Posts Tagged ‘monthly budget review’

August 2009 Review

August 31, 2009


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.


July 2009 Review

August 4, 2009


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…

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.

May 2009 Review

May 31, 2009


At first glance, I would think I should be embarrassed. We spent $425.81 more than we made! But if I break it down, it looks better than it is….

Car: Most of this was fuel. We drove a lot this month, and gas prices are getting high again. $40 bucks were put on our toll card. I set my projection high on this, hoping we’d have some left to put in our car fund. Clearly, that’s not happening…

Groceries: I didn’t even realize how much I’d spent in this category, and am pleasantly surprised that it’s near goal. Next month, my goal is going to be a lot lower, but I’ll discuss that more later.

Household: The thing that really put us over is that I bought razor cartridges for Mr. D2S when I saw them on sale. Almost $50 worth! I think he should grow a beard. 😉

Eating out (work): Mr. D2S works four days a week and usually buys a meal. It’s not the most frugal thing, of course, but I’m fine with us spending the money. He had a few odd days that led to him either getting a free meal or bringing his own lunch, so we were way under goal for this category. I always plan to pack my lunch, but around $6 is my spending.

Dry cleaning: I really feel like we must’ve spent more than nine bucks, but unfortunately we usually pay cash, and often times Mr. D2S picks it up (and forgets to tell me), so I can’t be sure.

Fun Money: This category probably needs a new name. Almost all of this was spent on us eating out. We treated my in-laws once, a friend another time, but mostly, it was just the two of us. Two expensive meals were due to us being out of town (for my job). Other things paid for in this category: a zoo trip and a show. I feel bad that we spent so much, especially when I think that we still maxed out our grocery budget.

Clothing: We really hardly ever buy clothes. I did buy a dress for my graduation, a skirt (that I decided I don’t need), a shirt for work, and two pairs of shoes. (The second pair was necessary because the first gave me blisters at my graduation!) Mr. D2S needed to be restocked on undershirts, underwear, and socks. I thought I would buy more clothes for my job, but decided against it when I realized how quickly we were blowing through money.

Graduation: I thought graduating meant that you were gonna make money, not spend it! Well…that’s true, but this event was still expensive for us. Exams ($590), hotel, paying for a dog-sitter, treating my entire family (20+ people) to pizza…all that added up.

Medical/Window: This is due to the aforementioned flying bug fiasco. I didn’t want to include it in last month’s budget, so I charged it and we paid it early in May. (Usually when I put stuff on our credit card, I show that we pay for it in the budget the day of purchase, not the day of payment.)

Regarding our “Set” categories, the only thing really worth mentioning is that we slacked off on our charitable giving. We’ll eventually get caught up on that by giving more than we normally would in the future. What we normally give will be increasing soon, as our income is a lot higher. (Oh, and also, I didn’t pay for our DirecTV because my landlord, who is my sister, owed me roughly $45.)

Unplanned categories…

Gun: Mr. D2S has wanted a handgun for months, and while we should’ve been setting money aside for it, we really hadn’t. He stumbled across a good deal, and I told him to get it. The gun + ammo + holster = his early birthday present.

Nephew stuff: My brother’s family was in town for my graduation and I paid for diapers, milk, and baby food.

Mother’s Day: I realize I should’ve seen this one coming, but I didn’t really plan for the buying of gifts. We bought my mom a gift in April. We bought my mother-in-law something from a catalog (that she picked out) and then bought groceries and made lunch. We will recoup some of this money because included in the grocery tab were some flip-flops that Mr. D2S sweetly bought for me (due to those pesky blisters) that will be returned. Also, my brother-in-law is planning to pay us for part of the food.

Friend’s Wedding Gift: Clearly they got something good, right? Well, we bought them an HDTV with a group of friends. We’ve already been reimbursed $200, and should be getting at least $183.43 more.

If you think about the fact that we’re owed some money (Mother’s Day and the wedding gift), plus the fact that I’m returning a $24 skirt and about $15 worth of shoes, we didn’t do so bad.

In fact, if you ignore the stuff we didn’t plan on (too bad you really can’t ignore it!), we were $273.67 underbudget! 🙂