So it’s been 2 months & 5 days since Bobby left his company, and for now, we’re doing ok-ish.  Of course, me saying that is like hanging a flashing, neon sign on our house that says, “Hey Murphy, right here, give it your best shot!” Ya’ll know Murphy, don’t you? The little, evil “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” guy? Yeah, he lives in our spare bedroom.

Bobby & Sarah's piggy bank

The buyout from his former partners helped cushion the initial blow — it ended up being 2 month’s expenses up front, which covered us from Nov 15th to Jan 15th. It is now January 20th and we’re still kicking. Yay for us. Gotta love living in monthly increments.

Back when we were hitting it hard with Dave Ramsey (ah yes, those were the days), I started using two spreadsheets which were & still are incredibly helpful.

  1. Our monthly budget, which lists every expense from the regular utilities to the irregular expenses like postage, taxes, & tires for our cars. Tiny tweaks from month to month, but nothing earth-shattering.
  2. Our debt snowball, which lists every outstanding debt we currently have (except the house) in ascending order.

The debt snowball hasn’t gotten a lot of attention for, oh, the past 1.5 years… our finances have been a bit shaky since I quit my “real” job in Jun-08. We seem to be adding to it (thank you, medical debts) rather than deducting from it. But I guess that even though we’re only making minimum payments, it’s still good to know how much we owe. I guess.

The monthly budget has given us a goal to shoot for every month… we know how much $$ we need per month in order to maintain our current lifestyle. “Current lifestyle” sounds rather glamorous — it actually just refers to things like utilities, cable, and the occasional dinner out. We still use the envelope cash system (another throwback to our Dave days), and that has decreased our entertainment, eating out, & impulse spending dramatically.

So now that the initial freakout is over, I’m trying to figure out how to budget on an irregular income. This guy says to put 3 months of expenses in savings for “known slumps.” My BFF Dave says to list expenses in order of importance, and systematically go down the list (see?). But how the heck do I pay us? Bobby’s bringing in a little here & a little there, and depositing it into a business checking acct. So that acct is growing, and our personal acct is shrinking… how do I cut a paycheck? I know that I could just transfer some money over, but that seems irresponsible… I feel like I should justify the amount.

And what about taxes? Taxes and the IRS scare the poop out of me. Bobby’s accountant friend said to allow 35% for taxes. But then there’s this whole “expenses aren’t taxable” thing. Like if Bobby drives 3 hrs away, he’s due a mileage reimbursement. And that reimbursement can come out before taxes. But what does that MEAN, exactly?

I wish that I had finished that Accounting degree. It would really come in handy right about now.