October budget round up & November goals

by Karen on November 2, 2008

Another month of spending more than we earned. Sigh. We were a total of $93 over budget for this month.

We started the month with a trip to Seattle. We bought our plane tickets months ago. For this month, we budgeted for gas to drive to and from the airport, parking, boarding costs for the dog, and meals on the run at the airport. We did a pretty good job of staying on budget for the trip, but we struggled to get back on track after we got back.

The result was an out of control $125 overage in our food budget. Part of the problem is that I knocked the budget down about $50 from our normal monthly food budget to account for vacation spending in other areas. Then we ate out a handful of times, including a pretty expensive sushi meal for my birthday. Those meals out really add up.

There’s good news, too, though. We were on track in all other spending categories. We were even under budget in a couple, which made up for about $32 of our out of control food spending.

The bottom line is that we spent $93 more than we made this month. Not good. We managed to reach our monthly goals for savings and debt payments, but my goal is to make sure that our output, including debt and savings, is less than or equal to our income. In that respect, we failed this month. :(

For November, my obvious goal is to make sure we’re not spending more than we make. Eventually, I’d like to get to a point where we’re under budget consistently and sending that extra money to savings and debt. We have a long way to go before we get there, though.

This month will also mark my final credit card payment (yay!). That’s one bill I’m looking forward to paying this month.

I’m still waiting to hear from Chase about my personal student loan consolidation. Once my credit card is paid off, I’ll start focusing on paying off my student loans. Hopefully the consolidation will go through, which will lower my interest rate and minimum payment and make it possible for me to pay off the debt sooner.

We’re beginning our Christmas shopping, so I moved some funds around from other areas to give us some extra “spending” money to put toward gifts. We’ll have to keep everything else pretty tight to meet our goals. We’re shopping for our five nieces and nephews and our parents. For our nieces and nephews, I redeemed MyPoints for a $50 Amazon gift card. I’ll use that to shop for toys. We’re buying a number of small gifts to make a gift basket for our parents, so we’ll be spreading those purchases out throughout November and December.

How did you do this month?

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Being frugal means being flexible « Living Well on Less
November 5, 2008 at 10:09 am

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