In this April 2022 budget, I share our family’s real budget so that you can see how we plan and follow our journey toward reaching our financial goals.
But before we jump into the numbers, I’ll give my standard introduction to our family’s situation. My husband and I are an international couple living in Korea. I’m a US citizen with an online tutoring business is in the US, so I earn in US dollars, but my husband works here in Korea. We also have a 20 month old son.
If you’ve been following along, then you know that we’ve been waiting on a job change for my husband, which should be coming soon. Or so they say. Didn’t happen in March, but maybe in April? I’m not entirely sure when, but I’m continuing my usual practice of budgeting based on our current income, but also anticipating some possible expenses related to the new job.
Most notably, once he gets that new job, we’ll get a car and will have associated car expenses. So I’m including some of those expenses here. If we end up not using that money, great! And if we end up using it, even better – since that means he successfully switched careers.
Otherwise, April looks to be a pretty standard month. No bonuses, no anticipated extra income. We’ll likely not be able to make the big progress toward our goals that we have been able to in March, but as long as we’re headed in the right direction, that’s what matters.
Business has been picking up for my tutoring business toward the end of March, so I anticipate the same will happen through April. That doesn’t mean my income will change, though. I use Profit First to even things out so that I can take a consistent salary regardless of the seasonality in my business. But it will certainly feel reassuring to see my numbers go up.
My goal is to reach $7000 in revenue, which is about a 20% increase from my highest ever April back in 2020. It’s ambitious, but I feel I should be able to reach it.
Profit First Categories:
- Projected Revenue: $7000
- 63% to Owner’s Comp: $4410
- 18% to Taxes: $1260
- 17% to Expenses: $1190
- 2% to Profit: $140
I’ve been considering whether I can afford to give myself a tiny raise for Q2, but I haven’t decided quite yet. I’m also considering contracting a virtual assistant to help out a few hours a week in my business. If so, I’ll need to make sure I have the budget for that.
Our individual incomes are blocked out for privacy reasons below, as I usually do. We’re not planning on anything special this month. We’ll also receive the typical 250,000 won (about $210) from the Korean government for our son.
It will be great if we can also find extra income through surveys, selling things, or other random opportunities. That’s never in our budget, but always a welcome addition through the month.
Major Financial Goals
Our March ended up exceeding expectations, so we were able to make far more progress toward our financial goals than anticipated. April won’t be as amazing, but we’re still keeping these goals front and center.
- Retirement savings: $700 into my Roth IRA for 2022 (Spoiler: we were able to finish contributing to my 2021 Roth IRA in March.)
- Emergency fund: Still not planning to actively contribute to this beyond what we accumulate in interest.
- Vacations/flights: about $100 – This category is getting a little shortchanged, since it’s not as high of a priority. The $99.69 above is a strange number because that’s all that was left in our budget.
- New apartment deposit: $500 (plus anything extra we’re able to scrape together). This and retirement savings are our high priorities.
Up to now, we’ve been prioritizing retirement savings and saving for a new car. But there’s a possibility that the new job my husband has been promised may involve a car as well. Everything is up in the air and uncertain, so in my mind, it makes more sense to put money toward a new apartment deposit instead.
It’s mostly just an artificial bookkeeping designation, though. In reality, we’ll use the money a little more flexibly. If we need apartment money for a car, we’ll pull from that fund so that we can avoid a car loan. Or if we need the car money for an apartment deposit, we’ll pull from the car fund. Budgeting doesn’t have to be rigid and inflexible.
For the most part, we’ve been doing a good job this year sticking to our budget for normal expenses. I’m hoping we can carry that through to April.
Fun fact about budgeting across currencies: Our rent is a steady 550,000 won per month, but because I earn and save in US dollars, I budget in both currencies. Our actual budget spreadsheet has columns for both currencies, and then when I transfer money from the US to Korea, I use that conversion rate to calculate the US dollar equivalent of everything we spend in Korean won. So that means every couple of months, our budgeted amount for rent changes by a few dollars. It’s also the reason so many of these budget categories are weird numbers.
Some notable points:
- Gas for our apartment: We haven’t gotten our April bill yet, but I’m hoping it’s far lower than our March bill!
- Phones: This is cheap, I know. My husband and I have plans with very limited data, but since we’re nearly always at home or somewhere with wifi, it works for us.
- Groceries & Eating Out/Delivery: We’re going to try to stick to this, despite inflation starting to hit Korean groceries as well. The real key is to minimize ordering takeout or delivery.
- Babysitter: We’re still having some trouble finding a good babysitter for part of the week. Hopefully we’ll use all of what we budgeted, since that will mean we found someone.
- Transportation: Just like we’ve done for the past couple of months, we’re budgeting a little toward car rentals and public transportation, and a little towards car insurance and gas. It’s been serving as a nice buffer in our budget, but it’ll also be nice to someday have this part of our budget pinned down.
We use sinking funds for expenses that are more discretionary and that vary from month to month.
Notable items from our March 2022 budget:
- Personal spending: I receive less than my husband and my toddler because I simply need less. I’ve never been a big spender. If my husband receives his new job, we’ll increase his personal spending even more to reflect the cultural realities of working in a Korean company (i.e., mandatory work dinners, cultural obligations to buy coffee for people, etc.)
- Healthcare expenses: My husband recently submitted receipts to be reimbursed for a large portion of the amount we’ve spent over the past three months on care for his neck and back pain. We’ve been spending that money out of this sinking fund, so the reimbursement will go back into that fund. Therefore, this fund should be set for a while and we won’t need to contribute extra to it.
I’m looking forward to having fewer unknowns in our budget. Someday that will be the case. Until then, we’ll keep budgeting with contingencies built in.
I’m proud of the amount of progress we’ve been able to make toward our goals so far in 2022, and I hope that a consistent focus on our finances will help us continue that momentum through April.
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