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In this February 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. (We’re an international couple living in Korea. My business is in the US, so I earn in US dollars, but my husband works here in Korea.)

 

Background

 

I’m expecting February to be a difficult month for our finances, but I’m hoping we can still make progress toward our goals.

It’s usually a lighter month for my online tutoring business, but since I use Profit First, I take a regular paycheck instead of having variable income. So I know we can count on the same base income.

However, February doesn’t have a lot of anticipated extra income, which we have been counting on these past few months since starting regular childcare for our toddler.

My husband is waiting on a potential lead in his career change, so the timeline on that is still up in the air.

 

Business Income

 

As for my business, my goal is to reach $6500 in revenue, which is far smaller than I made in the fall months. January is traditionally one of my lowest months for tutoring, and February is still ramping up, so it will almost certainly be a month when I take more out of my business than I put in. That’s why I use the Profit First system though.

Profit First Categories:

  • Projected Revenue: $6500
  • 63% to Owner’s Comp: $4095
  • 18% to Taxes: $1170
  • 17% to Expenses: $1105
  • 2% to Profit: $130

2022 Feb Budget Profit First
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Additional Income

 

As I have done previously, I’ve blocked out below our individual incomes for privacy reasons. We are counting on a combined income of about $4200 this month, plus the typical 250,000 won (about $212) from the Korean government for our son. 

2022 Feb Budget Income
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I’m hoping we’ll be able to find some extra money through selling some things around the house or other random opportunities, but I’m not counting on that in our initial budget.

 

Major Financial Goals

 

Even though our February 2022 budget projects less income than January, I’m hoping we can continue to make decent progress toward our top financial goals.

2022 Feb Budget Major Financial Goals
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  • Retirement savings: $1000 into my Roth IRA
  • Emergency fund: Still not planning to actively contribute to this beyond what we accumulate in interest.
  • Vacations/flights: $100
  • New car: $317 – every remaining penny from our budget is landing here

 

Normal Expenses

 

February is a bit shorter, so I’m hoping we can squeeze a couple of our budget categories so that we can end up with more saved for our goals. The month also starts with the Lunar New Year holiday, which means our regular babysitter has family obligations and is unavailable. That means our childcare spending will also be lower than it was in January.

 

2022 Feb Budget Normal Expenses
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Some notable points:

  • Gas for our apartment: We use gas for cooking and for heating. This is our highest gas bill so far in this apartment, and I’m not in love with it.
  • Groceries & Eating Out/Delivery: We’re cutting these categories back a little this month. It’s a shorter month and a tighter budget month, so it makes sense to try to stretch our resources a bit here.
  • Babysitter: This accounts for three weeks of using a babysitter 6 days a week. Cheap by US standards, but still a significant part of our budget.
  • Transportation: Since I don’t know when we will be purchasing a car, we’re budgeting a little toward car rentals and public transportation, and a little towards car insurance and gas. We’ll likely not use all of it, so it actually doubles as a buffer in our budget.

 

Sinking Funds

2022 Feb Budget Sinking Funds
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We use sinking funds for expenses that are more discretionary and that vary from month to month. Notable items from our February 2022 budget:

  • Toddler Personal Spending: While we were using cloth diapers, we were getting by with the equivalent of $100 USD towards things like toys, clothes, and other related expenses for our 18 month old. But we decided to use disposables while my husband is recovering from a back and neck injury. So we bumped up our toddler’s sinking fund to account for that. 
  • Healthcare Expenses: We’re also bumping up our contribution to this sinking fund compared to what we had been doing in 2021. My husband will be needing some treatments for his back and neck.

 

Overall

 

Our budget is tight this month, but honestly, that just makes me really grateful that we actually have a budget. Without laying all of this out in advance, it would be so easy to spend more, which would prevent us from being able to make as much progress toward our goals. 

I’m reminded this month that budgeting is a way of being intentional with our money. It’s not restrictive or punitive. Instead, it’s empowering.

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