For the last month or so, Sherrian and I have been using Mint to manage our budget (our expenses and total debt are still tracked using Quicken and Excel). So far we have found it to be more intuitive than Quicken, and much easier than Excel.

Since part of the purpose of this blog is to share with you our efforts to pay off over $100,000 in debt, we want to share with you a breakdown of our monthly budget (click on the picture to see a larger version of the chart):

Monthly Budget Pie Chart

Housing Costs – 40%

As you can see, the biggest monthly expense that we have is our rent. We pay out 34% of our take-home income in rent. We definitely don’t live in luxury and we are actually getting a great deal (a few hundred dollars a month cheaper than comparable places) for where we are, but it’s hard to live in New Jersey and not have rent/mortgage take up a huge chunk of your income.

Other Housing Costs

We also pay all utilities (gas, electric, water, and sewer) and when you add those (5%) in, you’re looking at almost 40% of our income gone! Actually, when you add in the small amount for rental insurance (listed as 0% in the chart), then we hit 40% exactly.

Debt Repayment – 32%

This is the category that breaks our heart. There are several expenses that fit into this group…

Credit Card Payments – 15%

Like I said on Periscope, our minimum payments add up to about 13% of this amount. The only way we would be happy paying this much to credit card companies is if the minimum payments took up about 5% of our income and we were throwing an extra 10% pay down the debt faster.

We are still using the debt avalanche to pay down our debt, but starting with such a small additional payment will make this process take much longer than desired.

Student Loans – 10%

Yes, we pay a dime on the dollar toward our student loans. The interest rates are as low as we are going to get them, so we just have to deal with this until we have them completely paid off – they are the lowest priority in our debt elimination plan.

Car Payment – 7%

There isn’t much to say about this. We were forced to replace our vehicle over the summer (after holding out for as long as we could) and this car note is going to be with us for a while. Now that I think about it, this is actually the lowest priority for us to repay because the interest rate is even lower than the student loans.

Speaking of our car, we also pay out 6% of our income to insure it and 3% to fuel it each month.

Groceries & Other Supplies – 11%

Looking at the items listed above, we’ve already at 81% before eating or buying supplies!

Groceries – 9%

Our grocery budget has been pretty stable for a while, but the actual expenses fluctuate when we lack discipline and choose to eat out a lot during a month. However, we are committed to cracking down on eating out, so we expect this number to remain steady.

Vitamins & Home Supplies – 2%

This is for things that typically get counted against groceries in most households: Clorox, dish detergent, body wash, shampoo, and other cleaning and hygiene supplies. We also buy a good amount of vitamins and supplements that either aid with our health problems or are for general dietary supplementation.

Giving & Misc. – 8%

Giving – 5%

If you follow us over at our main website (KNS Financial), then you know how passionate we are about the topic of giving. In fact, we even have a free course on worshipful giving that people can take if they want to honor God with how they give.

That is why this is by far the most painful part of our budget. We would love to give 20 or 30% of our income, but instead we are stuck doing 5% because of the debt that we have. This is why we can say that we are in debt bondage. We are not free to give like we want because our debt causes us to act differently than how our true priorities would lead us.

Misc. – 3%

This includes everything else that we have budgeted: Dry cleaning, parking, clothing, registration, dining out etc. These things are so small that they are pretty insignificant even when two or three are added together (most of them show up as 0% on the chart).

What’s Missing?

As you can see, we don’t have a budgeted amount for savings. We have 5% of our gross income saved through my employer – and they match that with 8% of their money. However, we do not have any additional savings for retirement or for short-term expenses. This is something that we will be correcting in the next few months.

Also, we need to take out life insurance on Sherrian. Even though she isn’t bringing home an income that will have to be replaced, there will be costs associated with her death that I need to be prepared for. In addition to those costs, I need to be prepared for the reality of not being as productive as normal for a while – it may take a while for me to get back to earning at full capacity.

What Do You Think?

Any questions or comments about our budget? How does this stack up to your budget? I’m curious to see if any of you who tracks this has a higher amount of your income going to housing costs and debt repayment as us.


We have now completed two full weeks of our journey to lose 250lbs (yes, I used the j-word), and we are here to reflect on how it went for us.

So this post is where we update you about how we’ve been eating, exercising, and sticking to our plan throughout the week. It’s where we demonstrate if we’ve actually been disciplined or if we were simply all talk

Weigh In

Food: How’d We Do?

Khaleef: Eating was a little bit difficult last week because we weren’t able to purchase any groceries. So we were living off of soups and stews and pairing them with rice (and a little asparagus).

I increased my calories from 1,800 to 2,200 and I think things went fine. For the most part, I am being flexible with how much I eat each day, while I figure out a good routine to be in.

Sherrian: Once again, a pretty decent week. I was able to stick to my calories, but there were a couple days I didn’t want the food that was in the house. In particular, we didn’t have any bread and I got sick of rice as my main starch, haha.

Exercise: How’d We Do?

Khaleef: I wanted to walk at least 6,500 steps for at least 5 days last week. Unfortunately, I only hit that number 3 times in the last week. I did feel good about the fact that I got in a few good walks and I have been motivated to raise my heart rate even when walking back to my car from a building.

Sherrian: This week mirrored last week, but at least I know why I am not feeling well! I have a sinus infection I need to take care of. It’s a pain in the butt, but I am glad I’m diagnosed, it’s temporary, and I’ll be over it soon so I can start something!

You Want To See Our Faces, Don’t You?

Of course you do. We posted a video on our YouTube weight loss channel talking about our weight, getting a new start, and our goals for the upcoming week. Watch the video below or click here if reading via email:


Khaleef here: Last week I weighed 310.8, and this week I came in at 309.6. So that means I lost 1.2lbs over the last week, and I’m down 14lbs from my high of 323.6. A 1.2lb loss after a 6lb loss is surely a big drop, however, I’m not worried since the first loss is usually the largest (water weight accounts for the bulk of this loss) and I increased my calories last week.

Sherrian: I’m down 2.4 lbs this week! I had to put this one below Khaleef’s answer so you can see I lost twice as much as he did!!! Yes, I am being petty, but this is probably the ONLY time this will ever happen. I just want to enjoy this little bit of not-really-being-competitive-ness while I can .

You Want To Lose What?

You read that title correctly. We want to lose 250lbs combined. Once we are both comfortable with sharing our weight, then we will talk about how that goal breaks down between the two of us.

We have now lost 18.6lbs as a couple and have 231.4lbs to go in order to hit our goal. Even though certain people want to point out their numbers against mine, I won’t bring up how these 18.6lbs are distributed. 

So now this blog has turned into the story of us losing 250lbs while paying off over $100k of debt at the same time!

Next Week’s Focus:

Sherrian: My goals are the same as last week since I couldn’t accomplish them perfectly. 100 oz of water daily and at least one weight lifting session. Sigh.

Fat Guy (Khaleef is boring): I still want to get at least 6,500 steps in at least 5 days. I would also like to get in at least one cardio session so I can figure out what kind of exercises I can do that won’t cause my back to seize up – I just have to take a break from working and make time for this).

Follow us on social media so you can support us and hold us accountable!

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