For me, June was a time of new beginnings. I moved to a new apartment in a new town in a new state to start a new job. I've been busy settling in, trying to figure out my way around town, and learning tons of new information at my job. Who knew there was so much to learn about databases and SQL? I spent most of the weekends driving from one place to another doing various things like packing as much as possible into my car and getting my new kitten! His name is Bartholomew and he's a Siberian Forest Cat. He enjoys things like hair bandies, waking me up early and snuggling with me.
I also got the chance to meet some wonderful people I met on the internet in real life when I passed through their towns. Sam Lustgarten from frugaling.org and I had a thought provoking conversation (for me anyways) about blogging and life. You can see the results of that conversation here in My Manifesto. I also got to meet up with one of the knitters from our Tuesday night knitting group on Google+. She's the second person from the group I've met in real life and we had a wonderful time chatting over breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We only live 3 hours from each other, so I'm hoping we can make it a more frequent occurrence than once every 3 years!
My expenses haven't quite matched up to what I thought they would be, as some things I thought would be a big deal aren't and other things came out of nowhere. One example would be I did not expect to want to spend so much money at work on food. My new cafeteria is way better than my old one, so my will power is sorely tested when I see people getting smoothies from the smoothie bar or omelettes made to order at the grill every morning. Thankfully, I'm much closer to work so my auto related expenses should drop dramatically. One silver lining to moving is that my insurance related costs have gone down due to me living in a nicer, less risky area. I also received a slight raise as a Cost of Living adjustment. Every dollar counts!
Why do I do a monthly spending report?
I find it best to do a monthly spending report for a few reasons. One, it helps me evaluate how I did the previous month. Did I hit a target reduction in spending or did I go way over budget for a particular category? Two, it helps keep me accountable. How can I make an extra purchase knowing I'll have to explain myself to all of you? Talk about awkward when the blogger can't walk the walk and talk the talk. Three, I want to prove this crazy thing called financial independence works! Fourth, it provides an example of real world budgeting and expenses. Some of the people I talk to haven't ever seen a proper budget or seen one put into action, and part of the purpose of this blog is to lead by example!
I use Mint to help me track my spending and keep an eye on my accounts. Some people use Personal Capital and others use You Need a Budget (YNAB). Whatever tool works best for you and your needs is the best one for you, since everyone and their budgets are different.
So, without further ado, I present my spending (for better or for worse) for June 2015.
|Gas & Fuel||Gas was higher than I thought, but it was due to an unexpected trip when I couldn't fit my essential stuff into my car for the last drive. I was still below budget, though, so no sweat.|
|Utilities||Utilities were high this month as I paid the last water bill for the old place, and had dual gas and electricity charges for part of the month. Good news is, my utilities are going to drop like a stone- my new bill was $35!! Internet was also credited but didn't get activated until later in the month at the new place, so I expect a higher bill next month.|
|Food & Dining||OW. I went WAY over. Part of the excess is moving my kitchen to the new place and not having any access to it, and part of is some laziness on my part :/ This is my one weakness and I need to do better.|
|Gym||This is my last month paying for a gym! My contract is up and I've been busy enjoying the free gyms offered by work and my apartment complex.|
|Rent||Eagle eyed readers will note my base rent went up. There was some funky business with getting the utilities set up, so I was slightly over what I should've paid.|
|Shipping||I sent several packages this month and changed my address with the Post Office.|
|Late fee||I'm ashamed. I missed my credit card payment by ONE DAY. It's now on auto pay so that never will happen again.|
|Home||Most of these expenses were reimbursed as part of my move. I have a great company!|
|Activities||I signed up for a softball team!! I'm excited to get back out on the diamond.|
|Pets||Holy moly, starting from scratch with a pet is EXPENSIVE. Thankfully, the little fur ball is adorable and totally worth it. I also splurged and got Mew from a breeder, but I've been saving up since I went on the waiting list. I'll be interested to see what the monthly cost for him ends up being.|
|Shopping||Random things for the new place, like another shower curtain and a replacement plunger for the one that vanished during the move.|
|Transfer||Ok this section is all sorts of wonky due to the Identity Theft I experienced. The amount you see is what they reimbursed me for the fraudulent charges and the transfer to the new card.|
I spent a total of $3748 this month. I'm glad I was able to bring it down from the crazy high of last month. Subtract my travel expenses reimbursement of $645, and I spent just over $3000. This is much closer to my target spending goal, so while I'm not thrilled to go over, I'm also not mad at the choices I made.
Looking forward to the months ahead, I have my last payment for Ecuador due and probably some small payments as I get involved in more activities in my new town. Life will be super exciting!
What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?
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