April 2013 Month in Review: Money

This month was a low one for spending and therefore a great one for getting our budget back on track.  Last month we blew our budget and had to transfer money into our checking account for the first time in like a year or more!  This month was just low on everything – food, gas, targeted savings expenditures.  But we still had lot of good times!  We went to California for five days, met with a missionary, saw Smash Mouth, saw Kyle’s band play their spring concert, had another couple over for dinner, hosted a game night, went to a school party, and saw a musical at our local theater.


The Everyday Budget


Our INCOME, SAVINGS, GIVING, rent, internet, and cell phone transactions are not changing at all now.  Kyle had a bit of side hustle income as well, which we split up as usual.


In terms of our discretionary spending:


apr2013 spending


Groceries: OMG OMG OMG y’all we came in UNDER budget!!!!  That’s the first time since last September, even with a budget increase in that category!  Yes, there were some times toward the end of the month when I had the balance in mind and suggested we delay or limit shopping trips.  We are currently completely out of sliced cheddar cheese, which is devastating, obviously.  I don’t know what it is about winter but we just spend so much more on food!  Our CSA started this month, which we prepaid for, but I’m transferring the weekly cost of the CSA box from our checking into our CSA targeted savings account and counting that money against our grocery spending.  So all our food spending should be accounted for here, plus two trips to CVS for some toiletries.  Our CSA and farmer’s market (which I’ve bought from twice this month as well) food is definitely higher-cost than what we would get at the grocery store so I’m perplexed.  I think giving up our once-a-week shopping was really key in reducing our spending, counterintitively.


Gas:  We only filled up once this month and we still have half a tank.  I love living so close to work!


Restaurants: We paid for one dinner out while we were in CA, although we were treated to several meals out by Kyle’s parents.  Kyle also went to Cook Out (a fast food restaurant with amazing and various milkshakes) once to treat himself.


Electricity and Gas: Over here – the only category we are over in this month.  Darn!


Water: Under by a good amount.  🙂


Every month we have a few transactions that do not fall under either our budget or our targeted savings.

  • We spent $1.12 on postage to mail in our state tax return.
  • I paid $2.00 in late fees to our public library.
  • We redeemed $28.32 in credit card rewards.



Spending Out of Targeted Savings


We spent $128 out of our targeted savings this month (wow! incredibly low!) and saved $40.50 into them above our normal savings rate.


Travel and Personal Gifts


We paid $30 for long-term parking at RDU during our CA trip.




We transferred in three weeks’ worth of CSA boxes ($12 each) plus some other money we spent on farmer’s market food.




no spending this month




We spent $15 on bowling while we were in CA.




no spending this month




no spending this month




We transferred $50 from this account into our Nest Egg to repay ourselves for our upfront smartphone costs.


Charitable Giving


no spending this month


Nest Egg


We transferred $50 from our Electronics account into this account to repay ourselves for our upfront smartphone costs.




We owed some tax to the federal government (and are expecting a small refund from the state) so we transferred out $83 to pay for that.  We’re still debating whether all or only part of our refund will go back into this account.



Budget Adjustments


We decided to support the missionary we were considering at $50/month.  To make room for that change we are knocking our Cars targeted savings rate from $375 down to $350, our Entertainment targeted savings rate from $45 down to $40, and our Charitable Giving targeted savings rate from $60 down to $40.



Bottom line: We came in $158.37 under budget this month!!!!!  Woohoo!  It’s so nice to have budgetary success again.  I transferred $30.16 to our nest egg to make up for what I took out last month and the rest to our Travel account.


How was your April?  Has your spending noticeably changed with the onset of spring?  What was your last budgetary success?


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14 Responses to "April 2013 Month in Review: Money"

  1. Matt Becker says:

    Love the detailed review. Good work coming in under budget!
    Matt Becker recently posted..Fighting Fatigue with Long-Term Goals

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks!!!! I love being able to put extra money into our Travel account!

  2. Being out of sliced cheese IS a HUGE problem for me. Maybe it explains a bit why I have such trouble loosing weight, but cheese is one of the major food groups for me. Probably 90% of all the dairy I consume is in the form of cheese!

