Thursday, February 2, 2012

Our Financial Status - Update #24 - January 2012

We're still plugging away through our Total Money Makeover via the teachings of Dave Ramsey.  It's been a long haul and we're not done yet.  But in the interest in being real, being transparent, and making it obvious that it isn't easy, I post our monthly budget performance here for all to see.

Is it interesting?  Probably not to most.  For me it is an accountability tool.  And for someone else out there struggling through the mess they created like we are, maybe it will be a "we're not the only ones in this boat" kind of read.

If you want, just skip this one and come back tomorrow for something (hopefully) more interesting to you.

INCOME:
Nailed it. Seriously nothing new or unexpected here.

UNDER BUDGET:
Gasoline:$28 under budget.  WHAT?  Seriously...I don't know that this has ever happened.  But I will gladly take it!
Mobile Phone: $4 under budget. It's not much, but I'll take it. I may not have this budget amount right. We recently made some changes to our plan and I'm not sure exactly what it should be yet. So hooray - it may be lower than I anticipated. =)
Electricity/Water: $9 under budget. Yippee!  I'm excited that this budget has panned out.  This is a rolling budget, meaning that I budget $200/month every month. Some months (summer in the South) our electricity itself is well over that. Others it is well under.  So I give an "average" of $200/month and hope it all averages out.  From the looks of this month - it did!  Hooray!
Doctor: No spending this month, but we have $55 "rolling" from previous months. Like our utilities, I give an average of one copay a month hoping we won't need them. Now that we're to yearly checkups for everyone, I should be able to drop this amount a bit. Maybe one check up and one sick visit each per year? I doubt Chip and I would use ours. That's one to think about.
Pharmacy: Just like the doctor one, no spending this month but have $62 over our rolling budget to wait out.
Baby Supplies: No spending this month. $145 available in my rolling budget. Just wanting to get the girl potty trained and eliminate this budget altogether!
Childcare: No spending this month and $30 rolled over from previous months.
Hair: No spending this month. Money rolling on in this one.
Toiletries: No spending this month. Money rolling on this one too.
Clothing: No spending this month.  I am $118 over my rolling budget though. Waiting it out and hopefully will have money in the rolling budget for some new spring clothes for the kids soon!

ON BUDGET:
Auto Insurance: No surprises here.
Television: As usual.
Term Life Insurance: Done
Mobile Phone: Nothing new here.
Alarm Monitoring/Pest Control: Regular charges here.
Mortgage/HOA/Timeshare: On course.

OVER BUDGET: 
Eating Out: $117 over our $100 budget. Ouch.  There really is no excuse for this. We just ate outside of the house far too much. This is our weak point and we're obviously not in control of it yet.
Groceries: $229 over budget. This one truly baffles me.  I've been trying to do better about meal planning and intentional spending in this area and had NO IDEA we were this much over this month. Honestly with the effort I've been putting forth, I would have expected this to be much lower. I've got to sit down and figure this out.
Home Supplies: $20 over budget. I rarely spend anything in this category, so the light bulbs, hooks and whatnot that I bought really don't worry me.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
  • Sent $167 over our budget to the credit card for repayment.
  • Working on refinancing the house. This will free up around $200/month that can go to credit cards. Additionally, we will get some escrow back that we plan to use to pay off an Army debt that we are slowly working through.
  • Taxes will be done soon and we expect a refund. Already know we're going to send that in bulk to credit card.
  • We've had a little extra in our baby emergency fund that I was hanging onto. Now that we've got this escrow refund coming in as well as the tax refund, we're going to use it to buy Patrick some new furniture in cash. Hooray for no more credit purchases like this!
  • We're still waiting to see what Chip's Army training is going to look like going forward. Although I don't want him away from home long, I would welcome the extra income that would provide to help us really push through our own personal debt crisis.
  • In the process of refinancing our home, we found out that we both have really, really good credit scores. Frankly, I'm surprised that they are as good as they are. I mean, we have not missed a due date in many many many years, but still, our debt to available credit ratio is terribly high at the moment, so I'm surprised that the score is so good!
Debt Paid off Since December 2011: $656.10
Debt Paid off Since October 14, 2009: $23,740.03
Change in Networth from December 2011: $2053.75
Change in Networth from October 14, 2009: $45,303.17

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