Things To Budget You May Have Forgotten

What should be in the monthly budget?

Good question. There is no easy answer, a budget is more than housing, food, and transportation. There are so many other categories to consider. You might be missing some huge items without even realizing it.
Before we get into all the categories. I want to make sure you know this is not meant to overwhelm you, which can do way to easy. So take this in stride. The list is to help you to determine what is right for you with your budget.

First, let’s begin with the basics:

Home

  •  Mortgage/Rent
  •  HOA Fees
  •  Property Tax
  •  Maintenance

Food

All food expenses go here. Even take-out, and the baby formula goes here. Make it a big category helps to keep take-out spending in check. Also, if you make a schedule of what meals you will have on what days. This helps with overspending on the food you may not need for the month.
A great app I use is “Out of Milk” it allows you to put in the item with the amount plus the cost if there is tax. Then it gives you a total at the bottom, so if you are on a fixed income for food, this works out well to let you know how much you can get for your money. A place to keep recipes. It also informs you of great deals at local stores. You have to put in your location for this feature.

Note it is recommended to keep a six month supply of food storage on hand in case of emergencies. You will want to use the old items to replace them with the new ones you buy within the month to keep your food stock updated.

  • Groceries (Base this on daily meal plan expenses)
  • Take-out or dining out
  • Baby food, snacks, and formula

Utilities

Everything you need to have in your home to keep your lifestyle running smoothly. Yeah, ok, so you may not need cable or internet, but if you are going to have them, then this is where it should be categorized.

  • Electric
  • Water
  • Trash
  • Gas (Propane/Natural)
  • Cell Phone
  • Cable
  • Internet

Pets

I love my dog would trade him for the world he is apart of our family. As such, he has expenses as well.

  • Food (This includes treats)
  • Medication
  • Vet Visits
  • Accessories (Leases, shampoo, Disposal Waste Bags, Brushes, Toys, and Clothes)
  • Animal Boarding (If required)
    Clothes

Any clothing needed comes from this category. Note if you buy clothes for work/school keep receipts, you might be able to use them as a tax right-off. Even if you buy any of these second hand, you want to account for these expenses.

  • Kids Clothes
  • Adult Clothes
  • School Uniforms
  • Work Uniforms

Transportation

Everything mode of transportation in which you use needs to go into this category.

  • Car
    •  Payments
    • Gas
    • Maintenance
    • Parking Permits
  • Cabs
    •  Uber/Lyft
  • Bus
  • Plane
  • Train
  • Boats
    •  Fairies
    • Yachts

Medical

Anything to do with a doctor or dentist goes in this category.

  • Doctor Visit (Including Hospitals and Specialists)
    • Co-pay
    • Medications
  • Eye Doctor
    • Examines
    • Glasses
      • Case
      • Chain
      • Cleaning Cloth
    • Contacts
      • Case
      • Solution
  • Dentist
    • Co-pay
    • Any denture items

Insurance

It is crazy not to have insurance. Living here in Texas, I have seen why it is crucial to have insurance. I saw what people went through when they had no insurance, they lost everything. Yes, the people how had insurance lost everything as well. However, the money they got from their insurance companies helped them to recover much faster. Don’t ever think you have too much insurance. A disaster can change your outlook, real quick.

  • Health
  • Dental
  • Life
  • Disability (Short and Long Term)
  • Car
  • Renters
  • Homeowners
  • Flood
  • Wind
  • Personal Property (the valuables within your home)

Credit/Loan

Any loans other than your mortgage or car payment go here. The goal is to get these paid off and to keep them at a zero balance. To do this, you will need to may more than the minimum monthly amount due. You need to add extra to cut down on the interest. Only this will allow you to pay off your balance faster; otherwise, it a vicious ongoing circle.

  • Credit Cards
  • Personal Loans
  • Student Loans

Retirement

You might think why do I need to start now. I have a lot of years before I will even consider retirement. Well, the sooner you start, the better off you will be your funds will have a longer time to grow with the interest it can accumulate. This will give you more money in the long run when it is needed. It can be more lucrative than your savings. I recommend you diversify if you choose to invest in the stock market.

