Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Nov 2013 Financials and New Years Resolutions

In the name of accountability and starting a new way of living financially I wanted to share some of the numbers from November for our budget. One of my resolutions for the New Year is going to be analyzing our financials at the end of each month to figure out where we are messing up and can improve. Making the budget for December, I realized how much tighter things are going to actually be around here and Matt finally realized it too. We went to the movies today and sadly it may be the only fun thing we get to go out and do that costs money this month. Thankfully December is a month of family get-togethers, meals, and general fun in our families. Yes most of that happens at the end of the month but anticipating it is half the fun. This year on Christmas Eve for the 25th year in a row (yes that is my whole life) I will gather with my Mom's side of the family for Mass and dinner and presents. There are no longer any small children but somehow we still have a night filled with laughter and joy and with a little one on the way it once again feels magical. Matt and I get to wake up on Christmas morning with our 2 kitties and our (overgrown puppy) dog and then go to my parents for cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate, presents and comfortable happiness. We will also spend the weekend before celebrating with Matt's parents and brother and sister, the weekend after celebrating with the extended family on my mom's side and with my dad's family, and the following weekend with Matt's extended family on his dad's side. So much family in so little time. I love it. Couldn't ask for anything better. To let go of the old year and bring in the new one surrounded by these awesome people God blessed me with in this life.

Here are the numbers(bear with me on the formatting, too lazy to do a screenshot but still wanted a table):
total spent



groceriesdining outgasMisc

Now let me point out that we have other categories in our budget, these are just the monthly variable ones that we struggled with the most. 

The thing is for the most part, we have cut way back on groceries, so still being close to $200 over kind of shocked me. But hopefully the groceries I bought at the end of November will mostly last until a couple weeks into December and we can make up for it. Because of this overage though I did add a $50 dollar cushion for December. Here is a look back at grocery spending the last few months:
October: $406.51 (again could be higher as I fell off the wagon at the end of this month)
September: $441.64
August: $455.69

Dining out is also something we have cut way back on. Lets take a look back:
October: $215.78 (fell off the tracking wagon at the end of that month so it may have been higher). 
September: $323.07
August: $388.51

Gas. What can I say, we didn't really plan very well obviously. My husband and I both commute ~30 miles to work, so ~60 miles round trip, 5 days a week. As I mentioned before though we have started car pooling when possible to cut back on miles. This is one of our categories that is hard to cut because we have to work. For December I added $110 to this category. Another look back:
October: $491.40 (probably higher as I fell off tracking wagon, may have to figure out closer to actual numbers as this is a pretty big discrepancy)
September: $579.10
August: $736.46

Misc. This is where we put all that random stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else. Stops at the gas station, newspapers, cash for Matt for work snacks and other stuff. This is a category where Matt does a little bit more spending than I do. I drink coffee from home in the morning and normally eat something for breakfast as well. Many times Matt doesn't think about caffeine or food until he is out the door so he will stop. He used to do it without even thinking but now that I have shown him how much money it actually is, he gets cash out and uses that until it is gone, normally a week to a week and a half. This has helped tremendously as evidenced by these numbers:
October: $188.45
September: $825.51 (Note: This is when I was just expense tracking and so many more categories are probably included that I have since further divided using Pear Budget. Goes for the next two months as well)
August: $530.81
July: $353.19

I guess what it all comes down to is for us the budget thing is definitely still a work in a progress. The last couple months when I set it up I thought I would be at least close to what we would actually do and that hasn't happened so much. So I keep starting over. For December I have changed some of the numbers and categories. I lumped stuff into a smaller amount of categories for the variable expenses as well.  Here is what the December Budget looks like:

Regular Expenses=$ Spent Per Month
student loan=$330.00
credit card=$145.00
car payment=$251.00

Irregular Expenses=$ Spent Per Month

Variable Expenses=$ Spent Per Month
dining out=$25.00
car gas=$500.00