September 2013 Month in Review: Money

Our spending is completely out of whack this month with our move!  We started our new lease on 9/17/2013 and ended the old one on 9/22/2013.  I tried to pay all the direct moving expenses out of our nest egg and reimburse to that account as they come in.  But we left off a few recurring maintenance things like changing light bulbs and air filters to the last minute, so we had higher non-budgeted spending than usual.  We don’t have a budget category for that sort of thing since it’s so infrequent and we would normally pay it out of excess cash, but this month there wasn’t enough excess!


The Everyday Budget


Top-line items


INCOME: September was the last month for which we used our 2012-2013 paychecks.  As of the end of September we got our yearly cost-of-living raises!  (See our budget adjustments section below.)




SAVINGS: Our usual amount, 17%-ish.


Non-discretionary spending


Rent: We paid all of September’s rent for our old place up front, $895, and are expecting a refund of $238.67 sometime in October.  We also paid $306 in rent for our new place – the prorated rent was $406 but we negotiated $100 off (go us!).


Internet: We paid $40.74 for internet at our old place for 9/1/2013 to 9/30/2013 – however, we ended service on 9/17/2013, so we are expecting a refund.  We also were charged $34.99 for internet at our new place starting on 9/20/2013.


Cell phones: Kyle’s usual $69.65; due to credits to my Republic Wireless account, we didn’t pay anything for my cell this month!  I still have several months of credits to my account but I’m hoping that people will start signing up for RW through our referral link again now that they are coming out with a new phone!


Discretionary spending


sept2013 spending


Groceries: I didn’t think that we really ate a bunch of groceries this month – moving totally threw off our normal eating patterns – but we did go over budget on our grocery spending.  We had to restock our fridge completely, so I guess it makes sense, especially after our low spending on groceries last month.  We also spent a bit more on snacky processed foods so that we could eat during Campout.


Gas:  Barely spent any money on gas this month – “budgeted,” anyway.  We spend more but it was reimbursed from our savings.


Restaurants: We went to my favorite not-on-my-eating-plan restaurant TWICE this month since my diet was so unusual.  Capitalize while we can.  We also had dinner with friends one night.


Electricity and Gas: It’s cooling off a bit here so fairly low spending.


Water: We actually paid two water bills this month, both for our last place.  We probably could have paid the second one in October but whatever!  We had bigger fish to fry this month and we’re not being overcharged.


Every month we have a few transactions that do not fall under either our budget or our targeted savings.  This month all the extra spending was related to getting the old townhouse ready to turn back over to the owner.

  • $39.82 for a light diffuser
  • $20.21 for cleaning supplies
  • $19.22 for light bulbs and air filters


Spending Out of Targeted Savings


Fairly high spending this month because of the move – $971.68 going out and only $58.39 going in above our normal savings rates.  Good news is, though, that we’re supposed to get our full security deposit back!


Travel and Personal Gifts


We spent $85.57 on a wedding gift and $33.95 on a baby shower gift.




no spending this month – we’ll get around to buying our high-quality meat next month!




We spent $78.03 on a new battery for my car so we could get it up and running to move it.




We shelled out $180 for two 40% shares of season tickets to our university’s men’s college basketball home games.




no spending this month




no spending this month




no spending this month


Charitable Giving


The organizers of FPU charged me $30 for the coordinator book, so I paid for it out of this account.  The justification is that I need it to give my time to the class.  🙂


Nest Egg


This month we used $306 for the rent at our new place and $258.13 for direct moving expenses.




We transferred $19.93 from Kyle’s side paycheck to this account.




We transferred $38.46 from Kyle’s side paycheck to this account.


Budget Adjustments


So many budget adjustments!  We finally implemented all the changes that we should have done starting over a year ago.


The first set of changes is due to our cost-of-living raise this month – since we use percentage-based budgeting, we increased our absolute saving and giving to keep up with our desired rate.  I also noticed that after redoing my W4 I was having less federal income tax withheld than I used to (and we generally owe federal tax at the end of the year so we were already under-withholding) so I set up a $40/month savings rate to our Taxes savings account.