  • Contribute to 401K
  • Stock Market
  • Investments

Savings

Have you ever heard the saying, “Save for a rainy day!” There is a reason our parents and grandparents always mentioned it. They were raised; you put money away instead of borrowing money. As a nation, we have gotten away from this. One we desperately need to get back to. So why should you save here you go:

  • Unexpected Illness (Let me tell you nothing scarier than getting sick not knowing when you can work again)
  • Job Loss
  • Unexpected Vehicle Repairs
  • Family Matters
    • Death
    • Disability

Types of savings plans to have

  • $1,000 Emergency Fund (short term)
  • 6 to 9 months of an emergency fund (Long term Monthly Expenses)
  • College fund for kids

Household Supplies

Anything you would use in your home goes into this category. I actually add this to my “Out of Milk” app to keep track for I shop at Walmart.

  • Paper Products
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Detergents

Personal Care Items

Here is where you will want to put the items you and your family uses to care for yourselves. I also add this to my “Out of Milk” app.

  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Hair Spray/Mousse/Gels
  • Lotions
  • Perfumes/Colognes
  • Haircuts
  • Hair dyes
  • Waxing
  • Manicures/Pedicures
  • Makeup
  • All other cosmetics

Education

In this category, you will want to put any kind of schooling for anyone within your family attends.

  • School Tuition
  • School Supplies
  • Books

Work

This category is for the entrepreneur, yeah, you know who I am talking about all you folks brave enough to work at home. Whether it be full-time or part-time. You want to keep track of all expenses for your taxes.

  • Office Supplies
  • Square footage of your home office (Less you rent a space outside the home)
  • Conferences
  • Travel
  • Lodging
  • Business Utilities (Cell Phones, Electric, Internet)

Special Occasions

This is for those times a year when we have to spend a little extra to enjoy time with our loved ones and friends:

  • Birthday Party/Gifts
  • Anniversary Party/Gifts
  • Wedding Gifts
  • Holiday Decorations/Gifts)
  • Any other special occasion.

Giving

This category is for when you give to others:

  • Tithing – 10% is what the bible states. It doesn’t have to be money; it can be you donating your time or talent.
  • Charity

Fun Money

These are for when you want to get out of the house, do something outside of the daily ritual call life. You work hard, you should be able to have some enjoyment. However, to be able to afford to do this, you need to budget:

  • Gym Membership
  • Entertainment
  • Vacations
  • Date nights
  • Babysitting
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco products

Again, don’t let this long list overwhelm you. Many might not apply to you. If all the categories do, apply you have a better understanding of what you need to work into your budget. Yes, I know it can be immensely hard. You might not have enough money to budget everything every month. If this is the case, do the main living expenses first, the loan/credit cards (I add food, household, and personal care together). If you need to rotate the rest of the categories every other month. At least you have some money going into those accounts they will build in time. As you pay off the credit cards/loans, add the money from them to your savings. The bottom line is you can start off small it will grow in time to help you in the long haul.
I hope this post helps, I know what it is like to live on a tight budget struggling to make ends meet each month. Don’t feel you need to do it all at once. As long as you put money away, you will be better off than if you had done nothing.

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What Texas City Name Means “Wind in the Face?”

A bit of History

In 1898, Kipp and Bradford families who own most of the land, which they divided the land into town lots to form the township Evergreen. Located on the south side of Clear Creek Channel and Galveston Bay, where they joined together.

Once was there were shells 20 feet to 30 feet, the town nickname was Shell Siding for the oyster shell middens, which lined the bay. Shells were sold in the 1890s by Mr. James Bradford off of the shoreline on his property. The shells sold were hauled by Texas and New Orleans Railroad out of the area, the railroad even built a spur track from Dickinson to the bay. Indian burial grounds were found in the shell reef.

Mr. John Henry Kipp, Sr. applied for a Post Office but was denied due to the fact there was a town named Evergreen, which was already established. He was told to pick a new name.

Kemah Was Formed

In 1907, Mr. John Henry Kipp, Sr. asked the summer visitors to choose a new name. They picked Kemah the Karankawa Indian word, which means “wind in the face,” this was the year they were approved for a Post Office.

There were thirty businesses in 1965, which prospered from oil as well as the shipbuilding Industry. Between the 1920s to the 1950s, Kemah became a large tourist area resulted from the two casinos along the boardwalk Chili Bowl and the Kemah Den. During the 1950s, the Kemah’s casinos closed, which caused tourism to drastically decline.

A major commercial shrimp fishing fleet was established in the 1950s on the Clear Creek Channel. This helped the community survive.

