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This is going to be my last spending report in this format because we have revamped our money management system starting in October. So look out for some changes in my next spending update!
Even though our budget for this month was funded with Kyle’s higher postdoc paycheck and my last grad student paycheck, it seemed like things were still a bit tight – like before Kyle’s raise. That can be at least partially explained because Kyle had double insurance premiums taken out in August.
We also had an unusually high level of spending from our targeted savings accounts – particularly from our Cars account plus we paid for my FinCon14 hotel out of our personal accounts (for now).
One other bit of news is that my advisor/department came through in paying my fall tuition and fees. This has no impact on our money, but obviously would have been a sizeable blow if something had gone wrong and we had needed to pay them. (Fortunately, upper-year grad students have the pay only a fraction of the tuition that undergrads/early grad students do.) I had been checking with them about every 10 days for a couple months so it gives me a lot of peace of mind that this has been taken care of!
The Everyday Budget
INCOME: I’m going to change this income section up a bit. The money that we receive in September goes to fund our October budget, so I’m going to shift talking about our September income to the October report.
- 10% of our paychecks to our church
- $50 to the missionary we support
RETIREMENT SAVINGS: We have a new arrangement for our retirement contributions starting last month. Kyle is contributing 15% of his pay and I am contributing $172 per month (through December). We are also contributing 15% of our irregular income, which this month was just Kyle’s church paycheck.
Cell phones: Kyle’s usual $70.14. I’m out of account credits from people using my referral link to sign up for Republic Wireless so I paid $26.37 for my cell this month. What a deal for unlimited everything! 🙂
Groceries: It seems that once again once-a-week shopping has caused us to spend more. We were quite over budget here. We did have some atypical spending because we had to buy a bunch of junk food for the 36-hour campout we participated in to get seasons tickets to our university’s men’s basketball games..
Gas: Fairly normal month with two fill-ups. However, I think we are driving a lot more and will end up spending more on gas because many mornings I will drop Kyle off at work, run an errand or two during the day, and pick him up at the end of the day. That’s a double commute instead of a single commute at least a few days per week.
Restaurants: We went out to lunch after church one afternoon and had a few other convenience meals related to my FinCon14 travel and the weekend I spent camping out for basketball tickets.
Electricity and Gas: Well under budget, woohoo!
Water: Just a bit over budget.
Every month we have some random transactions that are not accounted for in our normal budget.
- We received some gifts during a defense party my parents threw for us. We put the checks into our general savings account and reimbursed that account for gift cards we used this month. Next month, we won’t reimburse for gift card usage.
- I transferred $26.75 to my Bursar account to cover an activity fee that my department usually covers and ultimately did. I expect to get $20.75 of this back once I graduate (I had a $6 fee rolled over from last semester).
Spending Out of Targeted Savings
We had a fairly high-spending month, with $1,251.62 coming out of our targeted savings accounts and $515.88 going in over our normal savings rates.
Travel and Personal Gifts
We spent $59.90 on gas to visit my parents for the party they threw for us.
We redeemed some BarclayCard miles against my FinCon14 flight and put the $50 we received into this account.
We transferred in the gifts we received during our defense party.
I used money from this account to pay for my hotel at FinCon14. I plan to reimburse this once our EPF account has enough money to cover the cost (next month?).
We spent $183 on my half of our university parking permit and $382 on repairs. We also used this account for a $167 payment for our renter’s insurance (we draw it from this account since it’s the same company as our car insurance).
I spent $12 on a ghost tour while I was in New Orleans.
We spent $96.71 on new sneakers for each of us and $29.83 on dry cleaning.
no spending this month – However, Kyle is itching to buy a raspberry pi after a friend of ours talked up the cool projects he’s done with his (affiliate link – thanks for using!).
We spent another $22.93 on birth control and received a reimbursement from our FSA for what we spent last month ($27.22 for bcp and band-aids). We finally figured out why we have a co-pay on our generic prescription by calling our university’s HR: our health insurance plan was grandfathered into the ACA. I wish I had known this when I was weighing my health insurance options, but it really isn’t costing us any more out of pocket because the university gives us each $200 into our FSA.
We gave $50 to a second missionary we support.
no spending this month
no transfers this month
no transfers this month
We are not adjusting our budget for next month – we threw out the system entirely! But one change is that we are going to month-to-month on our rent so that is increasing to $910. (It was going up to $890 anyway. That going month-to-month was only a $20/month increase was a wonderful surprise to us! We thought it would be more on the order of $100/month.)
We came in with an excess of $15.49 this month, which we transferred to our general savings account.
Did you had any big expenses in September related to school starting? Have you ever gone month-to-month on a lease? Have you ever felt like your income was too low even when you knew it was higher?