January Foster Care Budget

I get questions quite a bit about my monthly budget for my foster kids (about how many dollars do I spend each month on costs associated ONLY with foster parenting). I don't accept any checks or form of reimbursement. It's a choice I made when I first began fostering. I don't make -a lot- of money, but I make enough to support myself and my kids. I thought it was really important that I can show my kids that they are not associated with a dollar sign. And I wanted to 'walk the walk', rather than just 'talk the talk'. With that being said- I've decided to start a 'Monthly Budget Post', where each month I will tally up the approximate amount of US dollars I've spent each month, fostering. This is the first month, January 2015. I've tried to keep track of all of my purchases. These purchases account for three kids ages 5 to 12.

Groceries (these are groceries I've purchased specifically for the kids- not myself, or family meals in general. These only account for additional purchases made solely for the children) :
Breakfast Cereal: $10
Oatmeal: $10
Waffle-Making Supplies (flour, sugar, etc): $10
Different Flavors of Syrup: $20
Cheese, Meat, and Crackers For School Lunches: $20
Sandwich Supplies For School Lunches: $20
Fruit and Veggies For School Lunches: $20
Granola Bars: $15
Fruit Leather/ Organic Fruit Snacks: $25
Apple Sauce: $15
Popcorn: $20
TOTAL: $175

New Electronic Toothbrushes: $15
New Toothpaste: $5
Hair Comb: $2
Shampoo/Conditioner: $10
TOTAL: $32

School/ Court Meetings/ Family Visitations: $60
TOTAL: $60

Pencil Sharpener: $5
Volcano-Making Kit: $15
Poster-Board, Markers, Glitter-Pens: $10
TOTAL: $30

Underwear: $15
TOTAL: $15

Movies/ DVDs (including rentals): $20
Books: $15
New Sleds: $30
TOTAL: $65


NOTE: An important thing to keep in mind is that this 'budget' does not account for any extra groceries I buy for daily meals like dinner- which I would be cooking for myself anyways, I just make more now (which is probably another $200 to $250 total each month). It also doesn't cover any of the costs of bringing a new child into my home.

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