The establishment of the Johnson Space Center in the 1970s allowed tourism to re-emerge back to the area.

In the late 1990s, Kemah began to be known as a tourist hot spot. This came about when Landry’s Restaurant opened the Kemah Boardwalk. It is the third-largest fleet of recreational boats in the United States.

Kemah Today

The old schoolhouse is now the Welcome Center this where you can get all the information, brochures, and booklets about not only Kemah but all of Texas. There is no short variety of restaurants/bars to choose from see the list below:

Restaurants/Bars

• Voodoo Hut
• Skallywags Suds & Grub
• Bakkhus Taverna
• Monkey Bar
• Palapa Bar
• 504 Zone
• Hubcap Grill
• T-Bone Tom’s
• Eculent
• Hoagie Ranch
• Joe Lee’s Seafood Kitchen
• Jackie’s Brickhouse
• Skipper’s Cafe
• Aquarium Restaurant
• Kemah Cafe
• Flying Dutchman
• Cici’s Pizza
• Chili’s Grill & Bar
• Stuttongarden Traven
• Sundance Grill II
• Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack
• Opus Ocean Grille
• Tookies Burgers
• Landry Seafood House
• Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
• Taco Cabana
• Molly’s Pub
• Sidelines Bar & Grill (Holiday Inn)
• Saltgrass Steak House
• Aspens
• Nam Thai Restaurant & Bar
• Lighthouse Buffett
• Playa Maya By Habanero’s
• Bill’s Bar & Burgers
• Pizza Here Brick Oven Pizza
• Whataburger
• Ancora
• Aloha Bar
• Gulf Coast Daiquiri Hut
• The Great Kanakas Atomic Tiki Bar
• Tropical Wine Tasting Bar
• Madeleines
• Kemah Shot Bar
• Hannah Bay Cigar Bar
sing of the Fleet.
Also, you may have heard Kemah called by its nickname “Gateway to the Bay.”

Kemah Courtyard

Must See Shops

 Art of Coffee

Once you open the door, you can feel the warmth of the homey atmosphere, which makes you feel most welcome. The staff is amiable, making the experience one you won’t forget. This exceptional coffee shop has been in several reality shows.

The food and drinks are quite delicious. They have the following things on their menus:

• Smoothies
• Hot Coffee
• Ice Coffee
• Muffins
• Banana Cake
• Chocolate Cake
• Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies
• Tuna Salad Sandwich & Chips
• Chicken Salad Sandwich & Chips
• Soup of the Day

This coffee shop is unique, it is also an art gallery for the local artist. Pictures line the walls on display likes the one above.

It also has a flower shop to the left of the coffee shop. The fish tank makes you want to sit on the comfortable couch to lounge while watching the fish swim. All while enjoying the fantastic smells of the different flowers. The light tree in the middle of the room makes for great lighting.

Out front of the coffee shop is a small sitting area where one could watch the activities while being in the shade.

Want a more secluded place to sit while you enjoy the serenity, there is a courtyard with lots of trees, as well as plants. The tables, benches make for plenty of sitting areas. With the beautiful brick walkway. Located in the back of the coffee shop.

This is by far my favorite shop to grab a bite to eat while I make myself comfortable on the couch in the back as I do some of my writing.

Gypsy Pearl Boutique

Want to make sure that you have the right survivor from your journey to Kemah well look no further. This shop great for those loved ones that are difficult to buy. With a special gift in hand, you will be adored by its receiver. This shop is located in the Toucan Alley which leads to the courtyard.

The following to choose from, you will have a hard time making up your mind:

• Apparel
• Purses
• Shoes
• Beach Bags
• Beach Towels
• Jewelry
• Jams
• Pancake & Waffle Batter Mix
• Other Items

The staff is polite as well as helpful in choosing the right gift for the one person who is extremely difficult to buy for.

Ultimate Challenge

The Kemah Escape Room is the place. You heard that right escape, you have to band together with others to be able to figure out the clues to allow you to escape the room. This can be a thrill of a night. You need to call to make reservations ahead of time.

