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August Budget Update

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The month of August has gone pretty well budget-wise. Although we still had a couple overages, they were tiny in comparison to last month’s overage (due to the $1600 root canal the husband needed). If you want a reminder, see my budget posts for July and August here.

Place  August Budget August Actual
Rent  1055 1055
Electricity  251 251
Water  65 54
Natural gas  17 17
Sprint (2 lines) 115 115
Cable/Internet  100 35
Car Insurance 104 104
Health Insurance 350 350
Trash  35 35
Gym  0 0
Debt 2609 2610
Miscellaneous  300 339
Groceries  400 337
Baby Purchases  2000 1889
Gasoline  100 102
Saving for Irregular Expenses  440 440
Total Budgeted  8136 7733

 In terms of the overages, we were a little over in the miscellaneous category (which consists of entertainment, eating out, personal maintenance, and other). The overage was due to eating out (budgeted $100, actual $123) and “other” (budgeted $150, actual $208), but some of the overage was off-set by being under in the other two categories (entertainment budgeted $20, actual $3; and personal maintenance budgeted $30, actual $5). In general, I think this is the closest I’ve come to the budgeted amount in the miscellaneous category since I started blogging. I’ll call that a “win.”

If you recall, we had $8322 to budget for the month of August, so this leaves us with money leftover. The plan was to apply extra funds toward an additional car payment. Ultimately, though, I’ve decided to save the extra money and put it toward our September funds.

Why, you ask?

Weeeeellllllll, August turned out to be a bit of a dud in terms of our income. I knew this would be the case for me (remember, I didn’t draw a single paycheck from University A this month due to the schedule of payment). But the big surprise was that husband’s income was pretty crappy this month, too (despite working a LOT). Thus is the life of a small business owner. Some of the reason for hubby’s lower-than-expected income was that he had to do some warranty work, for which he still pays his employees, and pays for replacement parts, but he does not earn any money from the job. Additionally, he’s waiting on a paycheck that was supposed to come through this month, but won’t end up making it to his bank account until September (it was supposed to be deposited on Friday, but now looks like – due to the holiday weekend – he won’t get the money until Tuesday). And, finally,  he’d had a huge commercial job that was supposed to be in August that just kept getting pushed back and back and back. This happens a lot when dealing with corporations (as opposed to home-owners. Hubby is licensed to do wood flooring for both residential and commercial, so he deals with both). Commercial properties tend to net more money, but they can be a whole lot more hassle, too. Hopefully that job will come through in September.

Soooooo, yes. I’ll share the details about our September budget plans tomorrow morning. But suffice it to say, we will need the leftover money from this month to be applied to next month (remember we’re living on last month’s income, so the money we made this month will actually be used for expenses occurring in September).

This is a major bummer. I was secretly hoping to get the car paid off between December and January. To do so, we’d have to be paying $3,000/month between August and then (plus a snowflake payment here or there). Well, only $1500 ended up going toward the car in August, and its looking like even less will be applied toward the car next month. So we can kiss that Christmas time-frame goodbye.

Instead of lingering on the disappointment, I want to look at the positive side of things. We are still doing really well financially and have been ever since I started blogging here! We’ve vastly reduced the interest rate on the car loan (from 7.75% to 2.49%), and have been making big dents in the balance. We’ve got a good sized emergency fund that has been able to buffer us from life’s happenings (like all of last month’s unexpected expenses) so we are no longer in danger of having to use credit if anything unanticipated arises. It feels great to no longer use credit cards as a means of survival (literally – several years ago I had to rely on credit cards to pay our rent one month, not to mention groceries and gasoline).

Even in spite of my tremendous amount of student loan debt (and our other debts that we’re whittling away at), I feel like we’ve come so far and we’re in such a good financial position to continue kicking some debt-booty.

This minor monetary set-back won’t hinder my determination or resolve. We’ll still kill this car loan. I’m just as motivated as ever!

How did you do with your August budget? Have any set backs this month?


3 Comments

  • Reply Den |

    I think you are doing great! You’ve come so far and are making wonderful progress!

    It’s hard to keep the excitement and momentum going when you have an “average” month – and so easy to be excited with an amazing month – but the winners are the ones that keep going even in the boring, average, right-on-target-budget months! Slow progress is still progress!!!

  • Reply TPol |

    Good job! You seem to have truly mastered the art and science of budgeting 🙂 With a fluctuating income, I always make very modest estimates and then almost every month is a happy month.

    Eliminating the car loan a month early or a month late is no big deal. Take care!

  • Reply Emily N. |

    August was a rough month for us, too. Two of my husband’s three part time jobs are in education, so we we were down some income. Plus we had a big car repair bill and an early termination fee from our cell phone carrier (we’ve switched to Ting, which will actually save us a bunch over the long term), so we ended up spending more than we took in. Fortunately we have extra money set aside for this sort of situation, so while it was annoying, it wasn’t catastrophic. I’m definitely looking forward to a more flush September!

So, what do you think ?