Monthly Spending Report: November 2015

 

Thanksgiving meal #2
Thanks­giv­ing meal #2

Novem­ber passed in a flur­ry of events! Between all my activ­i­ties, events about town, friends vis­it­ing, our first big snow of the year and Thanks­giv­ing I hard­ly had a chance to sit down and catch my breath. I spent about 16 total hours dri­ving across 3 states for Thanks­giv­ing, but the qual­i­ty time with my fam­i­ly and all the deli­cious food made it total­ly worth it. I think I’m still full from all the food I ate!mew_snow

I start­ed my stained glass art class at the begin­ning of the month and it’s so inter­est­ing to me! I’m not sure who exact­ly said it was ok for me to play with shards of glass, razor blades and sol­der­ing irons, but I’m hav­ing a blast! (and I’ve only lost a few ounces of blood to cuts). Almost every­thing I’m mak­ing will be gifts for var­i­ous peo­ple, so I’m very excit­ed to see their reac­tions come Christ­mas time.

Win­ter has final­ly descend­ed upon my neck of the woods. I was enjoy­ing my super low util­i­ty bills due to no AC or heat, but that time has come to an end. Our first snow of the year saw us get rough­ly 7″! My kit­ten Bartholomew is only 8 months old, so he’s nev­er seen snow before this. His reac­tion (as doc­u­ment­ed in the pic­ture to the right) was price­less. He was going crazy! He was thor­ough­ly enter­tained for hours and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a huge kick out of watch­ing him.

Right before Thanks­giv­ing, my com­pa­ny gave out details on our annu­al bonus. Since we met almost all of our goals, I’m get­ting a VERY nice bonus this year! I’m very grate­ful to be work­ing for such a gen­er­ous com­pa­ny. We are in a slight trough, so they could have just as eas­i­ly cut all awards this year. My bonus will be put towards my down­pay­ment fund for the house I’ll buy in the future if I could ever get the gov­ern­ment to give me the required paper­work!!

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 Novem­ber 2015.

Nov_15_budget

 

 

Gas & FuelI saw gas prices as low as $1.78 this month. I am LOVING the low gas prices! It helped off­set the dri­ving I did to vis­it fam­i­ly for Thanks­giv­ing.
Util­i­tiesI have a feel­ing this will be one of the last months with a low bill like this. Win­ter has start­ed to set­tle in for it’s annu­al stay. Booooo.
Food & Din­ingNot as bad­ly over bud­get as I have been in the past. Mak­ing progress!
RentBack to nor­mal. There weren’t any spe­cial events this month that I could earn Fun Mon­ey.
PetsI’m def­i­nite­ly giv­ing this cat­e­go­ry too much mon­ey.
AutoI had to get a car wash after almost get­ting my car stuck in the mud. Pon­ti­ac Vibes are not good at off road­ing, in case any­one was won­der­ing.
Enter­tain­mentI bought a new video game and the acces­sories that go with it. Total­ly worth it since I’ve been drool­ing over it’s release for a year or more.
GiftsIt’s that time of year where I buy things for my fam­i­ly and friends for Christ­mas!
Shop­pingThe biggest part of this was the new phone I bought and the acces­sories to go with it. I also got some good deals on ski equip­ment.
Trans­ferI got some cash out to get some things off Craigslist. Why buy a new easel when there’s a per­fect­ly good one some­one else doesn’t need?

Novem­ber was indeed a calmer month than Octo­ber, despite the crazi­ness that always sur­rounds the hol­i­days. My total spend­ing for the month was $2706, which I con­sid­er to be excel­lent. Had I not had to buy my new phone, it would’ve been a sub-$2k month which always makes me hap­py! I’ll be writ­ing a sep­a­rate post on the whole phone switch­ing process, so be on the look out for that com­ing up in the future.

I did have a slight break­down when it came to buy­ing video games. I’ve been look­ing for­ward to the WiiU game of Yoshi’s Wool­ly World for over a year. Mario + yarn = made for Gwen. Of course, I couldn’t just buy the game. I also had to buy the ami­i­bos to go with it, and then I found some more ami­i­bos when I was in the store.….… this is why I rarely go shop­ping at phys­i­cal stores for stuff any­more. I did go to the mall to help some­one buy Christ­mas gifts and I felt like a duck out of water. All these peo­ple buy­ing crap they don’t need! I almost felt a bit sick. I’m sure this is no sur­prise to any­one, but I didn’t go out at all for Black Fri­day steals and deals. One, I was in the mid­dle of nowhere Indi­ana and wasn’t close to any good stores, and two, I couldn’t think of any­thing I need­ed. I didn’t even see any ads this year. Just think, I saved 100% by not going shop­ping at all!

Look­ing for­ward to the future, my new­ly low­ered car insur­ance bill is due in Decem­ber. It’s under $400 for the next 6 months, so I’m not even that fussed about it. I’m going to start con­tribut­ing a month­ly amount to my sis­ter who is a mis­sion­ary, so that will be an extra line item in my bud­get. Oth­er than a few small gifts, I should be set for Christ­mas presents so that won’t have a huge impact.

I hope every­one has a won­der­ful hol­i­day with their fam­i­lies this Decem­ber, no mat­ter what you’re cel­e­brat­ing! I leave you with a pic­ture of my goofy fuzzball relax­ing under the warm air vent. Stay warm!

mew chillaxin

 

What did your month look like? Did you stick to your bud­get?

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1 thought on “Monthly Spending Report: November 2015

  1. Won­der­ful web site. Lots of use­ful infor­ma­tion here. I am
    send­ing it to sev­er­al friends ans also shar­ing in deli­cious.
    And of course, thanks on your effort!

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