In last month’s spending report, I said October would be a fun and busy month. Little did I know that the last 31 days would beat every expectation I had! My month started off with my Mom coming into town for a ‘just-us-girls-weekend’. We had a blast wandering through the quilt show (and spending tons of money on the exhibition side). I also got the chance to show her around my new town and take her out to nice places to eat. I love being able to spoil my Mom!
The next big event was my birthday! I’m now the ripe old age of 25, which means I can now rent a car without the age penalty AND my car insurance will go down. My last big milestone birthday. I celebrated in fairly low key style. I rounded up some friends and hit up the bar the weekend before, and the day of my birthday I cooked myself a nice pot roast and went frisbee golfing.
Then it was time for the Chautauqua in Ecuador! I wrote a general overview post here and also a post here describing the priceless lessons I picked up. From getting my face smashed into a birthday cake- getting frosting shoved up my nose in the process- to quiet mornings doing sun salutations on the Equator, every day was an adventure! Now that I’m back at work, I realize just how much fun I actually had and how monotonous my every life is. Although, I have to say, I really appreciate certain luxuries now that I’m back home. Things like being able to flush toilet paper, getting drinkable water from the tap, not risking death on twisting mountain roads and waking up to a purring kitty cat are pretty damn great. Out of all the things I’ve bought for myself in the name of my birthday, that trip was the best present of all time.
The rest of the month was fairly quiet as I tried to recover from vacation and adjust back to Cube Farm Land.
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 October 2015.
|Gas & Fuel||Gas was higher due to me driving back and forth to Chicago to catch my flight to Ecuador.|
|Utilities||They dropped another $20! This no heat/no AC weather is amazing on my wallet 🙂|
|Food & Dining||Haaaaaaaaaaaa I was so over budget. I haven’t had a month this bad in forever. Partly attributable to special events (birthday, Mom’s trip, dates, Ecuador) and to vacation as I ran out of food to cook before leaving for a week.|
|Rent||Back to normal. There weren’t any special events this month that I could earn Fun Money.|
|Pets||The rollover helped offset the dry food purchase this month, although I think it’s a bit high so I’m going to lower it even further.|
|Arts||I signed up for a stained glass art class. This should help offset some of my gift giving costs for Christmas!|
|Health & Fitness||Unexpected dental bill that wasn’t covered fully by insurance and fees for my winter indoor soccer season.|
|Misc||Purchases at the quilt show and a yearly membership to the local Young Professional Connection group.|
|Shopping||I bought a few things like a new book and some stuff for the house. I keep finding things I don’t have. When will it stop!?|
|Transfer/Travel||I lumped these two together because the cash withdrawals were for cash spending while on vacation. Part of the travel expense was for Ecuador, while the other expense is for my next trip to see the new Harry Potter play in London next year!!|
Definitely a higher spending month, as total expenses came in at $2766. I’m completely ok with spending more, as the previous two months were very low and I had very justifiable expenses. I could’ve done better with my food expenses when not on vacation, but even that was kind of worth it.
I anticipate a few changes coming up with my budget in the months ahead. Verizon has announced they are raising the rates on my unlimited data plan, so I will be very politely telling them to go kick rocks and joining a different carrier. This will drastically cut my bill from $100 to roughly $30! I also lowered my 401k contribution to the minumum match percentage so I can start to save for house related expenses (not that that will neccessarily be reflected here). The only changes you guys will see will be a sectioning off of expenses between my normal expenses and house related expenses. Otherwise, November should be a fairly calm month! Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers!
What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?