The year keeps going! It won’t stop! It’s time for another budget update.
Looking Back: May Monthly Budget
May was a fun month because it was a three paycheck month! That means I was able to put more towards my student loans than usual. It was also fun because I went to Denver not once, but twice for work!
The May Budget Good
- Phone: Richard and I decided to go on a family plan for our cell phones. This didn’t hit the May budget, but I should be seeing a lower cell phone bill in the months to come.
- Groceries & Restaurants: This was a weird grocery month for us. We had friends visit the second week of May so we went out to eat a number of times with them. Then I was traveling for work two weeks and Richard traveled for work one week. This resulted in my share of the groceries only costing $77 of my budgeted $350. Of course the flip side of this is that my restaurant spending was much higher than I budgeted for. I spent $274 (excluding my food purchases during my work travel) on restaurants. So my combined food budget was $550 and I only spent $351. Win!
- Dentist: I had to postpone my two dentist appointments due to traveling for work. This meant that I pushed off those expenses until June.
- Student Loans & Savings: With my extra paycheck, I was able to throw a big chunk at my loans and at my savings account.
The May Budget Bad
- Clothing: I made three trips to the store for clothes this month. It added up! I ended up spending $388 on clothing. I purchased a few outfits that I will be able to wear at work and some warm weather workout gear. I had $108 in rollover plus my $100 for May, so I really only exceeded my budget by $180. Since I’m on the rollover budget plan, I plan to keep my clothing purchases minimal until August. Unfortunately, I still feel like my wardrobe is playing catch-up after spending so much time working from home. I feel like I stocked up in the fall on items that are good to wear to work for fall and winter but now that we’re transitioning seasons I’m back to not a lot to wear. I’m trying to be smart about it, but it’s crazy the amount that is needed to put together a good wardrobe!
May’s Net Income
Since I’m pretty vague about what my actual income is (on purpose), I decided to add another piece of information to give you a sense for how my spending mapped to my income for the month: net income. You can usually tell how well or poor a month went by how much you spent vs. how much you brought in. In May, my net income was $1,439.
Two items of note: some of my student loan and savings payments are actually being tracked as happening in June due to being paid on the last day of the month. I also count my savings as spending for the purposes of tracking in Mint, because that helps me with my budgeting.
My June Monthly Budget
Now that I know how May went, I can look ahead to June and hopefully improve. I’m pretty pumped that the good outweighed the bad last month.
Rent: $1075 (my portion of rent – not split exactly 50/50 but almost 50/50)
Utilities & Non-Discretionary
- Gas (my portion): $25
- Electric (my portion): $40
- Internet (my portion): $28
- Cell Phone: $50 (my portion – estimated, since we haven’t received our first joint cell phone bill yet)
- Dentist: $350 (wisdom teeth removal and fillings)
- Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: $108
Car & Transport
- Car Insurance (rolls over monthly): $66 (plus $66 from rollover)
- Fuel (my portion – rolls over monthly): $20 (plus $43 from rollover)
- Metro: $80 (taken directly out of my paycheck and applied to my Metro card)
- Groceries (my portion): $350
- Restaurants (my portion): $200
- Work Lunch: $40
Each month, I pay a total of $775 to minimum loan payments. Not that I’m counting or anything, but this expense is second only to rent in my monthly budget.
- Student Loans Minimum: $565
- Car Loan: $215
Shopping & Miscellaneous
Pets, clothes and home supplies all come up at infrequent intervals, so I set aside an amount each month to contribute and if I don’t spend it, it rolls over to the next month. Everything else is everything that doesn’t fit into a neat budget. I’ve increased my everything else budget to account for some one-off expenses.
- Pets (my portion – rolls over monthly): $0 (pet budget balance is currently at -$309 due to overages from April & May)
- Clothes (rolls over monthly): $0 (clothing budget balance is currently at -$180)
- Home Supplies (my portion – rolls over monthly): $2 (we exceeded our $20 per month home supplies budget by $18 in May)
- Everything else: $350
Total Expenses: $3,564 (minus savings and extra student loans)
And don’t forget…
Savings & Extra Student Loan Payments: I generally contribute 25% of take home pay. All of the money that goes to savings and extra student loans is split up in a 30:70 ratio with 30% going to savings and 70% going to student loans. Some of my savings is short-term – I save for the irregular one-off expenses that I know will come up throughout the year. I put the majority of my savings into my long-term emergency fund though.
Retirement Contributions: I contribute 6% to my employer-sponsored 401(k) each pay period.
Notes About My Monthly Budget
“My Portion”: You’ll notice that there are a few “my portion” indicators next to my monthly budget line items. This means that it’s an expense that Richard and I split. For 99% of the things we split, we split right down the middle.
Rolls Over Monthly: This year, I’ve been trying to become more purposeful in how I budget and allocate my money. In some categories, my expenses are sporadic. Two examples of this are pets and clothing. We are proud parents to two senior pets – as a result, we’ve decided to set aside some money every month to cover those inevitable vet costs. For clothing, I prefer to do big shopping trips a few times a year rather than shopping in smaller spurts more frequently. By rolling over my budget each month, I make sure I’m accounting for the inevitable expense.
May was not as expensive as April, thankfully. In June, I have a couple of things that I think will pose challenges:
- Rollover Spending: In April and May, we exceeded a number of our “rolls over monthly” categories. As a result, spending in these categories will be low (we needed to stock up on pet food this month) or nonexistent (no more clothing until August). This might prove to be trickier than expected.
How did you do sticking to your budget in May? What are you budgeting for in June?