What a Debt Free Budget Looks Like

So I completed Baby Step Two this week, and am debt free but the houseSo how does that change my budget for March? (big grin)  Oh I am so glad y’all asked!!

I haven’t put hard numbers up here yet, and I probably won’t for this budget either.  But I will list the categories left standing on my budget to give everyone an idea of just how sweet it really does look on the expenses side!

  • Mortgage payment (same as it’s always been)
  • Gas & Water company (expecting it to be higher thanks to a rate hike and a very cold month)
  • Electric company (no A/C yet LOL so it is holding steady at the winter rate)
  • Groceries (rising slowly but steadily, not to mention I have to feed a teenage boy)
  • Gas for the vehicles (EEEK!  Stupid gas prices have jumped recently! This category got upped … again)
  • Home Phone (stripped down to local line only for the past year)
  • Cable (Mostly just internet, TV is stripped to lowest level possible, but must keep to gt the “good” rate for my internet)
  • Son’s private school tuition (fixed until August)
  • Central Heat/Air maintenance (after last year’s furnace breakdown, a necessity … didn’t know they lasted this long LOL)
  • Cell Phones (paid through hubby’s account)
  • My puny Roth IRA contribution
  • Son’s puny mutual fund contribution (long story)
  • Eating out (gonna bump this one up for March to CELEBRATE!)
  • Household products and clothing

And … that’s it!  Now that the debt is gone, that is all we have left to pay each and every month!  A couple items got raised for March, with the necessities being gas, groceries, and the heat bill.  Without any debt payments, we will be able to absorb these increases without any problem.  I’ll still gripe about the higher expenses mainly because I really want to breeze through Baby Step Three (the big honkin’ fully funded cash emergency fund) so I can get busy on saving for retirement.

The “fun” extra expense is our celebration plans, set to go down next week Friday.  I’ll ask tonight for that day off, then the plan is I get to drive to Nashville area that morning/afternoon to watch the Dave Ramsey radio show live in the lobby, and make my “I’m DEBT FREE!” call from his lobby.  Then when I get back home the plan is we will go out to our favorite German restaurant downtown for dinner and catch a play at the regional theatre.  Friday is the first night of their annual spring Shakespeare play, and this year is Julius Ceasar.  Then back to the little German restaurant for a beer and open mic night entertainment.  Hubby and I haven’t done this since before he went to Korea for a year!