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Finally…Here’s June’s Spending Report

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I’ve had the report ready for some time now. I just never got around to writing a post and really looking at the numbers and discussing them. Prepare yourself, there was some major spending in June. But we still spent less than we earned.

Ok, here’s the report. My comments are below.

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Automobile – We had a one, two punch with car troubles in June. First was the oil filter being clogged. The second was a flat tire, so we bought two new tires. The tires needed to be replaced anyways.

Entertainment and Recreation – Both of these categories were zero. We knew it would be a pretty expensive month so we decided to cut everything out here.

Finance Charges – These are starting to creep up since my balance transfer offers expired. Now that all of our credit card debt is at 9.9%, this will really be going up.

Dining – Very high in June due to my in-laws visiting. We treated them to two meals total. It was the least we could do for them bringing doors to us and helping us to put them in. They saved us so much money over having to hire someone.

Groceries – There was some money that was spent to purchase more groceries for when my in-laws were here. We ate sandwiches quite a few times. But it still doesn’t make up for the rest of the spending…it’s still too high. I know exactly what is killing us with grocery costs…we are not planning before we go to the store. My excuse is that I lack the time. But, I’m working on changing that as you will see shortly. I am going to become one lean, mean, productive working machine.

Household – I saw that number and my mouth dropped. Then I remembered that it was $500 alone for our new doors. Quite a bit of the rest was for some new trim and some supplies related to the repairs.

Pets – The spending here is still higher than normal due to the increased members of the family (the pregnant stray that had four kittens). So far, we have found a home for one kitten and the momma. So there are three kittens left.

Utilities – These were super low in June compared to May. I enjoy the lower overall utilitiy costs in the summer!

Final Thoughts – Not too bad. We ended up having a surplus of over $700 and I am pleased. I love seeing that. It is helping a lot that my husband has work for his temp jobs. One of them is now over, but the other one looks like he will have work for a while.

Like I mentioned briefly above, I’ve found myself saying way too often, “If I only had time.” I know the time is there…I’m just not very effective at using my time. I had some credit at Amazon.com from an gift certificates I won with Blingo and one that I won through a contest. What I ended up doing was purchasing three personal productivity books to learn some better skills. Of course, I’ll review them as I go through them and pass on some interesting tidbits to you.


13 Comments

  • Reply Kristina |

    It’s wonderful that you continue to help the stray kitties, and it’s great that you are finding them permanent, loving homes.

    As you commented, it seems like you could pay off hundreds more in debt each month if you got your food budget under control. What if you focused on this area next month and tried to challenge yourself to spend nothing on eating out and cutting your grocery budget significantly? It could be a fun thing if you made it a challenge and tried for just one month initially.

    Also, here is a link that gives a very realistic menu and shopping list for how to feed a family of 4-6 for only $45 per month (plus, it’s healthy):
    http://hillbillyhousewife.com/40dollarmenu.htm

  • Reply Aric |

    Thank you for your post and maintaining this blog. Seeing someone else go through the same things I’ve been experiencing is reassuring.

    Groceries are one of my biggest expenses behind rent and debt payments. As you mentioned, failing to plan often ends in higher grocery costs. My experience shows that it does and can even push up other costs such as “dining out” and “misc – cash”. It seems that when I make spontaneous grocery trips to get something I really needed, I end up with a mishmash of things in the refrigerator. Not finding ingredients that make a meal, I’d eat out. When I analyzed my expenses, this really stood out.

    When I was planning, I had a monthly calendar that I would write out exactly what I was going to have for each meal and made a list of things to buy. The goal was to go to the grocery no more than once a week. The neat thing is that when you get it going and get an extra couple of meals out of some leftovers, the food carries over to the next week, reducing your expenses. It worked like a charm until I got burned out on cooking.

    Kristina is right, set yourself a goal and shoot for it. For me, it is bringing my lunch to work three days of the week for a month. I’ve done it for a few weeks now and have saved a lot of money already.

  • Reply SingleGuyMoney |

    It seems like May should have been a big spending month. As far as your finance charges creeping up, can you not transfer the balance to a lower rate credit card?

  • Reply nodebtplease |

    wow, that food budget is out of control given your debt levels. i feed a family of 4 on around $300 per month with little trouble. i suggest you stop buying processed foods and junk food, because that’s an easy way to cut the budget without much thought. then start cooking simple meals at home. and avoid restaurants regardless of the justification, because guests can be entertained with lovely meals cooked at home and your family will be healthier if they skip the fast food.

  • Reply Matt |

    Getting a food budget under control is tough especially if you happen to like certain (pricey) foods. Sacrificing your food for that extra $100 is tough because it really does seem like a sacrifice for a small benefit to repaying your debt… but I guess this is all a matter of attitude. I’d personally try controlling the food costs but I wouldn’t sacrifice on the types of food I ate.

  • Reply pj |

    Would you like to tell us how much of that stated income comes from this blog?

    I am guessing about $400. Just a guess…

  • Reply Hector |

    Cut back the smoking!! I agree with the previous post, how do you manage the gas bill, we live in TX and I spend a good 300 a month on gas! and we have a honda civic and a toyota 4runner!!

  • Reply Tricia |

    For our fuel costs, we were very fortunate way back when and we purchased a very fuel efficient car. We get on average 35 mpg. I also work at home, so my commute involves walking down the hall. My husband works from home right now too with his temp job. With not having to commute to work, we save a lot of money there. So most of our driving is recreational in nature (to go swimming, go on a picnic, go hiking, etc.) or for shopping.

  • Reply Rob in Madrid |

    For me keeping our food budget under control is a challenge as well. I have a friend who feeds a family of 3 on less than I feed a family of 2.

    She does it by shopping strictly at the discounters (not sure if America has the same discounters as Europe) but it means buying only store brands and I don’t always like store brands. Beyond that I’ve tried driving slower to stretch the gas.

  • Reply Lynnae |

    You’re doing really well! How do you keep your auto: fuel spending so low? That’s one of our biggest budget busters (besides food & eating out) right now. Gas is so expensive these days!

  • Reply Vicki |

    Overall a great job! Most importantly, great job keeping track and knowing exactly where your money is going. I am always impressed by this chart. (I prefer to live in ignorance, especially that taxes column–ouch!).

    I think your grocery budget is fine. Cutting produce and my other “splurge” of organic milk are not an option to me. That said, it must pain you every month to tally up the cigarettes.

  • Reply Lyndsay |

    This is the first time I’ve been to your site and I think it’s great. Keeping that in mind, forgive me if this old news, but if you’re looking for better ways to organize your time, etc., there is a great website called http://www.getorganizednow.com – hope it helps

So, what do you think ?