What a busy, busy month July was! With mine and B’s vacation to Virginia a few weeks ago (I wish we were still there!) and starting my new job, I have spent the last day or so trying to play budgeting catch up.
July was a little complicated compared to a “normal” month, due to change in pay (I got quite a nice pay boost with my new job, as well as starting my side job), vacation, and a few extras I didn’t plan for wanting a piece of my checkbook.
All in all, I didn’t do too bad…I ended up $29.64 over budget, if you include in my income the $100 I took from my emergency fund excess to cover an unexpected medical bill. (To read more about emergency funds, read $1,000 Reasons to Have an Emergency Fund.)
I’m going to give myself a pat on the back for this month. I tried a spending diet (I’ll write more about this soon!) and made it most of the way through the month before the need for caffeine at odd hours at work crept up on me, and I splurged on a coffee a few times. Considering I didn’t pay for Dunkin Donuts once, though, I’m lucky…my deficit could have been much worse 🙂 (You may remember me mentioning this is my major weakness in life; my loving sister took pity and would buy me Dunkin in exchange for babysitting her adorable two-year-old. Fair trade!)
This leads me to August, which (I hope) will be easier to work through budget-wise. My shifts will be regular from now on, 3am to 3pm and flipping to 3pm to 3am later in the month, three shifts a week. Ahh, the life of a nurse!
Plus, I have a better idea of how to plan my budget this month. Budgets are always a free-flowing, dynamic being. They need to change as much as we do, and you will rarely start and end the month with exactly the same budget. Things change, expenses (like my medical bill) come up, and you have to adapt.
With that being said, my August budget is a step in the right direction for me.
Here’s my projected budget for the upcoming month:
|Family Cell Phone||$126.50|
As you can see, I have added Food back in at an estimated $75.00 budget. If you read the footnote on my July budget, you may remember that my family and I collaborate for meals and my mom and sister give me lots of leftovers for lunches for work. The $75.00 includes how much I want to spend on snack and foods only I really eat, as well as what I contribute to the family grocery shopping bill.
I also gave myself “Free Money” and “Savings” categories. I didn’t realize until yesterday that I still had an automatic withdrawal on my bank account, which removes $20 from my checking account and puts it in my savings account at the end of each month. I honestly haven’t missed the $20, and I like the idea of doing this. Above and beyond an emergency fund, I want to have some extra money available for oil changes and other semi-regular expenses that I don’t remember to plan for until it’s time to pay up.
The “Free Money” category is for me to spend on drinks (read: caffeine) and other personal things that I don’t feel like breaking down into smaller categories. Grad school is coming up, and my sister (who has been out of school for years) and I love back-to-school shopping! We normally get fabulous deals because this is the one time a year we take a note from the Extreme Couponer’s Rule Book, but I need money to spend in the first place, no matter how great the deal! (Plus, I’m running out of shampoo and want to buy Dunkin without guilt….)
I’ll post an update later this month about how well this is going for me, now that I’ve added a few more categories!
How often do you go over your budget? Once a month, like I did in July, or more often?