spend money on Starbucks or beer and give him less than $700, but if I did that, he’d run out of money every month… and then we’d keep having the same disagreement every month.

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, right? Even with the $700 he spends each month, we’re still able to put a huge chunk of money toward debt and that’s what matters.

You are welcome to disagree with how we are doing things. This might not work for you at all.  We’re doing what works for us.

You do you!

Why is your income high for November?

It’s a three paycheck month. This includes only income from our day jobs and does not include any side income since that varies wildly from month to month.

Any side income I earn from this blog will be added to the debt snowball.

Why is health insurance not included on your budget?

Certain items (medical, dental, vision, LTD insurance, and retirement contributions) are not included on the budget because they are automatically withheld from our checks.

What cell phone plan do you have?

We are on my in-laws’ family plan with Verizon. I think the cost is reasonable considering we have unlimited data, texting, and calls.

Our Weird Budget

Hopefully, this post helps to clarify why our budget seems a little strange.  Once we pay off our remaining student loan in full in December, the majority of our income will start going to savings.

We plan to purchase our first home this spring, and at that point, our budget will probably start to look a lot more “normal”.  We’ll share the new budget then.  Stay tuned!

Is your budget odd? What are your biggest budget busters?


Are you tired of feeling broke?

Our budget bundle can help you get on track!