The year keeps going! It won’t stop! It’s time for another budget update.
Looking Back: June Monthly Budget
June was an interesting month, because a number of things went on: I had two of my wisdom teeth removed, Richard ended his old job and started a new one, and we went to Phildelphia for the weekend. This meant that there were a number of one-off expenses and I ended up needing to pull from my short-term savings (which is why I have short-term savings in the first place).
The June Budget Good
- Not a lot! To be honest, there wasn’t a lot of good going on with my budget last month. That said, I did stay under my work lunch budget, which is a good thing!
The June Budget Bad
- Groceries & Restaurants: I rolled off of a good food month into a pretty terrible food month. I went over both groceries and restaurants. A brunch day out with friends and going to Philadelphia seemed to be the culprits for the restaurant part of it. Groceries… I don’t even know. I’m going to try to start really reining that budget in, as you’ll see in a number of upcoming posts.
- Clothing: Last month, I said I wouldn’t shop until August, but my lack of summer work clothes makes that difficult to accomplish. I also needed to get a new pair of sandals after my trusty pair of Rainbows bit the dust last year. I look forward to not having to buy another pair of sandals for at least another 5 years! As you’ll see below, I’m planning to up my clothing budget and forgive my clothing budget rollover debt, since I haven’t been realistically budgeting.
June’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 June, my net income was -$1,106. This means that I spent more than a earned this month, as I already alluded to with having to dip into my short-term savings. Please note that I count saving to my emergency fund as an expense, which helps me mentally treat that money as money that has already been spent and thus not available for use unless in an emergency situation.
My July Monthly Budget
Now that I know how June went (and we’re halfway through July), I know how I can improve this 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): $50 – Bumping this up by $10 due to it being summer.
- Internet (my portion): $28
- Cell Phone (my portion): $67 – This will be bumping down to $55 after this first joint billing cycle.
- Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: $108
Car & Transport
- Car Insurance (rolls over monthly): $66 (plus $132 from rollover)
- Fuel (my portion – rolls over monthly): $10 (plus $37 from rollover) – Bumping this down from $20 to $10, since we haven’t been driving that much recently.
- Metro: $80 (taken directly out of my paycheck and applied to my Metro card)
- Groceries (my portion): $300 – Bumping this down by $50 as a challenge to reduce our grocery budget this month.
- 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, but regularly $60 (pet budget balance is currently at -$380 due to overages from April & May)
- Clothes (rolls over monthly): $150 (rollover reset to $0) – Bumping this up due to the fact that I keep going over and I was beginning to realize that $100 doesn’t get you very far when you need to account for shoes AND clothes.
- Home Supplies (my portion – rolls over monthly): $20 (plus $2 rollover from last month)
- Everything else: $350
Total Expenses: $3,264 (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.
July is already half over and I know there are going to be a number of challenges coming up:
- Travel: I have started to book my travel for my Wild West trip in September and some deposits are due already.
- Food: I need to get a handle on food spending.
- Shopping: Again, clothing is a thorn in my side right now.
How did you do sticking to your budget in June? What are you budgeting for in July?