Here’s the breakdown of where my money went in August:
These are the easy ones. My car payment, car insurance, AT&T bill, and cable/internet fall into this category. Now that I don’t have credit card debt to pay off, my fixed expenses are only at $680. This includes an increase in my cable/internet costs since my promotion ended (thanks a lot, Comcast) and an increased phone bill because I upped my package – I can’t believe 700 minutes are no longer enough when so many people I know have AT&T, but the bill doesn’t lie.
Budget was $250. I spent $261.16! I blame this on the fact that school started back – Jayden insists on taking his lunch to school, so I had to buy all the usual stuff for home PLUS stuff for school lunch. I also bought a ton of stuff to take to work for myself to eat for lunch.
Gas is currently $3.59gal. in my area. I budgeted $250 and only spent $129! It’s amazing how much less I spend now that I’m not driving as far to work. I’ll probably decrease my budget for gas soon, but I want to watch for another month to make sure this wasn’t a fluke.
I contributed $200 to my Roth this month and $615 toward savings. Unfortunately I had to pull $700 from savings to make up for my crappy paycheck, but that’s okay. I’m just glad I had it.
Budget was $150. I spent $190. This is because (1) my electric bill is now levelized and (2) I finally broke down and started garbage pickup @ $20 a month. I hate going to the dump and used to put it off until there were like 5 bags piled up. So I pay a guy to come get it once a week and it’s totally worth it. (Why yes, I do live in a rural area with no organized garbage pickup! Thanks for noticing!) So my budget for utilities is officially going to $200 from now on.
Okay, this is so amazing. Budget was $150. I ONLY SPENT $53!!!!! My restaurant point system totally worked – I watched that number obsessively all month long and cringed every time I had to update it. I’ll be continuing this in September to see if I can keep it up!
Budget was $100. I spent $83. I didn’t need any Cigotine refill cartridges this month – this was totally me continuing to smoke the real ones. However, the school where I work just went tobacco free, so I’m using the electronic one exclusively at work. Hopefully this will help me lower and eventually eliminate this cost.
My miscellaneous spending was even more out of control than last month. Everything was necessary, but still!
- $27 for school pictures
- $138.56 for back to school and Jay’s birthday
- $75 on apps for my various devices ($60 of this was iWork for Mac, which is why it’s so high)
- $141 for 2 bookshelves for my home office
- $76.38 at Old Navy for clothing (would have been $175.14 without coupons)
- $87.94 for contacts and Jay’s doctor visit/meds when he was sick
- $41.59 for a new bathrobe
So my total miscellaneous spending was a whopping $587.47. Um, wow. I don’t know what to say about that.
Overall, August looks like this: I had a budget of $2150, income of $3367.24 (job + blog income), and I spent or saved $2798.63. This leaves 568.61 in my checking account to last until I get paid again on September 10.
As I predicted at the end of July, my gas and restaurant spending decreased dramatically this month. And, like I thought, my first paycheck from the new job sucked, but I had money in savings to make up for it. Plus it was a 3-paycheck month. However, I made up for all the positives by spending like crazy.
I need to revamp the way I think about my budget – my blog income is becoming significant enough to keep up with (I’m using the ING Direct account I opened back in the spring for all blog-related stuff), and my income is going to fluctuate wildly from check to check. I need to evaluate what my actual expenses are (because after 3 months of the Miscellaneous category looking like a war zone, something isn’t right). Since I have a 4-day weekend for Labor Day (hooray!) I’m going to spend some time working on the budget and making it work better.