Sunday, May 30, 2010

Budget Month - Tighten Them Purse Strings Ahoy!

My fiance and I have been working on a budget for a month now. We've been writing down everything we buy and inputting our income into our Handy Dandy (patent pending) iPhones with our Handy Dandy (patent pending) Budgeting Program, called HomeBudget.

I gave us a budget to begin with without a clue what our actual spending was. Well... we exceeded that by $1713.87. Seventeen hundred fricken dollars over this made-up budget I did. And after I went through every expense for the month you know what I discovered?

My estimates of my budget were fair.

I only went over about $100 per category on my budget. Problem is - there's lots of categories. Second problem is - I could've totally stayed in my budget for those things! So the budget hasn't changed at all - just my mentality has. It's the 31st of May in this country and the 1st of June starts tomorrow.

I have purchased one large soap order today as well as the last of my seeds for sowing for awhile and this is it for expenses for me that do not fall into my budget. And y'know what? I'm gonna fricken blog about it. Why not? I won't be terribly specific but I'm gonna need to be a little so I can STICK in my budget.

You know if I stick to my budget for ONE month I can be entirely free of debt? One month. 30 days. Debt free. But. I'm a moron. I love shoes and food and chickens.

So here's a few of the plans:

I get my fruit and veg deliveredon Tuesdays - Tuesday night I'm going to write a menu for the week using as many fruits and vegetables as possible from my delivery. That's right. Me. Going to write a menu. I've been checking out heaps of blogs for ideas and awesome recipes to use even though I have no idea what I'm getting. I can guess, since it's all seasonal, but I don't know for sure.

I will not buy any cookbooks this month. I will not even buy them on Kindle. I will not buy them with a pen, I will not buy them with a hen. I will not buy cookbooks with a chook, I will not buy cookbooks with another book. I will not buy them with a cow, I will not buy them ANYHOW.

I will scour Kindle for free books. Why not? I'm sure I'll find some oldie-but-goodie I'll love. I really used to love love love John Steinbeck as a kid, so I don't see why I can't download some of his goods for free (they're free, right?) and read those instead of spending ten bucks a week (we'll say a week, so we can pretend I don't spend all day reading books on my phone) on the Dresden Files. Which, by the way, I love and am only halfway through. NO DRESDEN UNTIL JULY. Also, I am downloading the series. Don't tell the government.

I have planted tomato, brussel sprout and salad seedlings. This should last me awhile. The tomatos are already fruiting little green babies, so this will save me some money.

If I have spent $499 in food and my budget is $500 and I have a week left - TOUGH COOKIES BITCH. I still have a dollar. Better spend it wisely!

So. Every week or so I will post my budget and how far along I am in it. Y'know, commit myself so you guys can laugh/yell at me if I fail. Or congratulate me if I don't. Or give me free food if I fail on day 4. Y'know, what friends do.

Budget for June:
Rent - $1440
Utilities - $800 (includes phone/internet/TV/elect*/gas)
Groceries - $500
Restaurant - $100
Pet Food (remember, we have 30 'pets') - $130
Clothing - $100
Personal (soap, girly things, etc) - $50
Toys - $20 (I'm married to a boy, what can I say?)
Books - $40
Kitchen - $50
Homewares - $50 (decorative, etc whereas above is supplies)
Gym - $89 (exactly the amount per month for both of us)
Dates - $300 (includes eating out together while restaurants includes eating out by ourselves)
Petrol - $100 (I overspent by $108 this month!)
Car Loan - $400 (we're trying to pay this off quickly, this is not our actual payment, lol)
Rego - $55
Parking - $20
Auto Insurance - $~~~ (I have $212 but I JUST got a HUGE cut and I don't know what the amount is yet, but should be $80ish)
Home Insurance - $60
Medical Insurance - $186
Gifts - $150 (yeah, I know - just cause it's there don't mean I'll use it**)

I also had advertising and plants listed as expenses with no budget. Advertising I spent about $30 this month on for Nothing But An Apron and Plants I managed to spend $249.00 on. And no, I didn't buy "plants" with that, I bought plants. I know I know, not as fun when it's only an apple tree....

*we're currently paying off a HUGE electric bill
**who am I kidding? I'll use it.

Also, while I'm aware my gift budget is higher than my own personal items budget - I went over THAT by $90 this month. EEEK! So cutting back, I am. A lot of those numbers are 'just in case' numbers. Like.. I've budgeted for it but it doesn't mean I'll use it.

If I stick to this budget I will save... *drumroll*

$1713.87 - I already said that, don't you pay attention?

Where will this $1713.87 go? INTO MY SAVINGS ACCOUNT YO. Well. No. $1000 will go to paying off my damn credit card to below the overlimit so I stop getting monthly "BAM $80 interest OOPS now you're over BAM $40 overlimit OOPS now we gotta charge you interest on that BAM $20" bull.

The other $700 will stay in my Savings.

And in July, Glynn gets a raise. And in July, I plan on sticking to my budget. Or better still... lowering it.

For all this I will... buy myself a cookbook. But not just ANY cookbook. If I STICK TO MY BUDGET AND ONLY IF IT STICK TO MY BUDGET I WILL BUY:

And yes, I am aware of the irony of not buying cookbooks for a month just to reward myself with a cookbook for the efforts. Don't judge me.

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