Archive for the ‘Budget’ Category

November 2009 budget

November 1, 2009

As always, I’m a little bit late in finishing up last month’s budget (have a few more receipts to track down), but really wanted to post November before the 1st is over.

november2009budget

Our main financial goal this month is to save/invest $5000.

This will be easy as pie as long as we don’t go over budget.

And actually…just realized I didn’t put our car payment on there. Oops! It’ll be $200.

I was very generous with our bill and trip categories, so maybe we’ll still be around $3600 in total spending. We’ll see!

Advertisements

September 2009 Budget

September 1, 2009

september2009budget

In an effort to streamline the budget, I consolidated some categories. I added our cell phone bill to all the household bills. The $30 a month that goes to our adopted Venezuelan kid is now with Other Charity. Dry cleaning is included in Work Related (since we only dry clean Mr D2S’s work clothes). And in case anyone cares for distinction, Household includes boring stuff like laundry soap, while House encompasses mostly decor items.

Special Categories for September:

Trip: We’re going out-of-state for four days to attend a family wedding. Lodging is covered (thanks, in-laws!), but we’ll need to pay for a rental car, food, and fun.

Gifts: We need to purchase three gifts for weddings (the one mentioned above, plus two this summer that we were unable to attend), we have a new nephew that surely needs something cute, and a couple family birthdays are just around the corner.

August 2009 Review

August 31, 2009

august2009review

August is over (or close enough, since we’ve declared tomorrow a no-spend day) and it’s time to look at where our money is going. I put smiley or un-smiley faces next to each category to indicate my feelings, hehe.

Car – We spent a lot more on gas than I thought we would when we started the month, but I had to work out-of-town twice, and we also visited family twice. I’ll get around $200 for my mileage, so that will really take care of most of the gas expenses for the whole month! And like I wrote in the previous post, we got rid of my car, and will hopefully see some savings from that.

Groceries – Spot on, and we hosted a few dinners! I thought we were quite a bit over, but once I looked at receipts and put some purchases into household (like flowers, shampoo, dishwashing soap), it knocked us to right under.

Work eating out – This one is usually my nemesis, but I’m cutting myself some slack for eating out when I worked out-of-town. Also I met up with Mr D2S three times for dinner when he was working, and that is always fun.

Work-related – Mr D2S needed new work shoes, and I finally got a new pair of pants. I’ve been thinking I’d buy more work clothes ever since I graduated, but this is my first purchase!

Household – Such a catch-all category. 1/3 of that was for a haircut for me.

Eating Out/Entertainment – I wrote about this one at length. Even after that hard look at what we were doing, we still slipped up and ate out a couple times when we probably shouldn’t have. But that’s okay, right? When we’re SINKs with a bunch of kiddos, we’ll really miss those nights out at restaurants!!

Church/Charity/Miguel – Finally, we’re giving closer to what we should! It feels good.

Fun Money – Mine all went to clothes and a couple presents. Still thinking about returning a dress (about $30), but am not sure. If I can think of a place I’ll wear it to, then I’ll keep it.

Bills – Clearly, my estimate was way low. Luckily, though, some of this was one-time fees because it was our first full month living in our new home. I’m gonna post more about bills later.

House – I didn’t have any specific plans for buying things for the house, but still budgeted a chunk, just in case. All I put in this category was a new digital camera (on sale for 22.93!!!) and a serving dish I also bought on sale.

What’s all the Extra Spending??

$1408 – two round-trip tickets to Europe. 🙂 🙂

$122.13 – new cell phone for Mr D2S because his died on him. We’ll actually get a rebate on it, but I’m not sure how much. Maybe I should make sure he remembers about this…

$922.26 – elliptical machine. Yikes, huh? We’d talked about getting one for a very long time (before we were even married and living together, actually) and it just seemed to be the right time. We bought Consumer Reports Best Buy at a good price. We borrowed a truck and saved the delivery and assembly fees. I really hope that this investment lasts us a long time and gets us both in good shape!