 Need A Place To Stay

Don’t sweat, there are several places within Kemah in which to stay:

Hotels

• Palace Inn Blue
• Boardwalk Inn
• Scottish Inn & Suites
• South Shore Habour Resort
• Days Inn
• Holiday Inn

Bed & Breakfast

• The Clipper House Inn
• Seaside Inn
• The Pelican’s Nest
• Captain’s Quarters
• A White Texas Pelican
• Kemah Escape
• Sail Inn B & B

Clear Creek Winery is an excellent place to check out the local wine. You must call to make reservations for the tour of this facility.

With all this to look forward to, what are you waiting for? Kemah is just thirty minutes southeast of Houston.

“I have to say my favorite part is stopping at the Daiquiri shop before I watch as my granddaughter navigates the pirate ship around with the fellow Captains of the other vessels. Not to mention to sit on the Bayside to watch the ships sail about the Bay.

The Day Has Come “Dragon Fusion” Presale

It is hard to believe this day has arrived. I can only imagine what the launch day of my book “DRAGON FUSION”  will be like. I was holding my breath when I hit the button to start the Presale. If I was this nervous setting up Presale can you imagine what a nervous wreck I will be on launch day.

As a Indie Author I get to do my own Marketing. It is up to me to get the word out there about my book “DRAGON FUSION” Unlike the big publishers who have it all figured out. I get to do a lot of research to find out what is the best way to promote. Right now I have absolutely no clue… laugh! It will be a challenge, one that I will figure out. This day in age with YouTube it makes life a lot easier to learn how to do things. All you have to do is find the right video. Boom! Got can pull off anything.

If you have been following along with my blog, then you know I have been working on “DRAGON FUSION” for a while, it is still being worked on in the final editing stages. I can’t wait to hold the book in my hand it will be such a relief plus a rush of joy all at once.

I have to say this has been a unique learning process for me. One in which I have not finished. I believe it is a good thing to learn something new every day if at all possible. 

Launch dare for “DRAGON FUSION”  is July 7, 2020. This is the first book in the “The Elite Series.”

dragon-fusion-cover

DRAGON FUSION

El was an average fifteen-year-old kid, who set out for a quiet walk in her small-town park to relax before having to conquer a book report. However, El never expected to see sparks fly out from her fingertips…

Totally blindsided, El learned the truth of her identity, realizing her whole life had been a lie, and she wasn’t sure she was ready for the upcoming changes.

El’s newfound powers frightened as well as excited her. Finding help from an unlikely ally, a dragon, El must decide if she should embrace her destiny or walk away from a world in peril. A spark begins to ignite within her. Will the fire that brews inside sway El in her decision to embrace her destiny?

If you Subscribe below, I will share with you, how I came up with the idea for the book ““DRAGON FUSION:”

It’s A Brand New Year!

Well, it is the start of a brand new year. Did you make your list of resolutions?

You know the list that usually contains half of the year before for the sheer fact that they didn’t get completed. No Worries I’ll just add it to next year’s list; maybe they’ll get done.

Yeah, you know what I mean, are you right there with me?

I always have good intentions at the beginning of the year, but as the year goes on, things happen, and the list goes by the wayside.

So this year, I am going to set goals some short term ones as well as some long term ones, giving myself reasonable deadlines for each of them. That way if something does happen, I can still pull off getting things accomplished.

Some of my short term goals are:

  • Planning out the year’s blog posts.
  • Planning out the release of my books.
  • Starting a side job for extra money.
  • Getting organized, I want things to make it easier to store items within our Travel Trailer.
  • Keep at the weight loss that I have been accomplishing. (No, I am not dieting that is the worst. I am just eating smaller portions and being more active.)
  • Plan out first months meals. (This is something new I have started and it’s a pain to do but I find it much easier to have it scheduled so that when I am extremely busy with writing, teaching, granddaughter and just everyday life, it a lot easier. Plus it makes for a great way to keep the shopping at the grocery store to a minimum so we don’t go crazily over our budget.

Some of my long term goals are:

  • Writing each post than making sure that they are posted to different platforms.
  • Getting the covers for each book, having them edited, plus marketing them before their release date as well as afterward.
  • Make a savings plan for hickups as well as Holiday funds.
  • Figure out how to save/plan for a vacation this year.
  • Pay off my hubby’s truck.
  • Buy another vehicle for me.
  • Locate some land to buy.

I am the type of person that does better under pressure, so by setting time-limits to finish each goal, it puts pressure on me to make sure I achieve them.

If you have a game plan that you use to stick to your goals, I would love to hear about them? Leave them in the comments below.

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Happy New Year!