A Week In Dallas, TX, On A $45,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.
This week, we're featuring moms and their spending during the back-to-school rush. Per Deloitte, in the United States alone, back-to-school season is the second biggest shopping season of the year, "touching 29 million households and accounting for $27 billion in sales." Since women are usually responsible for household purchases, wherever they are in the country or in the world, we wanted to see what it's like for women with children of a variety of ages, in a variety of locations.
Today: a homemaker who makes $45,000 per year. This week, she spends money on art smocks.
Occupation: Homemaker
Industry: Family Services
Age: 28
Location: Dallas, Texas
Salary: $45,000. This is my husband's salary that he earns as a teacher at a private school. It doesn't include his freelance work or the Etsy shop that I run, but it's the consistent salary we primarily budget from. When we got married, we started the process of joining our finances. After I gave birth to our three-year-old twins, we decided that I would stay home for our children's preschool years and we combined our money completely. We each have some savings accounts in our individual names, but our money is effectively joined in every regard.
Paycheck (Once Per Month): $3,750, plus about $500/month for side freelance work and my Etsy shop
Monthly Expenses
Housing: $1,400 rental home
Loan Payments: $0. We aren't carrying any debt at this time, as we paid off our student loans and cars off before having our kiddos.
All Other Monthly Expenses
Cell Phones: $120 for both my husband and me
Life Insurance & Short-Term Disability: $100 for both my husband and me
Car insurance: $130
Water, Gas & Trash: ~$60
Electricity: ~$100 — especially in Texas summer
Netflix: $10
Savings: We have about $35,000 in savings accounts, as well as each having 401(k)s from our past and current employers. We are on the hunt for a house right now, so our savings is being kept liquid to use as a downpayment.
401(k): $225 pre-tax. My husband's employer matches 3.5%.
Insurance: $350 for family insurance and share plan for kids and me. My husband is covered 100% by his employer.

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