Of course there are things I wish we would’ve done differently (mostly not ate out so much), there are things that I wish hadn’t happened (the husband’s phone breaking), things that I wish we could’ve had money saved up for (the elliptical, the plane tickets…but really we spent all of our savings on our down payment)…

However, I am happy with a two key points.

1) If you ignore the Extra Spending, we were $90 under projected budget. Maybe I’m getting better at this guessing thing!

2) We spent less than we made (by $2590.83). That’s not as much as I wanted to put into savings, but it’s a nice cushion.

August is Half Over…

August 14, 2009

It’s mid-August, and I’m not starting another year of school. It’s so weird after 19 years to not have the whole back-to-school thing going on…

Anyways, here’s how we’re doing, money-wise:

  • We have barely touched our car money ($34.21/$400), but both of our cars are now pretty low on gas. We’re probably driving to visit our parents this weekend (it’s so handy that both sets live near each other!), and I am working out of town twice next week, so we’ll definitely do some filling up. Also, one of my tires has a slow leak that should probably be fixed at some point…
  • Only have about $80 left for groceries. This will be tough, seeing as how we have very little in the house.
  • Have almost used 2/3 of our work eating out money. I keep underbudgetting, thinking I’ll stop using so much of it. I really do pack my lunch most days, but when I work 12 hour shifts, it’s hard not to buy something to eat at some point, and I count it as this category. Also so far this month, I have met Mr D2S for dinner one night.
  • We’ve gone overbudget with our Eating Out/Entertainment category. That could be a post in it’s own…
  • We’ve busted on our charitable giving , but this one makes me happy!
  • I’ve used my share of Fun Money, plus the husband’s too. I rarely buy stuff for myself, but I did get some deals on clothes, and bought a couple birthday presents. I’m also very tempted to buy some new clothes (or shoes, or both) for this interview I have next week. I already have the promotion, basically, but this interview is a formality. And one I’m nervous about. So maybe new shoes would help. 🙂

July 2009 Review

August 4, 2009

july2009review

Well, I finally finished up July’s budget. As I already mentioned, we went way overboard with our House category. Our place does look good, though. 🙂

Two unplanned expense: our dog went to the vet ($205.52) and we bought plane tickets to go to a family wedding this fall ($517.80). We knew these things would happen eventually, but because we drained our savings for our down payment and closing, we didn’t have it set aside.

I made our car budget really high, thinking we’d put the leftover in our Car Fund, but because our checking is (relatively) low, I didn’t transfer anything.

Groceries….man, insane. We didn’t have much to start out with (thanks to our low budget last month and the fact that we moved), but I still think we overspent for what we got.

I blame myself on the Work Eating Out. I had to drive quite a bit for my job and the lure of Taco Bell and McDonald’s couldn’t be resisted. I still packed my lunch, but I did eat dinner on the road.

Eating Out/Entertainment: This one we overdid it, but I’m okay with that. We went to three movies (more than we went to all of last year probably), and took my sister and her husband out for their birthdays. We also just clearly ate out a lot. It was usually with friends/family and we had fun.

The Medical is because I carried it over from last month. I need to start keeping a stash for our next unexpected Medical thing because our deductible is now $500 (meaning we’d pay $250 more).

I could’ve fudged the numbers more (like how I started the month early and carried stuff from June over), but it’s all the same in the end, right? I was just a little curious how much we actually spent, so it’s all there. We spent more than we made, but our funds never got scary low, thanks to our credit card and the fact that Mr D2S gets paid right before the end of the month (but I actually count it as the next month’s pay).

Oh, another thing to note: we’re pathetic about giving to other charities. Maybe we should just up our weekly contributions to the Church. Or at the very least, give a large lump sum later in the year. We’ll see…

July 2009 Midpoint

July 16, 2009

july2009midpoint

Halfway through the month, and we’ve already busted on stuff.

Groceries are killing us. One trip to Sam’s Club and we were doomed. But we did host dinner for 12 people and we shouldn’t have to spend too much more to get us through the month.

I kept the House spending separate, as you can tell, in the last row. I think we’re closer to budget actually, because I’ve yet to adjust for some stuff. (i.e., the $500 Target trip was put in this category, but a fair chunk was normal household items that need to be itemized out, and we’re returning a weedeater, thanks to the father-in-law donating his!).

