Thursday, April 1, 2010

Our Financial Status - Update #6

So here we are at the beginning of another month, so I have come to open up our accounts and display them for all to see (okay...so only partially since I don't disclose actual amounts here).

And let me tell you. It's not pretty.

It may not be safe for young eyes, as we had a truly difficult month during March. If you are prone to nausea, you might want to turn away.

Some of it was brought on by choices we intentionally made that we knew would affect our budget. Others were Murphy's Law creating havoc. In the end, we came out okay, but it was not via the scenic route.

So let's take a dive into this now that you've been warned.

INCOME:
$14,561.00 OVER budget. How crazy is that? I just budgeted our paychecks, but we got our tax refund in (which was expected, but more than a standard monthly income); got one small unexpected paycheck that has been owed since last November; sold two trumpets, some books, and two vehicles. So...craziness ensues and we have a major income jump. It's just for this month, I know, but it helped us take care of some business.

OVER BUDGET AREAS:
Gasoline: $222 over budget. Yeah. Wow. We did travel this month to visit my mom, which I knew meant would be more travel than usual. However, we also did a huge scouting of vehicles to buy all the way from Florida to Charleston, so we spent a lot of money in gas on that as well.
Auto Parts/Service: $930 over budget. Yeah...wow. I had to have 3 new tires unexpectedly, Chip had a repair done on the van to help it sell, Chip paid to have his new car looked over by a Mercedes specialist to give him a to-do list that he can do most of himself, and Chip most two manuals to help him repair his car at home. Hugely unexpected month. But we had the cash. Hooray!
Mobile Phone: $0.89 over budget. I feel silly putting this in the "over" category, but in the spirit of honesty, I am putting it here.
Coffee Shops: $15 over budget. Most of this was coffee obtained while traveling to visit my mom and to see cars to keep Chip awake during the drive. If that is what did the trick, I would call it money well spent. =)
Eating Out (Fast Food & Restaurants): $119 over budget. Wow. That is what happens when you travel and have to eat on the road. Also, we did eat out a few times. It's crazy how expensive eating out truly is and how much of your budget it can eat away. Last month was great. This month was awful. Here's to getting back to budget during April.
Groceries: $18 over budget. You would think with all of the eating out that we would be lower on the grocery bill. But it doesn't seem to work that way. Towards the end of this month, I started using e-mealz to help with my meal planning, so I'm hoping it will maintain good spending while reducing our felt need to eat out due to poor planning.
Pharmacy: $16 over budget due to the pain meds prescribed after Chip's vasectomy. I think he will tell you it was money well spent. =)
Home Services: $12.50 over budget. That was due to deciding to sign up for e-mealz. I will now write this into our budget for a $15.00 charge every three months.
Hair: $5 over. Chip tips well because the lady who cuts his hair is awesome. I can't fault him that. So I'm just going to up our budget to account for his tipping because the lady deserves it.
Miscellaneous: $299 over budget. Breakdown is as follows: $141 for speeding ticket, $96 for dog grooming and sitting, $21 for Easter basket items, $20 in a bank fee because I didn't know that we were limited in our activity with our savings account I surpassed that limit, and $22 on a movie we bought.

ON BUDGET AREAS:
Auto Insurance: As expected. Now that we've sold two vehicles and bought one more sedan this budgeted amount will change for the month...going down slightly, so we will be saving money. =)
Television: Done. Very predictable.
Term Life Insurance: Once again...an easy prediction.
Mortgage: Lower than it has ever been. But that was expected after our lowered HOA fees and home re-fi. On budget.


UNDER BUDGET AREAS:
Utilities: $46 under budget. Hooray. I expect this will get closer to "on budget" as we near summer and Savannah heats up.
Medical: We PAID OFF my looming medical bills from Abigail's birth and paid with cash for Chip's vasectomy. We were $400 under budget though because we're still waiting on another bill for the remainder of our out-of-pocket costs for his procedure. I let that underage roll over into our April budget so we will expect it when it comes.
Home Supplies: $5 under budget.
Baby Supplies: $23 under budget. I thought I would be spending $0 in this category (I have $50 allotted) but there were some AWESOME diaper sales that I used to stock up for the future so that I won't have to pay full price then.
Daycare: $71.25 under. Patrick missed school one day with a fever and headache. And one day the school was closed due to the power company making repairs and both children stayed home. So that was 3 unpaid days total.
Makeup/Toiletries: $1 under budget.
Clothing: $23 under budget. I did have to buy a pair of jeans for myself, but otherwise all of last month's money will roll into April...which is great because the kids need a few summer items that I plan to pick up this weekend.

The positives?
  • We paid off the medical bills! HOORAY!
  • We paid $2000 towards Credit Card #3 debt. HOORAY!
  • We paid in cash for Chip's vasectomy. HOORAY!
  • We paid in cash for a car to replace the van making us a profit because the new car cost less than the van sold for (and Chip feels cooler in his Benz than in a blue minivan).
  • We have more money stashing aside for debt repayment. The reason we didn't send it all to the card this past month has to do with an unemployment hearing result that may determine that we have to repay some of the benefits Chip got (although we are actually in the right, the state may not feel that way).
  • We paid all of the unexpected Auto Service expense out of pocket and did not have to touch a credit card. Although that huge amount could have/should have gone to pay off debt, we were blessed to have the cash on hand as to not accumulate more debt. =) I call that a win.
  • We haven't touched our credit cards since the very beginning of January. HUGE SMILE!

How about you? How did you do this past month?

So although it was a crazy over-budget month, we came out okay.

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