Well, another month of tracking expenses and sorta-kinda trying to keep to a specified budget.
I meant to make a more concerted effort to stay within the confines of the budget this month, but a few things — especially the cold (which brought with it a lot of takeout) and lots of Tinder-ing — blew the budget. And these weren’t things I felt like tamping down. So the budget was significantly wrecked in a few categories. But surprisingly, the overall results were pretty good.
Here’s how the numbers broke down:
|Food at trivia||50||0||50|
As a reminder, this doesn’t include my mortgage or charitable giving. I don’t include my mortgage because I make extra payments, so I’d always show as over budget. I don’t include charitable giving because I’m not comfortable sharing that number.
This category is a catch-all for all the fun expenses that crop up that I forget to account for or couldn’t possibly foresee.
This month that included stamps, a 2020 calendar, some cleaning supplies, a last-minute gift for someone who announced she was getting me something, three shirts at the thrift store (on 50% off day, of course), Josie’s Banfield plan and $20 in walking around money.
This is significantly lower than last month’s expenditures (even taking into the account that home repairs are now a separate category). I don’t know if this means I’m overbudgeting here or not. I’ll give it another month or two before I adjust.
Predictably, stuff went wrong home-wise this financial period. I had to call the plumbers in for a leak in the guest house and to help me deal with my reverse osmosis system. Looks like I budgeted nearly perfectly on this one.
Because of the cold, I did one fewer load of laundry this month, so I came in a bit under budget. But being too sick and miserable to change out of your PJs, thereby generating less laundry, is a pretty crappy way to save money.
Eesh, I saved almost nothing on retail purchases this month! Honestly, it feels weird to have a category where I’ll probably often come in under budget (and where, if I’m over budget, it’s a good thing). So I may just start lumping saved savings in with Miscellaneous.
Just barely over budget here. That’s because I forgot to budget for a $3 tip for my eyebrow wax, and I had to get a replacement eye shadow for one that ran out. (But I was happily able to find a suitable one at the dollar store!)
Otherwise, it was the normal cut/color and some beauty services I get, including an eyebrow wax. Pretty boring.
Hoo boy, a super exciting haul this month (not). This included cold meds, two bottles of contact lens solution and some moisturizer. I’m a personal care fiend, I tell ya!
I went slightly over here because I ended up needing a second bottle of contact lens solution in a single month. I’m apparently very liberal with my Simplus usage.
The difference in costs is simply because my electric bill went down $30 for the winter. Otherwise, everything was pretty much spot-on.
So yeah I was nearly $78 (aka more than 50%) over budget here. Fun fact, I spent $123.85 on ride shares to/from dates this month. That’s 83% of the intended monthly budget right there. I feel a little sick.
The rest of the going-out funds were spent on rides to/from the New Year’s Eve party ($26), $46 on drinks/pool table rentals for the dates, an item for a white elephant event ($11), a quesadilla at one of my MeetUp events ($7) and some liquor for future house parties at my friend Kevin’s place ($11.98).
It strikes me that my social life is weird, when you break it down.
Big savings here — which isn’t as impressive as it sounds. It’s simply that we had no trivia nights this month due to holidays and everyone’s schedule being super busy. Sigh.
Wowza but this budget was horribly blown! By more than 100%. That’s embarrassing.
As I mentioned at the start of this post, a lot of this had to do with getting comfort food while I was sick. Pizza isn’t cheap, and I got a bunch of it.
Hopefully, next month I’ll have more self-discipline (and zero illnesses) and can get back to a more reasonable spending level in this category. If nothing else, I need to keep the takeout intake low because I need to lose some weight. So perhaps that’ll keep me motivated?
I had budgeted more this month than in past months, in case I wanted to hit any movies on cheap Tuesdays. But I didn’t make it to the movie theater at all this month, so the only expenses were for Netflix and Hulu.
This is an artificially low amount because I didn’t pay for protein bars ($76.80) this month since I bought so many for Black Friday. If I had purchased protein bars, I would’ve been over-budget, which is disappointing.
Some of the would-be overage is the glut of unnecessary food I bought for Christmas Eve/Christmas Day pigging out. That explains probably $20 of the total. Another $18 was food for game night.
One day I’d really like to get my food spending under $200 even with the protein bars, but I guess we’ll see whether I can stick to my diet. It’s buying the extraneous stuff that’s hurting the bottom line.
Nothing too exotic here. My Medicare premium went up $20ish. And I had $29ish in unexpected copays. Plus I paid for three months’ worth of one (admittedly very cheap) medication, which was an additional $15ish.
Now that I know my Medicare premium rose, I’ll need to change next month’s budget a bit to compensate.
I fill up about once every three weeks. This means that quite a few months will have a total of just over $30. But since I can’t keep track of when I last filled it, I have to just budget for two fill-ups per month. So this is yet another sort of artificial under-budget moment.
Despite the ridiculous overages in a couple places, this was a pretty cheap month!
Alas — but also yay! — Tinder activity doesn’t seem to be slowing down. So I expect to once again spend a lot on ride shares and some drinks. The literal cost of a social life, I guess?
This month I am going to try to be a bit pickier about who I actually meet in person, avoiding guys I’m too lukewarm about. This should ensure I have fewer meh dates, which is good since those end up being a wasted money on ride shares to/from the bar.
How did your guys’ spending go last month?