All the bills for baby #5 came in this month. Again, I was so thankful that we have health insurance. The bill from the hospital was close to $9,000 for our 48 hour stay (not to include the doctor fees, which we prepaid). Our portion of the payment was $500. Then there was the anesthesiologist’s fees. The worth of those professionals can’t not be measured. But if it could, it would be MUCH higher than our $189 copay. We had the co-payments for all the initial baby checkup appointments. The $1143 we paid felt like a bargain. Plus it included some dental bills.
Unfortunately, on Easter we found out that my grandmother had passed away. We were set to leave the next day for a spring break trip with the new pop up camper. Instead we turned our camper in the other direction and headed out to be with our family as we worked through the funeral preparations.
Evenings spent looking through photos provided a lot of opportunity to contemplate what a life well lived looks like. Days spent sorting items to be thrown out or donated let me consider the role that possessions play in my family’s life. There was also a small inheritance of a few thousand dollars left from my great grandparent’s estate. To be honest, I am struggling with the idea of what to do with that money. I loved my great grandparents so dearly. They spent their entire lives working extremely hard to make ends meet. I really wish they would have spent it on themselves. If they had taken just one vacation together or went out to a nice dinner. But instead I have to consider how to steward this money the best I can in a way that honors all the sacrifice that made this gift possible. Once all those things finish swirling in my mind, I might write a few posts for you all about it.
This very unexpected event did 2 things to our budget this month. One we have $270 of vacation money spent (Plus $80 that spilled into April). Our expenses for the funeral trip included reservations for our actual vacation that we had to cancel but won’t refund us the full amount. We also had gas expenses and lots of eating out. So as a natural correlation, our food budget was lower than usual. We had planned to cook on our vacation, but with all the work that had to be done with the funeral and preparing a home to sell, it wasn’t possible on this trip. Just keeping the 5 kids entertained while we emptied a house of a lifetime of possessions was enough work.
Despite some onetime expenses (baby and funeral), we still came in under our $3500 budget amount. I did have 2 expenses that were “out of budget”—THIS website! I paid for a premium theme (doesn’t it look purdy!) and paid for hosting with Bluehost. Together those came to $350. If website expenses continue to be large, I will have to make a separate budget item for those. Or perhaps the site will produce a bit of income to cover the hosting costs. For now it comes out of our Spend-Invest-Give slush fund. Not sure if this would be Spend or Invest? Hum…
The most curious thing about our budget are the expenses we don’t have.
We don’t have a mortgage–paid cash for our house!
We don’t have car payments. But own a car, minivan, motorcycle and sweet pop up camper.
We don’t have credit card bills or student loans anymore.
And this year we won’t officially be saving for anything- like retirement.
You can read more about how to set up an Easy Budget.