The second set of changes was due to utilities and such related to our move – rent is going from $895 to $870, internet is going from $40 to $35, and car gas is going from $120 to $100.


The third set of changes is to allocate the remaining part of the raise and money freed up by decreasing those other categories.  We had about an extra $100 to play with so we put an extra $50 each toward Travel and Electronics.  I decided that we are really way over-saving into our Cars account, based on our projected expenditures, so I reduced the savings rate to that account by $50 and switched that contribution over to our Camera account.


Bottom Line

$28.30 over budget.  Poo.  Reimbursed from our nest egg.


Do you have a budget category for home upkeep (especially renters)?  What life events cause you to eat out more?  Do you get your pay raises at the same time every year or whenever you negotiate for one?


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20 Responses to "September 2013 Month in Review: Money"

  1. I would say that is pretty darn good with a move in the middle of the month!
    Alicia @ Financial Diffraction recently posted..October – it’s raining money!

    1. Emily says:

      Well, the move was paid for out of savings so the budgeted spending didn’t have to reflect it. Full post on that in a month or so!

  2. Mrs PoP says:

    We definitely have home and property maintenance budgets, though the expenses are irregular so it gets a but lumpy sometimes.
    Mrs PoP recently posted..PoP Balance Sheet – September 2013

    1. Emily says:

      Do you keep a sinking fund for that category or how do you smooth it out?

  3. Master move on negotiating your rent…you should share with us what you did exactly 🙂 23 bucks over the budget with a move like that, you should be beaming with pride…last time I moved I overshot the budget by over $700! There were just so many things that needed to be done to “operationalize” the new place.
    As for raises, I get them when I negotiate them and I make sure to do it at least once a year!
    Simon @ Modest Money recently posted..TD Ameritrade Review – Exclusive Review of TD Ameritrade

    1. Emily says:

      We are going to spend a hundred bucks or so on the new place, and that will come out of savings too.

      Basically all we did was look for places that were around the same price as our last place. And we liked this inexpensive one a lot. 🙂

  4. Michelle says:

    I think you did great. $28 over budget isn’t too bad 🙂
    Michelle recently posted..October Goals and Life Update

    1. Emily says:

      Yeah, we’re usually under budget by more than that so it’s okay.

  5. For the changes & moves that happened this month, going just slightly over budget is a win, in my mind. We all try to stick to the plan, but just as a map is not the terrain, a plan is never the reality. Congrats on the raise!
    Done by Forty recently posted..The Appalachian Trail & an Interview with Haley Miller

    1. Emily says:

      Yeah, it really is. Thanks! It’s just like 2 or 3% but it all helps! Especially as we generally reduce our expenses over time.

  6. Home u30pro comes out of our grocery budget or my “fun” budget, depending. My wife gets into the mix to do a major “spring cleaning”about 4-5 times per year. So we keep cleaning supplies well stocked and simply buy them at the supermarket when we do our shopping. Things like light bulbs or lawn and garden stuff, I usually buy at the hardware store, along with some toy for myself like new garden shears or a rake. I generally enjoy doing that kind of stuff and my wife can never understand why I need all that stuff, do it is easier to just take it out of what is budgeted for myself.
    Now, due larger things like window screens, that comes out of the budget for rent. We have worked out an agreement with our landlord to handle stuff like that our selves and charge it to her against the rent. I am cheaper than her handyman!

    1. stupid autocorrect. u30pro=upkeep “gets into the mix” = “gets into the mood” & “due larger things” = “for larger things”
      Edward Antrobus recently posted..How Often Should You Shop For Car Insurance Rates?

    2. Emily says:

      I sort of waver between putting cleaning supplies and such in our grocery budget and having them come out of our monthly slush. That’s awesome that you have an agreement with your landlord for that upkeep.

  7. Cash Rebel says:

    I feel like moving months always put me over budget due to the overlapping expenses and random stuff you have to buy that you didn’t think about. But it sounds like you guys managed to do it all prettying at budget. Nice job.
    Cash Rebel recently posted..Credit Card Rewards Apathy

    1. Emily says:

      Well, most of that stuff came out of our savings – that’s why it’s there!

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