Well, this is my third month tracking my expenses to see if I can stick to a budget. In the interim, I’m still living on a set weekly amount (and trying to make those “weeks” last more than seven days). But if I can nail down some categories’ spending, I might switch to a good old fashioned budget.
So let’s see how I did:
|Going Out||250||126.11||123.89||Plus $10|
On the face of it, not great since I went over budget. But that was unavoidable, as you’ll see later in this post.
Expenses were mainly pretty low this month. The major ding came when I bought $83.59 worth of food and litter at PETCO. I used a discounted gift card — one already accounted for in a previous month’s budget — so maybe this shouldn’t even be listed here but… Meh.
Out of the remaining $128.64 spent in this category, $67.44 was just saved savings. So that’s some pretty good “spending.”
I also took out $20 of walking around money twice, bought a couple of thrift store shirts, got some cleaning supplies from Dollar Tree, etc.
I decided to broaden this category a bit to include home upkeep as well as repairs. So in this case, there was $60 of yardwork and the bimonthly $84ish charge from Orkin plus two $15 charges for warranty/service plans on my HVAC units.
But no repairs. Hooray! I wonder if I should I start banking whatever I don’t spend for months when there are overages. Thoughts?
Small overage here because I did an extra load of laundry while Mom was here. Nothing terribly scintillating.
As usual, a full tank lasts me about three weeks, so I have to budget for two fill-ups a month. But most months this category will come in under budget.
Okay, first of all, if you’re wondering about the “Plus $0.49 note” — that just refers to the fact that I paid something out of my walking around money. Since I account for that money under Miscellaneous, I don’t include it in the spent total so as to not count it twice.
This month the overage was for a pretty good reason: I stocked up on primer and a replacement eyeshadow palette for $55.39 total. Yes, that’s a lot but these products last me forever.
Between that and my haircut/color being $5 more than usual (depending on where the student is in the program, a cut is either $15 or $20), the overage is accounted for and pretty understandable.
Came in waaaaay under budget here. The only thing I had to buy was some body wash, and I used some coupons to get it for $2.49. (By the way, ye gods but body wash prices are out of control!)
Next month, I’ll be closer to the limit because I’ll need more Aveeno lotion and contact lens solution and such. But I’ll celebrate this victory at least.
Of course, the month that I make a big fuss about raising my budget in this category, I come in well under the new limit. But there are worse things in the world than not spending all available funds.
This amount included five dates (drinks or Lyft rides or both) and three rides to and one ride from my friend Kevin’s parties. (I got friends to take me home the other two times.)
The “plus $10” refers to chipping in $5 for pizza at two of the parties. Again, this came out of my walking around money, so I didn’t count it in the total.
If the budgeted total seems lower than usual, you’re not imagining things. Since I stocked up on protein bars on Black Friday, I wasn’t going to need to buy any this month. So I deducted that cost from the usual $225.
I went over slightly in this category, as you can see, but part of that included stocking groceries for my mom and a $14.33 charge for ginger beer for Moscow mules on game night. So I think I did just fine overall.
This is where I had the most trouble. Medicare didn’t get my mailed premium before it sent out the new bill, so I had to make a double payment. Meaning that I paid $793.20 instead of the usual $396.60.
Then my left contact fell out at some point. (Thanks to the weak prescription, I didn’t notice until that night when I spent a good five minutes trying to take out something that wasn’t there.) So I had to pay $90 for a replacement. Then my $37/month prescription got filled for three months.
Sll in all, pretty good reasons for going over in this category.
Lest you be impressed with my self-control… Well, don’t be. I came in under budget here because we only did trivia twice this month, and I budget for four times. Hopefully, we get back on track soon with that.
Barely squeaked by on this one! I ate far too many pizzas and cinnamon sticks last month. But the good news is that once I hit just under $50 I forced myself to stop ordering out rather than just say, “Oh well, guess I’m blowing the budget.” So it’s nice to see my willpower peek its head out.
I count my $79.99 business Internet in this, which I’m not sure I should be doing. On the one hand, it does come out of money I make. On the other, it’s money I keep back in my business account, not my personal monthly funds. But it’s a big expense not to mention somewhere so… Again, thoughts?
Anyway, I came in $12 under budget there, which is nice.
The charges this month were just for Hulu and Netflix.
I’m actually a little bummed I’m so far under budget here because I’d budgeted enough for a movie or two (if I went on cheap nights). So being this far under budget means I just never made it out to the films. I’ll work on this next month.
Expenses not mentioned
I paid my semi-annual car insurance premium: $792.50. That accident I had last year definitely jacked up my rates, but there’s nothing to do but pay the damn thing and decide whether I want to drop down to just collision coverage.
Then there’s of course my mortgage at $599.57. I don’t count that in the budget because I always make additional payments on the principal using rent money and saved savings. This month, I was able to make a bit more than a double payment ($1,380!!!) so that definitely would’ve skewed the budget.
And I don’t list my charitable contributions because I’m not comfortable disclosing that amount. Especially because I’ve been falling down on the job recently at making contributions so it’s been super low. Eesh. I’ll work on it.
All in all
Overall, it was a pretty good budget month. Yes, I technically went over the budget by $330ish, but remember my healthcare costs this month were more than $500 over what was expected. And since it was from a double billing, costs will be down in future months in that category. So I’d say spending-wise it was actually a pretty decent month!
How did your spending go last month?