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Spending Roundup for August

What an interesting month it’s been for my finances! There have been changes in my budget, income, AND spending, making it slightly more complicated to keep track of everything.

Here’s the breakdown of where my money went in August:

Fixed Expenses

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.

About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web developer and mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!


  1. Recently discovered your blog and enjoy following your journey.

    Regarding the cable special promo ending.  Call them and ask for another.  I do that every year with mine and they always give me a better package deal.

  2. Great job on the eating out category.  this is my weakness, so I understand how low $53 is! Especially if you are feeding your son too!

    • Actually most of that money was for stuff he wanted! I'm so excited that I cut it down that much. Especially since I've been spending an average of $200 every month. I hope I can keep it going. Which reminds me, I need to reset my points.

  3. Interesting bad habit of smoking, not quiet frugal. Do you really get help from electronic version? I mean does it work?

    • It does! I can go up to 8 hours without a real one. Of course I could probably go longer if I'd quit buying the real ones!
      You're right that smoking isn't a frugal habit. Luckily I've never claimed to be frugal, so it works out.

  4. Big congrats on the restaurant category!!!  Here's my question – did it help you lose weight too?  My husband and I have been eating out more than we had cut back to and now my weight loss has stalled…

    • Yes! I've lost ten pounds since the end of July. And I definitely haven't changed anything besides cutting out fast food – in fact, I sit a lot more now that I'm doing therapy again. Plus the time I spend glued to a computer screen at home!
      I never truly believed it would make such a difference. I knew cutting back on calories would help but it's such a big change (and less convenient) to eat healthy all the time. So I didn't focus on calories or eating rabbit food. I just didn't eat out nearly as much. Hopefully I'll keep losing if I can maintain the points!

  5. Thank goodness for savings 🙂

    That's awesome that the restaurant points thing worked. I hope it keeps working for you! I'm not sure if it would work for us, but our restaurant spending is definitely something we could cut back on, so maybe we need a new system too. Good luck with the budget revamp!

  6. I've been having a really difficult time not eating out, maybe your points system will help me! It's hard to pass up easy, quick, and delicious food after a day at work, but eating out constantly is becoming a big drain on the pocketbooks…

    • I don't know if it will work as well for others as it has for me, but definitely let me know if you try it!
      For me, having to subtract those points was like pulling a tooth. It drove me insane in a way that tracking the dollar amount didn't. I don't know – maybe I'm just totally weird. 🙂

  7. I am surprised that your clothing purchases were in a "misc" category. I think if you had a clothing category your "misc" category wouldn't look so big. Perhaps you can grab some $$$ from the restaurant section because you are acing that category.

    • That's definitely a possibility.. I didn't have a clothing category because I've been on a spending fast since December and wasn't allowed to buy any new clothes. But a new job and an expanding waistline made it necessary to buy a couple things.
      I want to watch the restaurant spending for another month to make sure I can keep it up! I'm terrified it was just a freak accident.
      Thanks for the suggestion – I'll definitely add it to the list of things to think about this weekend!

  8. Just have to tell you that I love your writing. It's refreshing. You don't claim to be perfect and don't preach.

    I had to laugh at your miscellaneous expenses because that is me all the time. I budget to the penny, faithfully log everything – it looks so good on paper at the beginning of the month. Then reality sets in – $10 here, $20 there and before I know it my pretty budget is just a dream. The only thing I'm better at now is I make myself pay for everything from my checking account, no charging, but still. It's a problem for me.

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I really appreciate it.

      Not using credit cards was a giant leap for me. I've managed to cut that out completely but I still don't spend like I should. Guess it's a work in progress!

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