February’s Budget: Goal vs. Actual

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I think the habit of NOT eating out has definitely cemented itself in our family’s way of living.  It’s not that we don’t want to eat out, but it’s just really not an option right now as I am a stay-at-home mom with no income (for the first time in 13 years!)  We are planning a “date” for mid to late April but you better believe we’ll be dining out at a restaurant that issues “Buy One, Get One Free” coupons!

At the end of February, we realized that (once again) our grocery budget was over.  I think this is because it’s not only a grocery budget, but I tack all household items on there as well.  We did come in very much under in the baby expenses department and that is because we have been using amazon.com gift cards that we received as gifts to pay for diapers and wipes.  My husband also won a $50 gift card at work and that went towards our crazy hypo-allergenic formula expense.  We’re very excited that our son will be 6 months old in the next few weeks – his pediatrician is suggesting we switch him back to a milk-based formula at that point to give it another try.  If his digestive tract can tolerate it this time, we could go from spending hundreds for formula down to $60.  Cross your fingers for us!

So here’s the breakdown for February:

Baby Supplies: Budget – $170.00, Actual: $26.06, UNDER: $143.94

Groceries & Household Items: Budget – $150.00, Actual: $225.47, OVER: $75.47  (This overage also has a lot to do with the way the dates fall – my husband and I are both convinced after running the numbers that this is balancing out over multiple months.) 

Gas (for the Corolla & Alero): Budget – $90.00, Actual – $73.52, UNDER: $16.48  (Not looking forward to March with these insane hikes in gas prices.)

Gifts: Budget – $0.00, Actual – $1.29, OVER: $1.29 (This was an unexpected gift for my son’s great-granddad who lives in Scotland.  We ordered a free photo collage from Walgreens but then had to pay for a protective package for it when it travels to the UK with my husband’s parents later this spring.)

Home Repair & Maintenance: Budget – $0.00, Actual – $0.00

Pet Care: Budget – $27.00, Actual – $13.06, UNDER: $13.94

Extra Income from Ebay: Budget – $0.00, Actual – $222.07

So even before our Ebay income, we were UNDER in the spending department by $64.64.  It’s so nice to know (and see) where your money is going every month!

My husband and I sat down to complete March’s budget and this time, instead of putting it on paper (my preference), we created a spreadsheet that will allow us to complete the process in minutes – I have to admit, it did make it a lot easier.  It’s also nice knowing that we’re on the same page and that we’re going to work together towards the same goal 🙂

If you’d like to start preparing a monthly budget, here are several templates available for free.  We did have to tweak the original template in several places, but now it’s doing all the hard work for us!

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