Week 4: Spending Diet

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So this post is a little late, but I wanted to wait until January was over to annouce that…MY FAMILY DID NOT EAT OUT AT ALL IN JANUARY!!!!! 

Our January food and baby supplies budgets went a little over simply because we were preparing for the predicted blizzard.  I stocked up on formula, diapers, and food for us adults and pets in order to “brave the storm” in the comfort of my home 🙂  I’m not going to include the baby supplies under January’s spending simply because it’s all for February.

To be fair, this is our first monthly budget EVER – I could be really disappointed that we had overages, but I’m going to choose to be happy about the fact that we were under in baby supplies and had so much extra income.  We now have a good understanding of where February’s budget will have to be adjusted.  When I compare 2011’s spending with 2010’s, you’ll see why I’m choosing the “glass half full” stance 🙂

So here’s the breakdown for January:

Baby Supplies: Budget – $170.00, Actual: $155.91, UNDER: $14.09

Groceries & Household Items: Budget – $150.00, Actual: $192.34, OVER: $42.34  (In order to save in February, I exceeded our budget in January.  Schnucks was selling split chicken breasts for $0.99 per pound!  I couldn’t pass that up – I bought enough chicken to last for a whole week of meals plus some to freeze.) 

Gas (for the Corolla & Alero): Budget – $60.00, Actual – $94.00, OVER: $34.00  (We grossly underestimated our gas usage – ah well, now we have a better number for February.)

Gifts: Budget – $0.00, Actual – $13.25, OVER: $13.25 (We hadn’t considered gifts, but certainly will in future months!)

Home Repair & Maintenance: Budget – $0.00, Actual – $80.99, OVER: $80.99 (Includes Humidifier filters and Mini-Bathroom Remodel)

Pet Care: Budget – $28.00, Actual – $38.34, OVER: $10.34

Extra Income from Ebay: Budget – $0.00, Actual – $234.72

So even though we were over in so many categories, most of which can be attributed to stocking up for the blizzard and not having a full grasp on all aspects of our spending, our extra income paid for them with some left over.  

I took a look at last year’s January spending and was astonished at our previous crazy ways.  Take a look at these numbers:

January 2010

  • Gas: $137.49 (We were both working.)
  • Baby Expenses: $33.78 (I found out I was pregnant in January last year – I excitedly bought NEW books to find out what was going to happen.  Lesson learned: USED or the LIBRARY is the way to go!)
  • Groceries, Household Items, Pet Care, & Dining Out: $999.85 (WHAT!?!?)
  • Books & Movies: $47.92
  • Salon: $181.00 (Yes, I had a high-priced monthly habit.)
  • Clothes & Accessories: $49.11

So after feeling slightly saddened by the amount of money we gave away to have other people prepare our food and do my hair, I rejoiced that we were able to make such an improvement 🙂

This Week’s Goals:

  • Finish the Kitchen Deep Clean (Recipes for Homemade Cleaners Coming Soon!)
  • Finalize February’s Budget
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