I have to admit we have not been paying much attention to our spending in the last few months. That’s likely unsurprising given that we’re still adjusting to life with our new baby and we’re earning much more money than we used to. In fact, we’ve gotten a bit trigger-happy with our Amazon purchases in the last few months. It all seems to be needs, but then again we seemed to get by without these kinds of “needs” in the past…
One sticking point is that we really need to update our overall plan for our money, including our budget. I haven’t even paid myself out of my business yet this year, but I really should, and we have to decide what to do with the discretionary portion. Our irregular expense categories are a total mess, as the last time we really thought them through was before we knew DPR was on the way. Perhaps in September… And maybe then we can put ourselves on a proper budget that actually reins in our spending.
We actually applied for a new credit card this month – the new Costco Visa! I’m happy to be finally getting rewards at the retailer at which we spend the most money.
Sources of Income
Our budget is based on Kyle’s income.
From Kyle’s net pay, we set aside/transfer:
- 18% toward retirement
- 10% for our tithe
Our variable expense spending jumped around much more than normal, and even our fixed expense spending saw a shake-up.
Rent $1495 ($1495 budgeted)
Water/Sewer/Garbage $130 ($130 budgeted)
Phones $61.58 ($65 budgeted): Republic Wireless for me and Cricket Wireless for Kyle!
Internet $44.99 ($45 budgeted)
Netflix $24.09 ($25 budgeted): Our Netflix charge increased this month.
Student Loan $99.67 ($100 budgeted): This payment went up a tiny amount; it looks like our interest rates increased by a few tenths of a percent. It’s still a low enough interest rate that we’re happy to keep the debt around.
Transit $40.38 ($50 budgeted): We paid for parking four times at our hospital and bought gas once.
Power $0 ($50 budgeted): Off month.
Groceries $688.44 ($600 budgeted): This is what meal planning does to our grocery budget! We eat more food and more expensive food when I meal plan – but it is healthier. We also took our first post-baby trip to Costco.
Restaurants $122.21 ($100 budgeted): I’m quite pleased with our eating out spending this month, even though it was a little high, because it was all social. Our neighborhood had a little festival this month, so we bought a couple food truck meals while we were there. I tried out a meal delivery service for the first time (with a coupon) for myself and some friends – the meal was great, but it’s definitely an expensive way to eat. Kyle bought a beer at a happy hour once. We got take-out from our new go-to Mexican restaurant twice for some picnic outings with friends.
In total, we are allocating $800 per month (on average) to spend across five six seven categories.
In this period, we spent:
Cars $438.85: We paid for six months of car insurance and one year of renters’ insurance.
Gifts $16.97: I went on a drug store run for some friends who also had an early baby, so I’m counting the expenditure as an extension of their baby shower gift.
Baby $304.41: More, more, and more Amazon purchases for DPR. This month’s haul is disposable diapers (before/while we got our cloth diapers up and running), a drying rack, cloth diaper inserts, several small items to repair our portable washing machine, lanolin, formula, supplements, thank you notes, spray bottles, bottle caps, and cloth wipes
Our total available miscellaneous money for this period was $20.60. We spent $191.18, broken down as:
- $104.10 a fan
- $2.65 batteries for our bathroom scale
- $61.11 two non-stick pans to replace ones that have worn out
Monthly: Spent $2706.36 of $2660.00 budgeted – over!
Irregular: Spent $760.23 of $800 budgeted – under!
Miscellaneous: Spent $191.18 of $20.60 budgeted – over!
This period, we spent $3,657.77 of $3,480.60 available – about 5% too much.
We were slightly high in our overall spending this month, easily due to our Amazon binge.
How do you motivate yourself to care about your budget in an off period?