Our January 2019 Budget- Picking Up the Pieces of a Smashed Emergency Fund

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It’s a new year and for our family, that means taking stock of our previous years spending, our savings and any other financial related tasks that happen once or twice a year. I thought it would be fun this year to show you our monthly budget at the beginning of the month and how we do at the end of the month. There seems to be a pretty big misconception that bloggers like myself are total whiz kids with money and their personal budget, but I am not ashamed to admit that sometimes – that couldn’t be farther from the truth with us.  As you read through our financial wins and losses this year, I highly encourage you to learn how create a budget that works for your family and to work along with us!

Our Budget for January 2019 - I love to sneak a peek at other people's budgets! It helps me to know whether I'm on track or not! Here is our personal budget for January 2019! See why we're rebuilding our savings from the ground up!

The end of 2018 was not kind to our family at all financially. After the death of my Mother in February, Steve and I combined households. This meant that Emma and I were going to stop living in a hotel full-time and move in with Steve and Laura. Unfortunately, Steve’s home was much to small for the four of us to live comfortably which meant moving costs. In all, those ran us around $6,000 by the time we found a new place, got moved, paid utility deposits and replaced items that Emma and I needed but no longer had due to downsizing. She needed a bed and other bedroom furniture, I needed kitchen items that Steve did not own and so on.

Our January 2019 Budget


Next, our car decided it was the perfect time to need a lot of maintenance. In addition to four new tires, we also had to replace the battery, put new brakes on it and replace the entire front windshield due to an issue our insurance would not cover. I drive a Subaru Outback so those items were not cheap. Tires alone ran us around $550. The windshield was another $500-ish so by the time it was all said and done, we were close to $2,000 just for the car maintenance. Yes, I love my Subaru. No, I would not have spent that kind of money on any other car.

In addition to the car costs, we had some unexpected expenses when Steve got a better job offer to drive for a company he had already worked for. The new job required some addition training which meant we had to cover travel costs from Texas to Wisconsin and back and normal basic living expenses for him for the 30 days he was there. We also had to outfit his new truck in December and replace a few things from his old truck. This ended up being around $2500 total.

Needless to say, our emergency fund and other savings are 100% drained at this point which means that our personal budget for the next few months will be dedicated to rebuilding those while we work to cut expenses elsewhere. I don’t personally like not having anything put back for savings which means I will work my butt off if I need to help fill that savings account quicker than we normally would.


With all of that said, here is what our January 2019 personal budget looks like.


As of right now, we have $4000.00 in expected income. My personal income, no matter how much money my business makes is always $3,000 a month. This is enough to carry my family should something happen to Steve’s income and provided we have savings. It never changes unless for some odd reason, my business income drops.

The other thing about January’s income is that this is the first month Steve will make full paychecks with this company. We are unsure exactly what his paychecks are going to average out to. To combat this, I have him estimated at just $1,000. I am 100% certain he will make far more than this, but I would rather be under-estimated with extra money left over than over-estimated with things not being paid.


Our personal expenses for January look like this:


  • Housing – $1550.00
  • Utilities – $608.52
  • School Lunches – $75 for both girls
  • Girl’s Birthdays and Glasses – $250.00
  • Groceries (including truck food for Steve) – $400
  • Misc. Costs that are too petty to name individually – $500

Total Expenses for January: $3383.52

The differences look like this:

  • Current expected income: $4,000
  • Total Personal Expenses: $3383.52

Difference: $616.48 to savings


Now, as I said, I am 100% certain that Steve’s income will end up being more than $1,000 for the month. Anything extra that he earns will go for two things:

First to buy the last few items I want him to have for the truck. These best products for truck drivers are things that will save me money in the long run so I have no issues buying them. The second is that any addition income he or I have will be thrown into savings.

As I said, I am really uncomfortable with not having any savings left, so because we are planning a move from Texas to Wisconsin for a new job offer he has received (same company/better position) this summer, I have begun to clear out clutter we no longer need or want in preparation for that. This means any money from Ebay and Facebook marketplace sales will go into savings. Half of the money is earmarked for rebuilding our emergency fund and half for our move. I’ll talk more about the move and things later on.

Groceries may seem a high amount this month, but we have not shopped for groceries in almost 4 months. Because of this, I need to do a full pantry restock. I will spend $400 this month and probably close to the same next month so we don’t have to shop for a few months again.

Pretty sure that’s it! I’ll check in sometime toward the middle of the month to update ya’ll on how things are going! If you are rebuilding your savings, adding to your savings or are just getting started living on a budget, I would love to have you follow along with us! Let me know how you’re doing in the comments!

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Stacy Williams

Stacy Williams is a 37-year old wife to a USAF Gulf War Veteran, mother of two teen girls and fur-mamma to a rescued pit bull. The face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family, she also owns and manages Long Haul Wife, Republic Preparedness, The Genealogy Queen and a handful of others sites. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome a drinking problem, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence, and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

Learn how to earn a full-time income from home by learning how to start a blog just like this one! Click HERE to check out Stacy's step-by-step tutorial.
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