In January we welcomed surprise #5 to the world. After 90 months of infertility, we found out that we were expecting! I think God gives us 9 months notice for a reason, because it took a few weeks to wrap my head around becoming a family of 7. Thus the idea of our taking a Sabbatical year was born. After deciding that the Hubs would walk away from his full-time job, the idea of a sweet baby was pure joy.

New baby expenses weren’t too high. A friend hosted a very sweet baby shower in which I requested all used clothes and gear. My mommy-friends emptied their closets for me! So there were only a few things missing- mainly a used swing that we bought for $40.

I stocked up on Amazon diapers in December with my prime membership. Plus our Citi card was giving 10% back on Amazon purchases, and prime members always receive 20% off diapers. I think I bought 6 GIANT boxes in the first 3 sizes.

Our older daughter has been growing like a weed, so we bought her about $100 of new clothes too. I splurged on an adorable baby wrap- I think the pregnancy hormones took over with that purchase!

There was also a new bluray player purchased at Costco for $70. Ours had been on the fritz for a while and its end seemed near. My dear mom had flown in to watch all 4 kids while we were at the hospital so it seemed wise to make sure she at least had a TV option for the kids.

We didn’t use much gas for the van beings I barely left the house this month. Life with a newborn is intense and January in Montana isn’t very hospitable. So we hunkered down as a family for the month and just cuddled that sweet new baby. In the next few months, the medical bills start rolling in for me and #5. We have decent health care and I had prepaid the doctor’s fee.  The bills weren’t overwhelming, but noticeable for sure.

How our budget works

Tracking our expenses closely with Real Budget has been great as I evaluate our passive income vs. real spending. Our written budget is around $3500.  So far we have come in under our written budget number every month.

In some of the categories, the balance rolls over and accumulates, like the giving, kids, and fun money accounts. Those each have their own checking account with automatic contributions set up each month through our bank. We don’t track our fun money expenses, we just treat it like 100% was spent in that month after we transfer the money into individual checking accounts. I really don’t want to know how much the Hubs spends on espresso or Star Wars tee-shirts.  As long as his account isn’t overdrawn, I don’t care.

Other categories start fresh every month and the “savings” we accumulate pads our main account till we Invest, Give, or Spend the extra. Those are categories like food, gas, utilities. If we spend less in those areas in any given month, that money will end up going to an Invest, Give, or Spend goal once our cash threshold is exceeded.

The most curious thing about our budget is the expenses we don’t have.

We don’t have a mortgage–paid cash for our house!

We don’t have car payments. But own a car, minivan, and motorcycle

We don’t have credit card bills or student loans anymore.

And this year we won’t be officially saving for anything- like retirement.

Read more about how we budget in Real Budget, Easy Budget or Our Budget (coming soon!).