So after my confessional post, I asked you guys to keep me accountable. Well, that's pretty hard to do if I don't update you, so I plan to do that at the beginning of each month.
I am posting how much over/under we were, but you can't see our budgeted amounts. I'm still feeling out my comfort level of publishing such personal info.
Here's where we stand for October:
INCOME: $2905 over expected.
Result of one extra week in the month for unemployment check, a reimbursement check from Chip's previous employer, and the sale of trumpets mentioned in the confessional post.
OVER BUDGET AREAS:
Credit Card Payments: $1944 due to sending money from the trumpet sales to pay off card #1. I can definitely live with this one.
Mobile Phone: $60 (we bought new phones in September and the chargers we had to pay for showed up on October's bill)
Dining: $90 yeah. No kidding. The "good" news is that most of this was incurred before I started tracking using Mint. We had a really bad beginning of the month for eating out.
Doctor: $140. We have a $40 co-pay. I chose one co-pay per month to be in our budget. Since both kids were due a check up this month, we were $40 over. I also sent an extra $100 to apply to hospital bills from Abigail's birth. Since neither child is due a visit to the doctor, if everyone is well through November, the rolling budget will clear itself out for December's check up (for Abigail). The additional good news--I will get reimbursed $40 for a co-pay from my employer. (they reimburse up to two co-pays a year per member of the family; I've already collected both of Abigail's, but not Patrick's, so we have one due to us).
Auto Repair/Parts: $63. We needed some new wipers for the van. The good ones aren't cheap (and we needed three of them), but they should last for a while!
Hair Cuts: $20. It never happens that BOTH guys need them at the same time...but it did this month! This should roll through November and balance out for December.
Home/Building Supplies: $15. We went over because Chip built an obstacle course for Patrick's birthday party. Oh well...he only turns 4 once. =)
ON BUDGET AREAS:
Childcare (very predictable)
Life Insurance (very predictable)
Life Insurance (very predictable)
Newspaper (very predictable)
UNDER BUDGET AREAS:
Utilities: $43 Hooray for weather that doesn't have our AC pumping constantly!
Baby Supplies (non grocery): $34 I had some diapers already stocked up from a good sale, so not much was needed in this area.
Clothing: Nothing spent--None of us needed anything this month. This is one item in Mint that I have as a "rolling" expense so whatever we don't use one month will roll over to the next. We don't buy clothes regularly, but when we do, we buy more than what I've budgeted for one month, so it should work out.
Pest Control: Nothing spent--Strange. We didn't get a bill. I wonder if they came....
Make-Up/Toiletries: $4. Hooray! True underage!
Some miscellaneous items that I didn't expect or budget for:
Birthday party preparation costs
Photos printed (miscellaneous).
Photo shoot at Sears
So, overall, we were over budget with our expenses, but had more income than expected as well, so we did okay. Obviously I can see that we need to work on our eating out budget and now that we are in the groove of not eating out so often, this should go down drastically for November.
I expect November to possibly be over budget for gasoline, as we will be traveling to visit my mom this weekend, and most probably in groceries, as we are hosting family for Thanksgiving this month. However, my hope is to offset these areas by being under in other, more controllable areas.
The good news is...one card is knocked out of the running now. We can "snowball" and add that payment towards card #2.
What do you think? Any suggestions to help us?