Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our Financial Status - Update #7

So I am going to go ahead and do April's update although the month is not officially over. But spending for the month is and since I didn't have anything else scheduled for today, ta-da, here it is.

April was bad in a lot of ways. We are not hurting per se because we both have regular paychecks coming in now. Hooray for regular pay!

However, we did not use our money as wisely as we should have. Mostly it was our decisions that resulted in this although we did have a few surprises.

Let's review:

INCOME:
We made what we expected this month. Chip's check varies slightly due to hours, but nothing drastic. The good news? We can increase our expectations again this month because my employer gave out cost of living increases this year! Hooray!

OVER BUDGET AREAS:
Auto Insurance was slightly ($20) higher this month because for a short time, we owned 3 vehicles (my car, Chip's new car, and the van). Next month we will be able to decrease this budget to cover just 2 cars and happily have this budget lower than it has ever been! In fact, the new rate is so low, we will probably go to paying it every 6 months and avoid a $5 fee (monthly) for paying by the month. Hooray! That's an additional $60 in savings annually (I'll take what I can get).
Gasoline: We went over budget this month by $110. This budget may have to change slightly now that Chip is working full time again. Although work isn't far from home for him, we'll have to watch this and gauge our allotment to it.
Car Repair: $683 over budget. Ouch. When you really only budget for an oil change a month (the empty months hopefully cover any unexpected surprises), you can be thrown for a loop when things arise. We spent about $65 on manuals for repairing Chip's car (we consider those an investment since they enable us to save money later). We had to buy new tires for my car rather than just get them balanced as we had hoped. Chip had to have his A/C repaired because we live in Georgia and spring to us is like summer for some of you. We had to have our vehicles towed one time a piece (Chip's is a slightly embarrassing story that I won't share without his permission and my starter went out earlier this week). And there were the parts for repairing my starter as well as a regular oil change for my car. So this one hurt.
Eating Out: $117 over budget. Wow. I've told you before that this is our weakness, and I meant it. We've really got to rein this in. I'm mostly talking to myself although it was the family meals that killed us this month.
Groceries: $10 over budget. How is it that we're over budget here and with eating out? Well, that's what happens when I slack up on my meal planning. Sigh... Must do better.
Clothing: $118 over budget. Chip needed new shoes for his new job. Chip needed 4 more pairs of black pants for his job. I needed new shoes for work (mine seriously had holes in them). Patrick needed shoes for church for this summer. Considering all we got, I can't feel bad for spending just over $150.
Miscellaneous: Paid $199.00 for membership to buying club (we should easily recoup this when we upgrade Patrick's bed to a full size this year), paid $28 to transfer the tag from the van to Chip's car, paid $273 in sales tax for Chip's car and paid $60 for swim lessons for Patrick at the YMCA


ON BUDGET AREAS:
Television: No surprises
Coffee Shops: $0 as budgeted. This only reason this is on here is because sometimes we treat Patrick to a muffin and milk from the coffee bar at church.
Life Insurance: As expected.
Babysitter/Daycare: Nothing unusual here.


UNDER BUDGET AREAS:
Mobile Phone: Under by $5.
Utilities: $15 under budget--even after lowering the budget $55 from last month this one!
Doctor: $25 under budget. That means no one had to visit the doctor this month (the $25 is for one co-pay. And honestly I got reimbursed for the last visit in March, so we're actually $50 under now. =)
Pharmacy: $15 under budget. Again...no one was sick, so that was great for this budget as well! Home Services: $36 under budget. This is our monthly pest control cost in the summer. In the winter it lessens in frequency, so nothing needed here this month.
Home Supplies: $5 under budget. I usually just budget $5 for this category to cover things like cleaning products, batteries and other things that just keep the household working properly. No money was spent in this category this month. It will roll over to next month.
Baby Supplies: $72 under budget. Which is awesome since we only have a $50 budget here. The extra $22 under rolled over from last month. I was over a couple of month previously stocking up on diapers at great prices. Well, we are seeing the benefits now, as the rolling budget is showing the savings you see above.
Hair: $25 under budget. After raising the budget for this month since Chip is a big tipper, we didn't use any money in this category. Patrick has decided he wants long hair, Chip had a cut at the end of March, so hasn't needed one in April, and it's been longer than I want to admit since I've had a trim.

Debt Update and other Positives:
  • We paid the minimum to card #4 and sent $2200 to card #3 (cards #1 & #2 previously paid off).
  • It doesn't look like we're going to owe any more out of pocket on Chip's vasectomy, so we might have saved $400 on that procedure that we didn't expect. Hooray!
  • The car chaos, while frustrating, was paid with cash. Now that we're very intentional in our spending, we aren't caught by surprise by repairs and such. Sure, I would have loved to send that extra $600 to a credit card, but I am proud to say that we did add the amount to our total debt.
  • We still have some money set aside in savings that might can be used in the near future for debt repayment. There is going to be a hearing with the Department of Labor to determine whether Chip should pay back some of his unemployment benefits (long, frustrating story because he got every penny honestly). If all that pans out, we will be able to send that $1200 to card #3 as well.
  • My 401k is swelling with this market. Woo hoo!
  • Similarly, we both have a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA. Because we have not paid much attention to them, we really have not been getting as much gain on them as we could have. We can only change how they are invested once a year, near their anniversary, and this week I have sent off the forms to change mine so they can grow more quickly. I have not contributed anything to them in a while. While we're paying off debt, I won't, but hopefully we can pay off debts and ramp back up on that contribution soon enough!
  • Still haven't touched our credit cards since the beginning of January! =)

NET WORTH UPDATE: Since October 1, 2009 when I really started paying attention to our finances, we have increased our net worth by $23,206.26! Wow! It's amazing what you can do when you really try!

UPCOMING: Must plan for Abigail's 1st birthday party which is coming up in June. There will need to be gifts and of course a party. =)

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