Well, despite what the title hints at, I came in well under budget this month. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?
This is obviously a catch-all category for unanticipated expenses, plus saved savings (any money I save with coupons or sales on things I would have bought anyway).
This month included life insurance, an item from Amazon, saved savings on some shampoo and face cleaner ($20 on the face cleaner — thanks CVS CarePass and Extrabux!) and the Banfield pet plan. Guess I should start making a separate category for pet?
It was a quiet month for obvious reasons, so there weren’t many unanticipated costs. Hence I only spent about half of what I assumed I would.
Came in a little under here simply because I didn’t have to do much laundry this month. Even with Mom here, it’s generally about one load every five to seven days. And since I’m not going anywhere, I’m using exclusive sports bras; so no need to do a separate handwash-cycle load for bras.
For those of you who are newer to this blog: This money isn’t spent at a laundromat. Instead, I transfer $3.50 into a Washer/Dryer fund each time I do a load of laundry. Thanks goes to Mom for that brilliant idea! And I now have almost $1,400 saved up for new machines. (Long may the current ones live!)
I budget for two fill-ups a month, since I average a tank about every three weeks. For obvious reasons, next month I’ll just plan for one. But I didn’t know better back in March when I made this budget, so I planned for two and came in at about half the expected amount.
Nothing broke this month!!! That’s like three months in a row. Oh crap, this means I’m overdue for something to go wrong, doesn’t it? And it’s probably going to be bad.
But for now, let’s focus on the positive. My only two “home” expenses were $60 to the yard guy and $30 for the service plan on my two HVAC units.
Came in just slightly under here because my lip wax got cancelled due to the pandemic. I mean… I wouldn’t have gone anyway, obviously. But the point is that no lip wax this month meant my being slightly under budget, even though I had to replace some shampoo.
Vastly under budget here. My contact lens solution is stretching longer than usual — as I’ve mentioned, I’m wearing my glasses more — so I didn’t have to buy any this past month. I did buy two face washes, but thanks to the aforementioned CVS CarePass ($10 Extrabux per month) and general Extrabux, I paid just $0.26. Woot!
I didn’t have to pay most of my premium this month since I’d been double-billed two months in a row. Honestly, I’m not even sure why I had to pay for what I’m assuming was Part A this month. But I don’t have the energy to call Medicare up and find out more information. I just… don’t.
Beyond that, I got one massage before the pandemic shut everything down. Well, technically the place is still open, but obviously I’m not going in. And I got auto-charged for my monthly massage after I’d gone in.
Luckily, those massages roll over for up to three months, so I may still be able to use it. To support a local business (even if I disagree with their staying open), I’m not suspending the auto-billing, even if I do lose out on a massage or two if this crap stretches on.
Beyond that, I had two therapy sessions ($25 copay for each), $58ish for prescriptions and supplements, my $24 premium for add-on dental/vision coverage and a couple of copays for tests/bloodwork.
I did go out three times before the shutdown swung into full action — something I regret, for the record. One house party, one night at a bar and one small gathering.
For obvious reasons, I’m budgeting $0 next month for this category.
We couldn’t get our act together to meet up the first week of this financial month. Then of course the shutdown happened.
So I was way under budget. Which is good because…
It’s ugly. And I have no excuses, just the explanation that I like to eat my feelings. This month, my feelings often looked like white pizza and cinnamon sticks, and the pizza place I go to is a little pricey (but soooo good).
I did also buy Mom a meal when we got Thai food. But the rest was all me.
Frankly, the overage is mainly that I just stopped caring. Partially because I knew spending would be so low in other categories. Partially because… Eh, what does anything really matter at this point?
The only reason I’m going to try to do better next month (and I’m still ratcheting up the budget for this category) is because I want to fit in my jeans when we’re allowed out again.
Ugh, what a mess this is!
In the past two months, I accounted for the charges accrued — apparently, without actually paying them. I swear I did but… Well, I’ll trust the electric company’s records more than my own memory. Though I suppose I should comb back through my credit card history to be sure.
Anyway, so about $95 of the charges I included in this category were already accounted for in previous months. But I also try to use this to get an accurate idea of how much I spend in a month. So leaving out the $95 of charges would also have been problematic.
So I just left it in as an overage.
The original plan had been to see a movie or two this month. Didn’t quite happen. Can’t imagine why.
So the only charges were Netflix and Hulu. So once again I came in nicely under budget for un-nice reasons.
Yeah, so…. Ever so slightly over here. Ahem.
But I do have Mom here now, and we did a big stock-up trip when she first got here. I think it’s the most I’ve ever spent on groceries in one trip. It was right around $107. Ouch ouch ouch.
Still, spending from now on shouldn’t be too much over the norm now that we’re stocked up for a while. But since there’s now two of us (I insist on buying the groceries, since she won’t let me pay for her ticket down here), I’m budgeting more for next month.
And as a reminder, the grocery budget’s number is semi-artificial. I bought this month’s protein bars using discount gift cards from Raise (through Mr. Rebates, naturally), and the GCs have been accounted for in a previous month’s budget. So I can’t account for them here without making things confusing.
But this system does mean that there’s another $76ish of groceries not accounted for in the $291.20. So yeah, this month’s groceries were pretty bad.
Luckily, as I said now we mainly just need maintenance stuff from week to week, so I expect the spending to be lower next month. Especially if I can cut out some of the junk food by lowering how much I stress eat.
Even with extreme overages in the takeout and grocery categories, it was a low-spend month. Not shocking given that I didn’t go anywhere and I only got charged about 1/3 of my usual insurance premium amount.
Still, even if it was more or less forced savings, I’ll count this as a win.
Changes next month will be $0 for Going Out and Trivia Food and a significant increase in Takeout. Plus a bit more in the Grocery category.
Because this lockdown isn’t (or shouldn’t be) ending before mid-May. And even if it does, I’m going to do my best to avoid the temptation to go out much. So I might as well accept that this coming month I’ll still be stress-eating (or, as I like to think of it, “supporting local restaurants”) and not going out.
How did you do on your budget last month? I’m guessing most folks came in under their usual spending.