Thursday, October 7, 2010

Our Financial Status - Update #12 - September 2010

So, another month has gone by and here I am to confess our successes and our shortfalls.

$936 over budget. Hooray! Although one of Chip's paychecks was lower than normal (coming off a week of vacation and being paid hourly for that week), he got an extra one during the month along with one "high" one, so things were great.

Baby Supplies: $31 over for the month, but since I have such a huge rolling budget on this one, I am still $154 under my rolling month-to-month budget in this category, I can afford to be over for a month. That's the point of having it roll. Hooray!
Hair care: Same as baby supplies. Although I was $17 over for the month, that's why I have this budget rolling, as I was still $13 under the total rolling budget.
Clothing: And as the two above--although I spent $4 over my monthly budget, I was still $44 below my rolling budget. I'm currently getting fall/winter clothes for the kids though, so this one might work itself out in October. We'll see!
Home Supplies: $2 under budget. Don't even remember what this purchase was for, but it fell within our guidelines.

Mortgage/Timeshare/HOA: Nailed it.
Auto Insurance: No surprises here.
Term Life Insurance: Just as expected.
Mobile Phone: We were on budget for the month, but have a rolling $4 overage. I'm waiting to work itself out during a month or two when we are slightly under budget.
Alarm Monitoring: Bingo.
Pest Control: Once again, nothing unusual here.
Childcare: On our newly lowered budget. Hooray!

Gas/Fuel: $144 over budget. We traveled for Labor Day to visit family, so we used extra gasoline than usual. Additionally, Chip has not been assigned to a particular store (again) yet, so he is traveling a lot and I don't know how to reset the budget until we are more certain about where he will be traveling daily. So I'm leaving this alone until he has a "home" again.
Auto Service/Parts: $173 over budget. Chip's car needed a new windshield thanks to a large crack that mysterious showed up and ran right into his line of vision.
Television: $20 over budget, but I paid October's bill early, so it hit during September. It will work itself out
Power Bill/Water Bill: $199 over budget. I know, right? We actually paid two water bills this month because I paid the August one late. And our power bill was OUTRAGEOUS because August is horribly hot in Georgia and the bill we get in September is always AWFUL. Now that the weather is so very pleasant, I'm hoping to open some windows and balance out some of the overage from previous months!
Eating Out: $141 over budget. We really have no excuse. A lot of late dinners and poor grocery/meal planning made this happen. We did intentionally eat delivery pizza for Chip's birthday but have no excuse for this kind of overage.
Groceries: $113 over budget. It always depresses me when we eat out over budget AND have a over budget grocery category. It's pitiful and unnecessary. This was once again poor planning.
Doctor: $153 over budget. We didn't use a co-pay during this month (although I budget for one every month), but we did pay off the final $178 we owed from Chip's vasectomy! Hooray for the depletion of medical debt!
Pharmacy: $23 over budget. Chip was dying for some acid reflux medication and since we had used our budget in the previous months, there was no build up of credit in our rolling budget.
Home Services: $55 over budget. $15 was from e-mealz (I am going to add $5/month into this budget right now for that...not sure why I haven't already done that) and $40 was a renewal of our Sam's membership. Oh well.
Gift/Gift Shipping: $57 overage. We bought Patrick a birthday gift and a niece a birthday gift. Really not too bad considering....
Make-up/Toiletries: Although I spent nothing in this category, I'm still $6 over my rolling budget. Hopefully this one will work itself out soon.
Gas Station Snacks: $6 overage resulting from our traveling during Labor Day. This is a weakness of Chip's when stopping for gasoline.


  • We sent $719 over the minimum payment to the credit card that is next on our debt snowball list. I'm hoping to really throw some money at it in October! I just hate seeing the overages in un-necessities (like the eating out overages) and thinking about how much more I could have sent.
  • Emergency fund is good to go at $1500 still.
  • We paid off the remainder of all medical debt (we still previously had one $178 bill leftover from Chip's vasectomy that we have been putting off paying).
  • We paid $128 to renew our car tags. I didn't budget for it but we were able to pull it off still.
  • We spent $61 during September preparing for Patrick's birthday party. There won't be many additional costs to add during the October budget, so I think we pulled off his entire party for under $100 (including gifts!).
Change in Networth from October 14, 2009: + $29,887.31
Debt Paid off Since October 14, 2009: $18,218.38

And that is September in a financial nutshell at our house.

How did you do this month?


  1. Congrats - it sounds like you did well this month. I'm impressed you have a plan and follow it. That's the hardest part for me.

  2. @Hifam--Getting started was the hardest part, but once that is done, it's almost fun to try to see if you can beat your expectations. Of course it does get old sometimes, but I try to keep focus on the debt elimination and plug on. Our weakness is obviously wanting to eat out. We have to really work to make that one happen.

  3. We definitely share the eating out problem. I go back each week or so and add up what we spent on eating out, FREAK OUT, we eat in for about 3 days, then go back to eating out. It's so tough to plan meals (especially just for 2), get to the grocery, cook, and clean up. If you figure out a good way to curb this let me know!

  4. @The Cutting Etch - The month of August (I think it was August) we stayed under eating out budget. It was miraculous and the only time it has ever happened. I completely understand how hard it is just to cook for 2. We've been there and done that and still are kinda' doing it since our oldest is an extremely picky eater and our daughter is just starting to really eat anything. I would suggest e-mealz to you (click on the link on my sidebar "I Recommend" section). They have meal planning for 2. It suggests meals, creates grocery lists, and takes all of the planning out of your hands. Of course, you still have to go to the store and clean up, but maybe that will help somewhat?

    Good luck!

    As for curbing it...for us it has just taken a lot of focus and dedication to this particular goal. At least it did that one month we did it. =/

  5. Thanks for the tip, I checked out their sample menu. I can't believe they put together a week of meals for 2 for $40.
    It definitely helps to have a plan, and also to know you have groceries at home that will go to waste if you go out to eat.

  6. Seriously give it a try...if just for the first 3 see if it helps. I've found that it mostly gives me inspiration for meals rather than me not being able to rummage through my chaotic mind to figure out something to eat!