Archive for the ‘Month End’ Category

April Financial update

May 2, 2007

I did end up in the red for April.  The good news is this is the first month in 2007 that I spent more money than I brought in.  The difference was only $44 so for 2007 as a whole I am still doing OK. 

I have a few challenges in May coming up.  We are taking a little vacation near the end of the month.  We have saved up for it, so I hope nothing vacation related comes out of our regular budget.  There always seems to be something that comes up however, so I do need to make sure I have a little extra room.

I am also trying something new with my household and gas purchases.  Instead of using a cash based system for these types of items I am going to use my CC and earn points on my purchased and maybe a $ or two in interest on the money left in my account.  At the end of the month, I will pay my CC on-line.  I have always been very responsible with credit cards – I have never carried a balance.  However, with the cash system, I could physically see how much money I had left for the month by looking at my wallet.  With CC, I will have to keep track in my head when I am out shopping. 

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April Finances

April 25, 2007

It is nearing the end of the month and I have a feeling that April will not end in positive numbers.  Here is the reasons why:

  1. The month of April had 5 Mondays.  I pay for daycare each week on Monday so this caused an extra $250 compared with the last two months.
  2. I hosted Easter Dinner at my house this year so this caused my grocery bill to go up a bit.  I also bought my princess a new dress for Easter – she didn’t need it but it makes her feel like Cinderella.  It just melts my heart to see her so excited about something. 
  3. Murphy’s law – If you don’t want to spend any money – you are suddenly out of everything.  My grocery list on my fridge grows each day of stuff we run out of – mostly they are staple items that we will need to replace before the end of the month – bread, milk, cereal, butter.  The car is also almost out of gas.
  4. Eating out.  Normally I only eat out 1-2 times a month (this includes lunch and eating out with my family).  This month I have eaten out 5 times including pizza for the family.  I had a lot of user-group meetings at work and traditionally the whole group goes out for lunch. 
  5. I received my tax return money but it all went to debt and a new washing machine. 
  6. We had family pictures taken for the church directory.  My DH does portrait photography on the side so we usually don’t purchase any pictures from these types of things.  However, the girls were especially cute and we have never had a family portrait of all 4 of us so we walked out with $70 in pictures. 

This is where I need to find my strength to keep up my budget.  In prior years when I have attempted to cut back on expenses, this is where I begin failing.   It is OK to be over budget once and a while – I just need to make sure next month it does not happen again.   Also – I need to stay focused on paying off my car loan.  Once that bill is gone I will give myself more breathing room in my budget so I am not scrounging at the end of the month.

February Finances

March 8, 2007

February numbers from my budget:

Expenses          Budgeted          Actual              Difference

Household        $600                $520                $80

Daycare           $1000              $1000              $0

Regular Bills     $271                $176                $95

Irregular Bills    $                      $328

Medical            $10                  $50                  ($40)

 

Debt                 Budgeted          Actual              Difference

School Loan     $200                $200                $0

Car Loan          $500                $650                ($150) 

Savings             Budgeted          Actual              Difference

College               $50                  $50                  $0

Irregular Bills      $240                $240                $0

Savings                                       $85                  ($85)

 

Total Expenses\Pmts:                $3299

Income:                                    $3302

Difference                                 $3.00 ahead

 

I run a zero based budget so I want my bottom number to be zero or as close to zero as possible (I try to be on the positive side).  I will post more detail on how I budget in a later post.

Explanations of differences:

Household – This number includes pretty much everything that is not a regular bill or payment.  Groceries, gas, hair cuts, clothing.  My goal is to have this number always smaller than my budgeted amount.

Regular bills – Normally this number would not have much difference.  However, I do budget billing on my gas bill and they were so far off last year I basically got 2 ½ months free gas bills. 

Medical – I normally do not pay much in this category (prescriptions are included in the irregular bills).  However this month I had a co-payment from my daughters 18 month check up plus I got a bill from the clinic from last year’s flu shots.

Car loan & Savings– Anything extra at the end of the month gets split out to the car loan and savings.