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Analyzed Our Budget to Pay for Big Medical Bill

April 13th, 2014 at 02:52 pm

With the remainder of the Big Medical Bill looming (I've paid $500 so far which was the deposit), I decided to analyze our budget to see where I can cut to help pay for the bill over six or eight months rather than dip into savings. I'm basically paying myself back since I have the money to pay for the bill. I am looking for about $350 each month.

In the process I found out some things about our budget...

Here's a breakdown:
- Home (mortgage, utilities, repairs) - $1677 (27%)
- Food (both dining and groceries) - $890 (15%)
- F (tuition, clothes, supplies, camp, piano, soccer) - $1042 (17%)
- Auto (servicing, repairs, registration, gas) - $265 (4%)
- Travel (this is carried forward for future trips to visit D's family) - $301 (5%)
- Medical (doctor, dentist) - $200 (3%)
- Personal (cash, clothes, knitting, haircuts, life insurance) - $177 (3%)
- Household (supplies, appliances, etc) - $119 (2%)
- Family Entertainment - $95 (2%)
- Gifts - $85 (1%)
- Pets - $75 (1%)
- Savings - $1200 (20%)

And my analysis:
- Home category is usually lower because I carry the monthly amount set aside for repairs forward. I currently have $770 set aside for repairs. Don't really want to dip into this
- Food category also usually (much) lower by about $190. I could plan less expensive meals and get that to $200 or $250 - that amount doesn't need to carry forward, so I can put this toward the medical bill
- Stuff for F is a category where I usually seem to go over (which I guess gets absorbed by the food category. I need to rein in that spending!!
- Auto - I need two new tires, so can't really "steal" from this category
- Travel category is carried forward so even though spending for about a year is low, we spend in one big wad (plane tickets) about every other year. I can't use overage from this category, otherwise we won't have enough when we need to go to see D's family in the UK every other year
- Medical - maybe I need to increase the savings in this category in the future
- Personal - I can't limit D's spending, but this has been lower than projected in recent month by anywhere from $20 to $120, so I can definitely use some of the savings here to pay for the medical bill
- Household - I think I can actively reduce this category, too. It's been lower than expected in recent months, and I've been carrying the balance forward.
- Family Entertainment - I carry forward money for the summer pool membership here, which I just paid. Also stash money here for winter nutcracker tickets. I don't want to mess with this too much, but maybe a little for the short term.
- Gifts - This tends to be accurate over the full year (also gets carried over all the way to Christmas when it's really important that the money is in here!) so even though we're spending very little out of this category now, we will in key months - November for Christmas, May for F's birthday in June, also birthday gifts for F's friends
- Pets - Also pretty accurate over the year although recent months have been lower, so maybe a little from here would be ok.
- Savings - NOT messing with this - that's what I'm trying to avoid! This includes paying down our mortgage, car savings, school savings and our IRAs.

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