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Over budget

August 29th, 2015 at 04:50 am

I wrote a fairly substantial entry during the week but for whatever reason it never saved or published. Oh well.

This month I was trying to stick to a greatly reduced budget. I think I made a great effort and I tracked down everything I spent so I am more aware of where my money is going, but I am about $200 over budget and still have a couple days left in the month.

Expenses Actual Budgeted Remaining
Groceries $299.10 $300.00 $0.90
Going Out/Alcohol $297.12 $250.00 ($47.12)
Electric $97.55 $100.00 $2.45
Water $73.75 $50.00 ($23.75)
Gas $13.01 $25.00 $11.99
MISC $320.91 $300.00 ($20.91)
Pets $71.33 $50.00 ($21.33)
Insurances $164.09 $166.00 $1.91
Cell Phone $75.45 $75.00 ($0.45)
Roof $882.00 $750.00 ($132.00)
IRA $458.33 $458.34 $0.01
Savings $500.00 $525.00 $25.00
Total $3,252.64 $3,049.34 $203.30

We have enough food and leftovers so that I won't do any grocery shopping until Tuesday. We are almost out of coffee but my godmother sent me some k-cups for my birthday (oh yeah, I turned the big three-oh last week!) so we will use those up before I buy more coffee beans.

Going out it over big time. We started this month with my partner's mom in town so we treated her while she was here. We hosted a traveling song writer friend of my partner's for a house show and bought some alcohol and food for him and the guests. My partner's son is in a completely youth run theater production this week and we went out to dinner with friends last night before the opening show. Did we need to spend money on all of this? Probably not but we enjoy eating in the many fine establishments our town has to offer.

Pets was over because I had to take my old lady kitty to the vet; part of MISC is immunity boosting treats for her and a calming spray for both the cats (to the tune of $80). MISC also include cash to Chris Darby (songwriter friend- www.chrisdarbymusic.com if you are interested!) and gas for my car. It seems like $300 doesn't go so far.

Obviously I need to get a handle on my cell phone bill.

I made an early payment to the roof this month, and bigger too. My credit has taken a hit essentially maxing out 2 of my cards. They are 0% interest and will be paid off before they start to accrue any. But I wanted to get the smaller balance down to below 60% of the credit line, and the other card had a minimum payment of $82. These payments weren't due until Sept 2 and 3, so I probably won't make a roof payment next month and just try to sock whatever I would spend into savings, or more likely start paying for the renovation.

All in all this month has not been terrible. And most of the overspending is due to making an over payment early. And I still put money away into savings and retirement!

Next month I might increase groceries and going out by $25 each, just to give us a little more wiggle room. Insurance payments for the rest of the year will only be my car insurance and I have the option of paying it over 4 or 6 months. But if I keep the current payment amount it will only be 2 months.

3 Responses to “Over budget”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    Some months just hit you with more surprises than others. You have done well.

  2. snafu Says:

    Each of us is so different. When I go over a budgeted amount in areas where I have some level of control, my initial reaction is to reduce the sum allowed the following and even subsequent months. For example, I would reduce the grocery bill by $ 10. since it's easiest to write a meal plan featuring ingredients already at hand. I'd lower allocation for liquor and restaurants by $ 50. the following month and make plans to host friends for dinner. Way less cost than restaurant and far healthier without all the fat, sugar, unpronounceable chemicals and operational costs.

    Does your insurance company charge more to clients who pay monthly or quarterly? Do they offer a discount for those who choose to pay vehicle and home insurance in one annual lump sum?

    It really isn't about the money, it's more about staying focussed, meeting the challenge and doing what's in the best interest of our family. Whille the sums are small, over te course of a year these cumulatively add up significantly.

  3. jokeabee Says:

    I am willing to increase two areas where I have been going over budget because the amount of stress it is causing me is worth it to loosen the belt. If we didn't have the money then we would definitely be making changes and buying cheaper food (less meats, more grains) but we're not at that point yet. It was an exercise in how low can my monthly budget be without sacrificing *too* much. Now, if I lost my job or we had a huge expense there would be definite belt tightening. For example, eating out/alcohol would be max $50.

    USAA doesn't charge any extra to break up the payments. I try to pay a little bit more so that there are some months when I don't have any payments. Next year, the first half of the year will be homeowner's, car and fire (for rental property.) The second half will be just car and homeowner's.

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