I’m trying something new this month- rather than posting a budget at the beginning of the month and a round-up at the end, I’m just going to post the round-up post. You’ll still see what we budgeted and how much we actually spent, but having both posts was starting to feel redundant. So here goes!
- Required payment: $1058
- Planned overpayment: $1500
- Actual overpayment: $1900
- Total paid: $2958
- Total owed: $124,597
It’s getting down there, people. It may not be fast and it’s certainly not glamorous, but having a clear plan and clear financial priorities can make a difference! (Assuming you have the luxury of choice in your budget- feel free to ignore me if you’re struggling to pay bills and put food on the table).
|Utilities||$414||$431||This was our “settle-up” month with the gas/electric company, where we had to settle the difference between our budget billed amount and our actual usage. It was about a $75 difference, which was much better than last year’s $250…|
|Netflix/Hulu||$15||$15||We downgraded our Netflix account and added the most basic Hulu account. We’re going to try it this way for a few months and then see if we can reasonably get rid of
|Gas||$300||$309||Gas is expensive.|
|Groceries||$600||$707||I’m currently in the process of conducting a grocery audit, to better understand where our grocery dollars go. We’ve been consistently over since B. returned and I’d like to get that under control.|
|Restaurants||$50||$68||We would have been on budget, but our landlords unexpectedly had to tear up our kitchen for a day, rendering cooking impossible. If we had some advance notice, we would have planned accordingly, but the problem they were fixing ended up being much more work than anticipated.|
|Pet care||$300||$347||This is mostly medication. Having an old dog can get expensive, but he seems happier on all his new meds, so I’m happy about that.|
|Sports/ Entertainment||$100||$97||This is mostly gymnastics. It’s expensive, but we’re willing to prioritize it right now because it makes F. so happy!|
|Miscellaneous||$200||$172.17||Next up after the grocery audit is an audit of expenses that fall into this category…|
|Doctor||$50||$10||Yay for good health!|
|Beachbody subscription||$105||$105||This is a one-time charge for a year of access to all Beachbody workouts. I prefer working out at home and I can access all the workouts from our existing Roku. If I end up not using it, I’ll just cancel.|
|Snow boots||$150||$143||Part of the joy of living in the Midwest is having to deal with snow. Lots of snow. For some reason, B. no longer had a pair of good, warm snowboots and was out shoveling snow in his tennis shoes! In negative temperatures. Not a solid plan, so we went and got him a pair of good, warm, waterproof snow boots. Which of course have not been needed- now that we’re prepared, there has been no snow to speak of.|
|Earnest money||$1,000||$1,000||Pretty sure this is getting returned to us at closing, but I guess it’s technically an expense for January?|
|Mortgage fees||$440||$439||Fees for some part of our mortgage. Title work maybe? Appraisal? Who knows.|
|Car insurance||$0||$271||We ended up purchasing a new insurance plan as part of purchasing our home insurance and bundled both together. However, we had to pay the car insurance premium right away and it was cheaper to pay for it upfront. So we did.|
- Total planned spending: $6395
- Actual spending: $6702
- Net difference: -$307
- Percentage of income: 72%
As you can see, we’re over by just about the amount that we spent on car insurance. It was definitely a rough budget month though. Now that B. is no longer deployed, our percentage of income spending is going up, since his civilian job pays less than being deployed.
For some reason, groceries are becoming a problem. I’m hopeful that the grocery audit will provide some insight, but I’m really afraid that our biggest spending categories are going to be ones we’re most loathe to cut (like vegetables- we buy A LOT of vegetables). More to come on that toward the end of February.