We practice a zero budget, which means that we plan where each of dollars go prior to the month beginning. One exception is the Verizon phone bill, I budget to pay this entirely each month however several family members are responsible to pay their own portion. This money is not budget but I usually add to the fun money or purchase other items that are needed but not budgeted for.
Several of our monthly expenses are fixed such as the mortgage payment and Tahoe payment. I am choices at this point to only pay the required amounts as the interest rates are 2.75% and 3.49%. This allows us to focus on debt pay-off with fun thrown in as well.
For our utilities, we actually just lowered our internet bill to $49.99 a month, electricity budget is $300 and water is $44. If we manage to keep these lower than anticipated, then that adds money in for debt reduction.
This year we have increased both our grocery and gas budget. I currently have $975 for groceries and $600 for gas. I am using any money left over even during the pantry challenge to work on debt as these are the categories that for 2022 we were most over in and we ended up using other monies to cover.
Two budget categories that I rarely talk about but have been a part of our budget for the last several years are Pool Dues / Summer Fund at $50 a month and AAA/ Insurance at $150 a month.