Our April monthly budget has a ton of new changes because our lives are different now! With trying to navigate the current financial crisis and global pandemic we’ve adjusted our goals for the year and our budget is going to reflects that change.
Our main focus is savings for our emergency fund and building up 3 months of expenses. We are also planning to celebrate birthdays and investing small amounts for future goals.
Budget With Me!
In the video you can budget along with me as we cover the budget necessities: bills, fixed expenses, variable expenses, debt payments, and sinking funds.
As always I’m planning in my happy planner with the budgeting printables from my Etsy shop.
If you are new to watching our budgets, here’s a little run down of our situation! We both work full time, I do freelance work and earn income from my YouTube channel and this is our take home income that I am budgeting. I cover bills, variable spending expenses, sinking funds and the goals for the month. This month we are super focused on increasing our emergency fund which we are trying to cover 3 months of expenses and eventually even more.
April 2020 Monthly Budget Setup
During this month’s budget preplanning I set our monthly goals and covered the important one time expenses for the month.
April monthly goals:
- Save $2,000 for our emergency fund
- Don’t do unnecessary online shopping
April one time expenses:
- Birthdays for all of us: $300
- Car insurance increase: $122 (sinking fund)
- Filing for new car tags: $145
Thankfully we are able to plan for all of these one time expenses and still save for our main goal of the emergency fund because we aren’t paying typical expenses like daycare and fun activities.
As far as our monthly to do items, we are trying to increase the savings even more by tailoring the to do list to this goal:
- Earn more money through YouTube and Etsy and freelance work
- Find free activities to keep my toddler entertained
- Start potty training to cut diaper spending out
Hopefully we can at least achieve a few of these to do items!
April 2020 Monthly Budget
Here’s the breakdown of the actual budget for April 2020.
|Pennies Not Perfection||$800|
With $6,000 in planned income for the month we broke it down this way:
|New Car Tags||$145|
|AES Loan Payment||$220|
|Phone Sinking Fund (Mint Mobile)||$50|
|Car Insurance Sinking Fund||$75|
|Life Insurance Sinking Fund||$35|
|Subscribe & Save Sinking Fund||$50|
|Emergency Fund Sinking Fund||$2,260|
Our Emergency Fund Savings
Because we aren’t playing many different expenses like daycare or going out to eat or going to events or throwing parties (the list goes on) we are able to save a lot more money in our emergency fund!
We recently determined what we need for our emergency fund to equal 3-6 months of expenses.
Looking at our monthly expenses and cutting out many things for an emergency situation means we need roughly $3,000 a month for our expenses. This means for a 3 month emergency fund we will need $9,000 saved. For a 6 month emergency fund we will want to stock up $18,000.
We have a plan for our emergency fund and hopefully things go well and we can save it up with our extra income coming in and big paychecks from the government.
Now with planning to save $2,000 a month we will also be adding a lot of our regular income to our emergency fund. This means we will be able to save up to $9,000 much quicker than I originally expected.
Investing Small Amounts
While we are prioritizing savings during this crazy time, we are also continuing to invest small amounts into the market and dollar cost average our investments.
I’ve been investing for a long time now and I love investing when markets are going up and when markets are going down. In fact, my shortest time frame investments are for at least 15-16 years from now when I want to use the dividends to help my daughter.
Because I am not investing money for the short term I don’t worry about the markets year to year ups and downs. I simply add money which will continue to grow. That’s why I’m still investing small amounts even when I have bigger goals to achieve, because I know small amounts I won’t miss now will add up to huge amounts later.
I’ve talked a bit about the investing platforms I use for different purposes and here are the ones I plan to use this month:
- Vanguard (my Roth IRA)
- Robinhood (my dividend portfolio, get a free stock on sign up)
- Ellevest (my portfolio for a future purchase)
- M1 Finance (my joint brokerage account)
Because all of thee accounts have different goals and allow me to try out the more popular investing platforms I’m able to try different things and also work toward multiple goals in the far off future.
Keep On Budgeting
In times of stress and changes a lot of people think throwing out budgeting is the right choice. In reality, creating a budget and following it during times of uncertainty helps you create a sense of calm and control. You might not be able to control much of the outside world, but you can control your budget!
Now is the right time to hunker down and do the best things you can for yourself and your specific situation. For us that means saving a lot of our income for our new emergency fund.
If you’ve lost your job then that might mean making big budget changes and filing for unemployment so you can cover your budget priorities – the four walls of survival.
If you’re still working and have a secure income then maybe you can increase your investments to fund your future or even find ways to help those around you and use your money to spread joy in a time where it is much needed.
No matter what your goals are, continue with budgeting and using your money wisely and consistently to hit your goals. You don’t have to be perfect with your money but you do need to be consistent!
Mary is the founder of Pennies Not Perfection where she shares her journey to build wealth through online income. She quit her day job in 2021 after she paid off her debt and doubled her 9-5 salary.
Mary's favorite free financial tool is Personal Capital. She uses their free tools to track net worth and work toward to financial freedom.
Her favorite investment platform is M1 Finance, where she built a custom portfolio for free with no fees. She shares her portfolio growth and savings progress every month on YouTube.