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Posts tagged with: tracking spending

Hope’s Weekly Budget – Week of Sept 24

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I use an Excel spreadsheet to track my income and expenses. I have it set up all the way through July, 2018 to keep me looking toward the future. I thought I might post every week’s budgeted items, the Friday before.  This will help keep me accountable, and give you a real life view into my financial life to advise and guide me on.

This coming week’s items are pretty self explanatory. I am at the end of my monthly grocery budget, have a few debt payment’s scheduled, the kids’ weekly allowance and our family gym monthly fee.

Groceries 25-Sep-17 -50
Debt Payment 25-Sep-17 -100
Auto-Gas 26-Sep-17 -35
Debt Payment 26-Sep-17 -100
Gym 28-Sep-17 -50
1099 Income 29-Sep-17 850
Allowance 29-Sep-17 -80
Debt Payment 29-Sep-17 -100

The 1099 income is from one of my regular income sources, I’ve been part time with this particular company going on 2 years now. It is the one I got right after I lost my full time income. It has steadily grown and I now work 25 hours a week, every week. I enjoy the work, I love my ‘bosses’ and it’s one of those jobs I can do anytime, anywhere while at the same time being flexible when I need some time away.

Today I am spending the day with my siblings. All four of them flew to Georgia with my mom for a few days. It’s the first time we’ve seen them since last Christmas when we went to Texas and the first time we’ve all been in Georgia in several years.

Let me know your thoughts on my Friday Budget posts?


September Budget Update

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This month we had $6317 to work with for income. Little heads up….we went over our budget. The excess was taken from our extra savings. Here’s how we stacked up in each category:

Place Planned Budget Actual Spent
Rent 1055 1055
Electricity 260 245
Water 65 61
Natural gas 20 14
Sprint (2 lines) 115 114
Cable/Internet 100 100
Car Insurance 104 103
Health Insurance 350 350
Trash 35 35
Debt 2009 1779
Miscellaneous 300 366
Groceries 400 483
Baby Purchases 1200 1077
Gasoline 100 111
Saving for Irregular Expenses 445 445
Total Budgeted 6558 6338

 

So our actual spent ($6338) minus our income for the month ($6317) means we spent over budget by $21. Not too terrible, but there were some categories of spending I’d like to zero in on and give some additional details….

First, you’ll notice that less was spent in debt payments than was initially planned. I hate to put less toward debt, but here’s what happened….

Do you remember when I moved my student loans to be Income Based Repayment (IBR)? Welllllll, there was some confusion with this. I realize how irresponsible and airheaded it sounds for me to admit that I didn’t realize what was happening with these payments, but….yeah. That’s kind of what happened. Apparently, there was a “hiccup” with my ACS student loan IBR payment. And by “hiccup”, I mean I was actually paying the full payment rather than the lower income-based payment. I don’t know how this happened. And, actually, it would have just continued like that forever if I hadn’t made a call to the company about something totally unrelated and discovered completely coincidentally that my payment was not, in fact, in IBR status. So that changed in a hurry. This lowered my monthly ACS payment from $247/month down to $77/month. Remember – while in IBR status, any unpaid interest is forgiven for subsidized loans, so I consider this a good deal since this extra money could (theoretically) go toward other debts.

Of course, this month we did not have any extra money to go toward additional debt. Womp, womp!!!! I also paid less toward our car loan than I had originally hoped (I made a $1,000 payment this month – still more than the minimum, but not as much as I’d hoped).

I was over on our grocery budget, but I’m hoping the new modified money envelope system I’ll be using this month will help with that.

I was also over in miscellaneous. Miscellaneous is broken down into four sub-categories:

  • Entertainment: budgeted = $20, actual spent = $8
  • Eating out: budgeted = $100, actual spent = $136
  • Personal maintenance: budgeted = $30, actual spent = $15
  • Other: budgeted = $150, actual spent = $207

Total budgeted = $300, actual spent = $366

Again, the modified food envelope should help curb my eating out spending. The “other” category spending was, in my opinion, pretty unavoidable. $94 was spent on my annual life insurance premium (side note: I mentioned in this post that I increased my semi-annual savings to account for this expense for future years’ annual payments). If it weren’t for this expense we would have been well under-budget in this category so I’m not concerned with the other much smaller purchases made from this category.

So there you have it. We did still go over our income, but it wasn’t too bad considering the original planned budget placed us at $200 over our income, so ending at $21 over income isn’t terrible.

This month also turned out to be pretty lackluster in terms of our income (though not as terrible as it could have been). My family was in town all weekend so I didn’t get a chance to write a planned budget post, but I’ll try to get one up either later today or on Tuesday depending on how work stuff goes.


Quicken

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I have struggled with finding a system to keep track of my money.  I’ve posted about this before and you all shared some great tips. I feel like I have had a mental block to everything I’ve tried.  I start off pretty good but then inevitably stop using the program.

After trying I don’t know how many different programs I decided I needed to stop the jumping around (it was taking WAY too much time to input info, link accounts, etc) and commit.  So, I’m here to tell you I’m on day 21 of using Quicken.  I am shooting for a full month with the program–which will be a record by about 27 days for me with Quicken!

I’ve found with patience and practice that there are a lot of things I like about the set up of Quicken.  There’s also a lot that this non-financial brain just does not get!  But I will keep trying.  I know I am missing out on so much with the application simply because I don’t fully understand.  BUT, it is helping me keep very good track of all of my spending.  I figure just like an exercise program that I often started and stopped in the past (yes, I AM still using my gym membership that I fought so hard for on the blog!), I have got to do this for 30 days.

Seriously, I get a little anxious when any document opens up looking remotely like a spreadsheet.  Give me a Word document and I am at ease!  Let me write about my finances and I’m good!  But make me look at them on a ledger type sheet?   I shut down!

Practice makes perfect but in this case I don’t need perfect…just consistent!