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Ashley’s June Budget

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Hi all! Happy Independence Day to the U.S. readers! I hope you all have a safe, happy, and healthy long holiday weekend! I’ve scheduled this post ahead of time because I’ll be spending time with family all day today. For those of you who would like an update on our Utah trip, we decided to split the drive into 2 days on the way there and drive straight through in 1 day on the way back. We’re coming back Sunday (meaning, we won’t be home until late Sunday night). I’ll try to write a post with this trip’s expenses as soon as we return.

I promised an update on our budget for the month of June. This was my second (and last) month of trying to do the envelope system. This month I’ll be using the YNAB free 30 day trial (and it sounds like some readers will be doing it with me!). I’ll certainly update about my experiences with that along the way, but for now let’s cut to the chase of how I did with our June spending.

Overall, we didn’t do terrible. I feel like I’ve given you a ton of budgets lately (“old” and “updated” – see this post), so instead of boring you with yet another budget, let me just give you the bottom line.

Here are our budgeting “fails” for the month:

  • First: We went way over with groceries. I had budgeted $380, and spent $453. Some of this was due to expenses from hosting the toddlers’ second birthday party. But some of it was just due to unnecessary spending on ‘gourmet’ grocery expenses (like cheeeeeese), and a big Costco trip. I have raised my grocery budget back up to $400 (where it was set prior to starting blogging), and I am excited to stick to the $400-limit. I will NOT go over this month. I will NOT go over this month. I will NOT go over this month. If I say it, it must be true. Yes? (psssst: but using the YNAB system, its okay if I go over a little because I can take that money from another category).
  • Second: We failed on our “eating out” budget. I had budgeted $75 and spent $149 (nearly double!!!) The funny thing is that I really don’t even remember eating out much this month. Then I look at my spreadsheet and see a string of drink stops (Starbucks, Sonic, Wendys – who has the best strawberry lemonade in the world!) All of these stops, individually, is only in about the $4 range. But they sure did add up! There are only 2 actual dinners out….ALL the rest of the expenses are little trips here and there that added up. This was total lack of constraint on my part. I WILL do better this month!

And here are our budget “successes” for the month:

  • First: Our childcare expenses were much lower than normal this month, so we saved a couple hundred dollars there.
  • Second: I was proud of myself in that I was “under” budget in all of my “miscellaneous” categories besides eating out (to jog your memory, the other categories include:  entertainment, personal maintenance, and “other”). I’m thinking I might be able to lower the “other” budget a little but I want to wait a month and see how things go. I was barely below budget this month ($120 out of $125 budgeted), but since I’m saving for so many different things now, I’m hoping I can reduce this category of spending.

All of my other expenses were pretty much in-line with what they should be (either at- or under-budget). The only other categories with higher spending were in debt payments (where we paid nearly $2000), and my gym membership (since the first month I had to pay $240 – to account for first and last month’s payments + an initiation fee). This should decrease back down to $70. (Side note = I realized in my updated budget I had my gym line-item as $50, but that’s the base fee…I’m paying an extra $10/child for gym childcare, so the monthly cost should be $70).

Whew! Lots of words! Now onto some numbers:

June Income: $9406

June Expenses: $5706

Income – Expenses = $3700 surplus (woohoo!!!)

 

How will we spend the surplus?

$500 = snowflake payment toward Chris’ license fees

$3200 = put money in savings (to build up one month’s living expenses)

I made our license payment earlier this week and it amounted to $1569 ($1055 regular snowball payment + $500 June snowflake payment + 14 extra for the processing fee). This brought the total amount due to just under the $2500 mark (at one point this was over $10,000….though when I started blogging here in March it was just under $6,000). I’m excited to think/hope that the license will be paid in full by August AND that we will hopefully have enough set aside to start living off of last month’s income in the month of September! Fingers crossed!!!

How have you done on your budget lately? Left with “more month than money”? (< a Dave Ramsey saying) What are you doing to try to cut expenses and/or make more money?


9 Comments

  • Reply Financial Fan |

    Wow, awesome income this month. Keep tweaking those categories, like eating out. 🙂 Ashley, have you looked at the blog, “Six Figures Under” yet? They have a ton of law school debt that they are attacking. Stephanie is the queen of frugal with three little kids. Also, they switched recently to YNAB and think very highly of it.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Yes, someone else recommended this blog so I’ve just recently started checking it out! It amazes me how she can do no spend MONTHS!!!

  • Reply CanadianKate |

    Great job identifying that drinks are blowing your eating out budget. To make your life easier, buy a case of water and keep it by the door (if you can manage the space.) Then get in the habit of grabbing a bottle or two on the way out each time (during the non-boiling/freezing seasons, we keep 4 in the car at all times but at this time of year it isn’t worth it.)

    We found this went a long way towards both grabbing food (we were just thirsty) and buying drinks with food when we were having a quick meal while out on errands, since we knew we could have water back at the car.

    • Reply Carnyanna |

      Or, since it is so hot where you are, a cooler in the car with ice cold drinks?

    • Reply Ashley |

      That’s a great idea! The funny thing is I’ve always been anti-drink-buying from the grocery store (thinking its too pricey and I can just have filtered water for free in our Brita pitcher)….but obviously its costing me money from our “eating out” budget, so perhaps some store-bought beverages are the better (and cheaper!!) way to go.

  • Reply Kili |

    Hi Ashley, Jim, Hope & Stephannie,
    wondering if it’s possible to have the initial Sunday routine back? You know the reader’s questions? Or am I the only one missing it 😀
    (I don’t mind a different approach either, if you feel like that’s not the best form for a Sunday post…)

    • Reply scarr |

      I felt like a lot of the questions were already answered in the blog posts or weren’t very interesting. Also, I don’t want the bloggers to be burnt out. It’s great when they can post on their “off” days but I don’t think it should be required.

So, what do you think ?