I am fudging the numbers again, though. Postponing recording our recent furniture purchases until next month and such…

July 2009 Budget

July 2, 2009

budget july09 start

I have a feeling we’re gonna bust. This is because we’ve already spent over $1600. Yikes!

I’ll try to stay positive though, and get into a frugal mindset. It’s just tough when you’re in the middle of moving, realizing you “need” lots of stuff, and eating out is just so convenient.

And…as I look over the budget, I realize we didn’t account for two wedding presents that need to be purchased. Hmmm.

June 2009 Review

July 2, 2009

budget june09 final
Something’s off. I really think we spent 1239.48, but I don’t have the time to figure out how that extra ten bucks got in there. The reason I think it is ten dollars high is because below this part of the spreadsheet I have a section where I post spending for each day of the month (Date/Place/Amount/Category), and when I total those amounts, it’s 1239.48. Oh well.

It looks like we really did awesome for June. Very minimum spending. In all honesty, it’s a little bit fudged. A fudget, if you will. I stopped June’s budget at the end of the 28th, because we bought our house on the 29th and the money started flowing like crazy out of our accounts. Also, there was some spending I actually didn’t record, but pushed it ahead to July. (Examples are two medical bills. I put them on the credit card, which was paid off on the 29th, which I consider part of my July budget. Usually if I charge something to our card, or write a check even, I consider it spent the day I do that, not the day I pay it off or the day the check posts. But on occasion, I like to fudget.)

Onto a recap:

Cars – I aimed high in hopes of having enough to pay for Mr D2S’s car registration. He ended up getting that on the 30th, so it’s in July’s budget and now it just seems we drove a lot/gas is pricey.

Eating out – This wouldn’t have busted, but on the 28th, we were desperate for Taco Bell, and also earlier in the month we ate out on a giftcard, but tipped super good.

Church – I feel bad about cutting the Church short, but on the last Sunday of the month we were trying to not write any more checks (to keep our account nice and full for the closing) and all we had was a $20 to give.

Unplanned – In addition to buying my grandparents a trashcan (which they loved and took pictures of), I bought Mr D2S a small birthday gift. An Entertainment Book for $10. I purchased it back in May, but didn’t record it in case he actually looked at our spending and wondered what I was up to.

Here is our take-home for June:

Mr D2S: 2855.54
Mrs D2S: 6404.82
Total: 9260.36

My pay from May got delay…ed (ha, rhyming fun!), so June looked better than it technically was.

June 2009 Midpoint

June 15, 2009

The month is half over. How are we doing?june2009midpoint

“Household” has already busted, thanks to the need of a new printer cartridge. We’ve been printing quite a bit, getting papers ready for the closing of our house.

“Unplanned” just consists of the cost of a belated Mother’s Day gift for my grandma. We knew what we wanted to buy, but life got too busy last month, and I honestly forgot about it until I ran across the gift in a store the other day.

Our budget is so tight, but I’d be so proud if we had a little left when the month is over.

We’ll see!

June 2009 Budget

May 31, 2009

june2009budget

I tried to make everything as low as possible. The less we spend, the more we’ll have when it’s time to close on our house.

The one category that is definitely higher than I’d like is “car”. While we shouldn’t drive as much as May, and while hopefully gas prices will go down, Mr. D2S has to renew the registration on his car (something like $80).

Our food (groceries & eating out) budget is really low, especially compared to how much we just spent. We have a decent amount of food currently in the house, and I’m more than willing to eat beans & rice, rice & beans for many meals. We also have a fair amount in gift cards to restaurants, so we’ll be able to still treat ourselves.

We usually donate $120 a month to a charity of our choice, but we’ll push this back to a later date. As long as we give a good percentage to charity in the end, I’m happy.

I didn’t budget for Father’s Day, because we have two small gifts for each of our dads already, plus we have a giftcard that we might use to buy them each a book.

The other big event in June is Mr. D2S’s birthday. Like I mentioned, the gun and accessories are considered his birthday gift, so I don’t need to budget for anything.