    I’m pretty jealous about your gas expenditure. I filled up on Monday and will probably have to fill up again this weekend. If weather would cooperate, it’s only 13 miles to the job site I’m supposed to be working at, but landscapers can’t plant with snow on the ground, so I’ve been going to Denver at 70 miles away instead.
    Edward Antrobus recently posted..Cutting the Cord Can Be More Expensive than You Think + A Giveaway

    1. Emily says:

      I eat a lot of cheese, too. I try to make it a garnish now, but I definitely have been known to eat just big hunks by itself! The problem was actually more that Kyle had to switch from turkey and cheese to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

      Our gas budget is $120 and we never spend more than $90 now (unless we’re using some Travel money) but Kyle won’t let me lower the budget! It’s markedly less with only using 1 car and living closer to work than a year ago when we lived further and had 2 cars. I can’t believe there’s still snow on the ground where you are! I guess it’s better to be working far away than not working though, right? But I really hate long commutes, especially in a car, so I hope you can switch soon.

      1. Actually, its more like snow on the ground again. It’s mostly melted now and I’m scheduled for the closer location again for Monday, but we’ve received almost 2 feet of snow since the beginning of spring, which is more snow than we received in the 12 months prior to that.
        I spent nearly $90 on gas this week! (Got it on Monday morning and wound up filling again on Friday)
        Edward Antrobus recently posted..Cutting the Cord Can Be More Expensive than You Think + A Giveaway

  3. This is really detailed breakdown, but what I don’t see is any money allocated to long-term savings or investments.
    My Financial Independence Journey recently posted..What’s your financial independence (retirement) number?

    1. Emily says:

      You are right, this is really a spending report – maybe I should link to our budget with every one? Thanks for pointing that out! I mention at the top that we tithe and save and such. Kyle likes for me to be a bit cagey about how much we actually make and save and what our net worth is, so I’ll just say that we are saving around 17% of our gross income into our Roth IRAs and we save-to-spend $915/mo into our targeted savings accounts (some of which might convert to mid-term savings since we have too much in there now). We also put 15% of side hustle income into our Roth IRAs, but that doesn’t add up to a whole lot.

  4. What a great overview of your month! I liked seeing all the different details for your spending. Our April wasn’t much of a success, we lost track of the budget when we were trying a new organization system and overspent. Back to the drawing board! We are expecting some expenses to go down during the summer, so hopefully everything will right itself over the next month or two.
    Kyle @ Debt Free Diaries recently posted..10 Years FromToday

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks, Kyle! I appreciate the encouragement.

      Does that mean you scrapped the system you were trying out? What’s next on the list?

      I find expenses usually go up in the summer except for groceries – we’re more social, eat out more, and travel more. But that’s why we save throughout the year!

  5. Oh man!I love coming in under budget. You guys are very thorough with your budget. Do you find that putting your financial information on your blog helps to keep you on track?

    1. Emily says:

      It doesn’t help keep track but it definitely helps us not blow it. I thought we were doing super well with our budget right before we started putting it up, but we were going over budget (overall) maybe 1 out of every 3 or 4 months. But magically when I started posting about it we went a year without going over!

  6. cashrebel says:

    I’ve been interested in doing a csa for a while now but I haven’t pulled the trigger. Is there any way it could be cheaper than the grocery store?
    cashrebel recently posted..Remembering Tabula Rasa After An Expensive Month

    1. Emily says:

      I’ve heard from people that don’t live in my area that their farmer’s market food is less expensive than what they get at the grocery store. I say it’s more expensive in our experience but maybe that’s not fair as I don’t buy certified organic at the grocery store and the FM/CSA food is almost certainly certified organic or nearly so. It’s a bit difficult to compare CSA food prices because in a traditional CSA you actually don’t know how much value you received until the end of the season. With our CSA the prices are listed up front so we can make comparisons as we go along. It’s possible that certain foods are less expensive and certain are more so if your CSA lets you choose like ours does you could try to limit yourself to the lower-priced items. To us it’s worth it to pay a bit more to get local food and support our community, though (and usually a higher-quality product).

      1. CashRebel says:

        Yea, that seems like a reasonable strategy. Especially if the price is close to the grocery store. I’m all for supporting local farmers and learning how to cook local food!
        CashRebel recently posted..Remembering Tabula Rasa After An Expensive Month

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