This April 2022 budget review is part of a monthly series of posts in which I share our family’s real budget and real spending so that you can follow our journey toward reaching our financial goals. Blogging our budget has been so beneficial for us as a family since it makes us more aware and intentional about the ways we use our money.

 

Background

 

As I’ve mentioned before, we are a multicultural family living in South Korea. My husband is Korean, earns in Korean won, and is in the process of switching careers to get into real estate. I’m American, and I run a private test prep tutoring business online back in the US. My income is in US dollars. We also have a toddler son.

I had planned for April to be a tighter month because we didn’t have a lot of extra income we were anticipating. We were also anticipating higher than normal childcare expenses since we finally have found a couple of babysitters we really like.

No change yet to my husband’s ongoing career shift. Unfortunately, his career move has been pushed back yet again. That means our car purchase is further out on the horizon and our budget is still dealing with a few unknown elements. (Read more about how I deal with unknowns in our budget.)

We went into the month knowing we’d have to be careful, and we were. As a result, we were able to contribute a sizable chunk to our financial goals. I’m proud of that!

 

Business Income

 

I use the Profit First system for my test prep business, which helps me deal with irregularity in my income. April was a decent month in my business, and I was able to pass my goal of $7000 in revenue by about $800.

2022 April Profit First
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I’m in the middle of rethinking the percentages that I want to allocate to Operating Expenses and Professional Development. In Q1, I had them even at 8.5% each, but for April I switched it to 10% Operating Expenses and 7% Professional Development. I’m thinking of hiring a Virtual Assistant in my business, so I wanted to start adding more to my Operating Expenses to cover that. And on the flip side, I already have a decent amount stashed away for Professional Development, so I felt comfortable cutting that back.

I may make more changes in May, but this is how it broke down in April:

  • Business Revenue: $7803
  • Profit: $156
  • Owner’s Comp: $4994 (This refers to the amount I set aside for my own pay, but my own paycheck is always a set amount each month.)
  • Taxes: $1327 set aside for federal income taxes (I also paid my Q1 quarterly estimated taxes this month. So nice to have my business cover that expense for me.)
  • Operating Expenses: $780
  • Professional Development: $546

I would like to start giving myself a higher salary from my business, since my husband’s career change keeps getting postponed. In order to do so, I’m in the process of crunching the numbers to see how I can trim some of my expenses. Professional Development is one key place I can do so. I won’t make that change until May though.

 

Additional Income

 

Not much to speak about here. I ended up earning $98 in extra income from focus groups, but other than that, our income was exactly as expected.

2022 April Income
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Like usual, I’ve blocked out below our individual incomes for privacy reasons. And as with previous months, part of our extra income includes a 250,000 won benefit from the Korean government for our toddler (about $211 at current exchange rates).

 

Major Financial Goals

 

We started contributing to my 2022 Roth IRA this month. We settled on contributing $750 per month, which would allow us to max out our contributions by November. I would love to be contributing more, especially while the market is down so much, but we are also trying to save as aggressively as possible so that we can move to a better apartment in December. We project needing about $50,000 USD to do so, and that is a major stretch goal for us.

In all honesty, it’s hard to decide which of our new car fund or our apartment deposit fund is the higher priority. Since the new car is tied to my husband’s career change, we’re not exactly sure about the timeline there. And we’re clearly behind in saving for our apartment. So we decided to prioritize the apartment in the near term.

2022 April Major Financial Goals
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Here’s the breakdown for the month:

  • Retirement savings: $750, getting us 12.5% of the way to maxing our 2021 contribution
  • Brokerage: Skipping this for now.
  • Emergency fund: Just the interest earned in our high-yield savings accounts. We earn $5.10 per month on the $1000 of our emergency fund that we have at Digital Credit Union, and nearly the same on the $2000 of our emergency fund that we have at Current. We get nearly another $5 from our high-yield checking account at M1 Finance, which brought us to $16.15.
  • Vacations/flights: $100 into vacation savings
  • New car: Decided not to prioritize this one this month
  • New apartment deposit: $933.98, representing every remaining cent from our budget.

I’m proud of the fact that we were almost able to double what we had budgeted saving for our apartment deposit. We’re still racing to get as close to $50,000 as possible by the end of the year, and we are a long, long way off even if we pull from other funds. But the $933 represents almost 2% of our overall goal, and we had to fight for it. So I’m choosing to be proud of it.

 

Normal Expenses

 

We did a good job of staying on budget for our normal expenses. We were under in some categories and over in our babysitter category, which we will need to adjust upward going forward. Overall, the savings we had by being under budget here is what allowed us to contribute so much more than anticipated to our apartment deposit fund.

2022 April Normal Expenses
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Other notable points:

  • Gas for apartment: We normally get our gas bill before the end of the previous month, but we received it late this time and didn’t guess accurately how much it would be.
  • Groceries/Eating Out: Still under budget here, which is great. Not sure how long that’s going to last with inflation, but we’ll do our best.
  • Babysitter: Our spending here should be roughly our new normal, so we’ll have to adjust our budget to reflect that. It’s good to have consistent childcare, but I’m also looking forward to the day when we’ll be able to funnel this money into other goals instead. (Although honestly, by then we’ll likely just be spending it on private school tuition or other educational expenses.)
  • Misc: We had negative spending here due to a return that was processed.
  • Transportation: Only car rental spending here since we still don’t have our own car.

 

Sinking Funds

 

We use sinking funds for expenses that are more discretionary and that vary from month to month.

2022 April Sinking Funds
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Notable items:

  • Toddler Personal Spending: We’re trying to build up a stash here, but ended up having more purchases than expected. Hopefully we’ll be able to get this sinking fund higher so that we can buy a new carseat and some other things to reflect our baby becoming a true “big kid.”
  • Household expenses: We’re going to need to start contributing a bit more to this sinking fund as well. It’s getting dangerously low.
  • Healthcare expenses: We didn’t contribute anything this month since we had just gotten a reimbursement from our private insurance. We spent a decent amount, though, so we’ll need to start contributing again in May.
  • Car Repairs: Since we don’t actually have the car yet, the budgeted money here got redirected. This sinking fund will start officially once we actually have a car.

 

Overall Update

 

April was not an easy month, but we were able to make good progress by keeping focused on our goals. I have to keep reminding myself that this is just a stage in life. It’s not forever. We’ll have more income at some point, and at that point we’ll be better able to save what we need for retirement, vacations, and other big goals. Until then, we’ll keep doing the best we can with what we have.

The great thing is that by budgeting and being aware of our spending, I KNOW we are making more headway toward our goals than we would otherwise.

To check in on the goals I set for April:

  • Save $700 for retirement – DONE (saved $750)
  • Save $500 for our new apartment deposit – SURPASSED (saved $933)
  • Stay under budget in groceries, eating out, and coffee – DONE
  • Use our budget for “fun” – USED HALF, which is a step in the right direction!
  • Business: $7000 in revenue – DONE (received $7800 in revenue)

 

Money Goals for May 2022

 

I’m still working through whether I can give myself a tiny raise in the salary I take from my business. If that doesn’t happen, May will be as tight of a month as April. I’m therefore keeping our goals for the month on the modest side.

Our main goals for April include:

  • Save $750 for retirement
  • Save $500 for our new apartment deposit
  • Stay under budget in groceries, eating out, and coffee
  • Replenish sinking funds for toddler, household expenses, and healthcare expenses
  • Business: $7000 in revenue (requires getting a few new students)

 

This post may contain an affiliate link or a referral link. For more information, please see my disclosure here.

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