Thursday, July 1, 2010

Our Financial Status - Update #9

Oh am I embarrassed.

I mean, seriously embarrassed.

Why? Because our budget this month? It stunk. REALLY REALLY bad. In fact, it has been bad over the last few months.

I thought that blogging this would help; that it would serve as some type of accountability. However, I am obviously shameless because not only does it not keep me from spending outside the budget, but I am now blogging about that reality without a lot of hesitation.

We've gotta' buckle down. Chip and I have got to get refocused. We have goals in mind. Not "one day out there" kind of goals, but goals that are turning out to be more solid. More concrete. And we've got to control ourselves if we're going to make them happen.

So let's get down to the nitty gritty and see the shame that was June:

Perhaps the only bright spot in this month's budget was the income. Yep. We made a whopping $34 more than anticipated for budgeting purposes. It's not much, but I'm grasping for what I can highlight this month.

Gas/Fuel: $231 over budget. That's right. Not $231, but $231 OVER budget. I will explain this one although it is still outrageous. I traveled to my mom's over Memorial Day weekend. It's a 6 hour drive. Most of the weekend expenses did not clear until the month had rolled around. Then Chip had to drive all over to complete his work training. And to boot, he had to drive to Atlanta and back for the ultimate completion of his training. He will get reimbursed for that, but it didn't make it stay in our account while it was going on.
Auto Service/Parts: $8 over budget. Just some maintenance surrounding the trips. However, because we were good in the months prior, it came out that cumulatively we are still $22 under budget for the year in this category.
Mobile Phone: $5 over budget. I had some texting to some people not on our free texting list. So it cost us. Since we have done well in this category for the year, like with Auto Parts, we are actually $1 under budget cumulatively, but that doesn't excuse that we were over this month.
Utilities: $16 over budget. This category includes water and electricity. Since it is getting hotter, I expect this bill to skyrocket. June was a terribly hot month and we're going to need the $56 that we are collectively under budget for the year to account for June. I'm leaving the budgeted amount alone though, hoping that from season to season it will average itself out.
Coffee Shops: $5 over budget. Although not planned, I will let this one go. Chip bought coffee to keep himself awake while traveling home from Atlanta. Money well spent since he arrived home in one piece.
Fast Food/Restaurants: $218 over budget. Yep. Yikes is not sufficient. I can tell you that about $90 of this will be reimbursed, but it doesn't excuse the rest of it. We failed. I could try to come up with 100 excuses, but they are just that--excuses. I cannot justify any of it.
Groceries: $227 over budget. You'd think will all of the eating out we did that this would be lower. But doesn't seem to work that way. Must reign in the food spending. We did feed extra people for Abigail's birthday party, but not that many!
Home Services: $10 over budget. This month I increased the budget (for the month) to include our required annual termite inspection. I did not account for the fact that my e-mealz subscription was due.
Home Supplies: $15 over budget. We had to buy more propane for our gas grill. Didn't know when that would happen.
Hair: $17 over budget. I got my hair cut this month. And it costs more than our monthly budget. However, we are collectively $13 under budget for the year for this category, which is justification for the budget being set at an these things can accumulate and allow some higher expenses some months. Although over the month, I will highlight it as good planning.
Toiletries: $18 over budget. No explanation. Just spent money here.
Clothing: $550 over budget. "What?!" you ask. Yep. But really. I'm okay with it. Chip bought a really nice suit with some shirts and ties for his big work attire/business needs. And I'm okay with that. Seriously the man rarely shops for clothes and he hasn't bought a suit in years. It's totally legitimate to get a nicely tailored suit for work when you are embarking on a new career and treat yourself. We used the extra payment money that we usually send to credit cards for this.
Miscellaneous: $187 over budget. This includes: $91 to host Abigail's birthday party and a gift for another 1st birthday party; $47 for photo books that I made of Patrick's first 4 years, a trip to Disney World and a Father's Day book for Chip; $37 for DVDs that I bought for the family at Movie Gallery's going out of business sale (it was for 7 movies, so it really wasn't bad at all, although not nearly necessary spending); and $12 for dog food.

Auto Insurance: This really was no surprise.
Television: Seriously...this is a fixed amount. I don't know why I bother putting it on here except for the idea of full disclosure.
Doctor: Abigail had an ear infection. We plan for one trip to the doctor a month. This was it. She also had her one-year check up, but since it won't clear the bank until July and it will be reimbursed by my employer, I am comfortable in saying that this was on budget.
Term Life Insurance: Once again, a fixed cost.
Mortgage: On budget.
Childcare: We're actually under budget if you look at the chart, but this week's check will clear in July, so we are really on budget cumulatively. It will show up next month as an overage, but to a built up budget (since I let this amount roll over from month to month).

Pharmacy: $9 under budget. We spent $6 on amoxicillian for Abigail's ear infection earlier in the month. When I was previously taking birth control, I had this amount set for the cost of my monthly medication plus slightly more for those OTC drugs. I haven't changed it, so we are collectively still $23 under budget in this category. I should change it now to be more like $5 a month for OTC meds and any unexpected prescriptions.
Baby Supplies: $43 under budget. Still using diapers that I stocked up on previously. I didn't spend $7 on diapers this month, but I got almost 100 of them for that price, plus $10 back in CVS Extrabucks, so they were better than free in reality. =) A small bright spot in this terrible month of budgets. And we are $92 under budget cumulatively.

Additional Comments:
  • Still owe $178 for the balance of the bill for Chip's vasectomy. Need to pay for that in July before late charges start coming in.
  • Paid $50 more than the minimum on two credit cards we hold. Paid for Chip's new suit (see "clothing" above) with the rest of our regular credit card payment money.
  • We paid the Dept of Labor back $1300 as discussed during the last update. I would have loved to have sent that money elsewhere, but it is what it is.
  • Our birthday party plans for Abigail only cost a total of $91 out of pocket including food, cake, invitations, and presents. I think we did pretty good!
  • I thought our alarm company contract was up this month, but they haven't contacted us about it. Since I'm not big on sending lots of money to people in a month we have already used it all, we haven't contacted them about it either.
  • We will be sending $1700 to the IRS next month. Major accidental SNAFU on our part on our 2008 tax return that they caught. It was purely an innocent (omission) mistake, but we do owe it and we will pay it. That means we'll have to send our credit card overpayment money plus some from savings to cover it. is so hard to get ahead.
  • My 401k is suffering with this sucky stock market activity. I am $3000 poorer than I was at the beginning of May--even after my money going into it twice a month since then. Sigh...I'm just holding on until it starts climbing again. I don't really know what else to do.
  • Our tax appraisal came in this month. Our house appraised for 20% less than was we paid for it. The idea of that really hurts, but it doesn't really hurt since we are not trying to sell. And our tax bill will be lower, so that is not altogether a bad thing.

That is the good, the bad, and the really ugly for the month. In a few days I will be discussing our future new goals and aspirations and how it is important that we really get back on the wagon to make them work. They are exciting and frightening all at the same time. I can't wait to see how everything plays out!


  1. I think that even if you are off budget it is better to be posting and keeping track. At least it keeps you aware. There are a lot of people who are completely clueless about their funds. I feel pretty inspired. :)

  2. The fact that you are so organized is already an accomplishment. I would probably be over budget all the time because I lack organization.

    I admire your efforts. You are doing a wonderful job.