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Posts tagged with: making a budget

Planned December Budget


Hi friends!

Is it just me or does the week after Thanksgiving not even feel like a “real” week?? It’s like you’re supposed to be back at work, but everyone is out doing Christmas shopping and holiday planning and things are just nuts! It’s impossible to concentrate! I know I’m definitely guilty of this and I’ve certainly been a bit distracted lately! It’s also hard because most of my “pressing” work (things with deadlines) is done right now and basically on hiatus until January (this is my last week of teaching for the semester, so just a little bit of grading and that’s it). I really, really need to be working on getting some manuscripts submitted to academic journals for review, but its soooo hard focusing on that stuff when there’s no set deadline and I feel like there are so many other things competing for my time and attention….

Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent but I’m sure some of you are in the same boat with me right now!! Onward!

Here’s my planned December budget:

Place Planned Budget
Rent 1055
Electricity 170
Water 60
Natural gas 20
Sprint (2 lines) 115
Cable/Internet 100
Car Insurance 56
Health Insurance 350
Trash 35
Debt 2078
Miscellaneous 300
Groceries 400
Baby Purchases 1200
Gasoline 100
Saving for Irregular Expenses 495
Total Budgeted 6534


There are exactly 2 things that are different from last month (see November’s budget and update here). I raised my baby purchases back up to $1200 (where it had been originally), and I raised up the amount going toward debt! Woohoo!! Finally a month where I’m breaking the $2,000 mark toward debt! Last time I paid over $2,000 toward debt in a single month was all the way back in August! Feels good to punch some debt in the face!!!

With that being said, I wanted to remind you that we live on last month’s income and to let you know that we’ve got more to work with this month (meaning, our income was higher last month). Always a good thing! I think it’s largely due to husband’s extra crew. Wahoo!!!

Last month we earned a total of $6550. I’ve budgeted a total of $6534, which leaves us a tiny little buffer. I like to have a little bit of wiggle room, even if its only $25. It helps!

I’m excited and nervous to see how we do this month with income (income that will be spent in January). Even though we’ve decided to go out of town for Christmas, we should still earn some money from husband’s additional crews while we’re gone. There are some good jobs lined up already, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that our income won’t be hit too hard by taking off for a bit this month (we’ll be gone a total of 10 days).

How are your months shaping up? Is your budget drastically different in December to accommodate gift giving and/or travel expenses?

November Budget Update


Hi all! I hope you’re doing well! November seemed to fly by faster than most. I swear I was just typing up my October Budget Update the other day….and somehow a full month has flown by! I guess that’s how it works, especially around the holidays!

As a quick reminder, we live on last month’s income, so for the month of November we had a total of $5855 to budget and appropriate to various categories. Here’s how things worked out…

November budget (planned & actual spent):

Place Planned Budget Actual Spent
Rent 1055 1055
Electricity 170 168
Water 60 56
Natural gas 20 28
Sprint (2 lines) 115 114
Cable/Internet 100 100
Car Insurance 56 55
Health Insurance 350 350
Trash 35 35
Debt 1498 1498
Miscellaneous 300 867
Groceries 400 419
Baby Purchases 1100 1180
Gasoline 100 75
Saving for Irregular Expenses 495 495
Total Budgeted 5854 6495


As a reminder, miscellaneous is broken down into 4 categories:

  • Entertainment: budgeted = $20; spent = $26
  • Eating Out: budgeted = $100; spent = $129
  • Personal Maintenance: budgeted = $30; spent = $5
  • Other: budgeted = $150; spent = $707

Side note: In January I’m going to do a big, formal assessment of my monthly spending all year and re-do my budget/categories a bit. Right now I have miscellaneous broken into these four sub-categories but starting in January I’m going to simply give each of these categories its own line item instead of lumping them together and itemizing separately. It’s so weird, I don’t even know why I did this to begin with!?

I think this is the very first time since I started blogging that I went over in the entertainment category (I went to a movie with a friend, which cost $12 and tipped me over in this category). Obviously the biggest overage is in the “other” category. I don’t feel comfortable divulging exact details regarding the monetary settlement we came to with our landlord (for damages from the Great Flood of 2014), so I’m purposely going to leave out exact numbers here. I will, however, say that the overage is due to a combination of these three things: (1) iphone screen repair, (2) costs associated with the Great Flood, and (3) truck repair. Note that I was, indeed, able to get my phone screen fixed (rather than having to buy a whole new phone – whew!!), and a portion of the truck repair was paid for out of our vehicle maintenance savings account (we didn’t have enough to cover the full repair, so the deficit came from this category).

I also went a little over in our natural gas bill and in our grocery line-item. Nothing too bad. But I was over by a full $80 in the baby purchases category (which includes the cost of preschool, pull ups/diapers, and any purchases that are toddler-specific). Honestly, I generally budget $1200 in this category so I don’t know why I thought I could drop it down to $1100 and not go over. That was unrealistic and I’m bumping it back up to $1200 for next month.

We had a total of $5855, but spent a total of $6495. This leaves us with a deficit of $640.


We’ve had other rough months in the past but this is, by far, the worst since I started blogging. I think I was only over budget one other month, and it was only by about $20. Here we stand this month, over by nearly a grand (I exaggerate, but we’re still over by a lot!) Again – thank goodness for our emergency fund! I think I’m actually going to write a full blog post dedicated to the EF sometime soon because I haven’t talked much about it since I first started blogging.

At any rate, this month we learned some tough lessons. Lessons in preparedness and in the amount of funds we need to have liquid for future “Murphy’s Law” incidents. I’m going to hold off on changing anything at this time (e.g., altering savings for car repairs), but this will be something I look closely at in December and January as I plan and budget for the new year.


How did you do with your November spending?