Okay, with that said, here goes. :-)
You'll note that our expenses were higher than our income this month. While not typical, we do have months where we go over. We have standard income (the same every month) that I use for our regular expenses. We also have non-standard income that we use for things like: travel, the boys college funds, savings, and months where we're over our budget. The non-standard income generally comes in the form of bonuses (I get this 1x/year in September, M is eligible for a bonus 4x/year + stock awards from our employers.) We save this non-standard income for various specific line-items (college funds, travel, house repairs) & the also keep a more general savings slush fund for unexpected expenses.
Tracking our expenses has been extremely helpful! This is our first month of tracking everything (before I only tracked "variable" expenses) & we're going to be making a lot of adjustments going forward as a result.
Income: $14,088. (Typical monthly income from our employers. M also won $700 at a casino that we used to offset some of our anniversary trip. That $700 isn't included in our income number).
Total Spent - $16,859.24
Where did all of that money go? I've listed out all of our expenses, grouped by budget item & also where we're over. As noted, we had some extra money leftover from September (that's when I receive my bonus & stock awards) that I used to: make extra payments on our vacation house, & fund the boys college accounts). We typically have charitable contributions taken out of our paychecks automatically, but I made several extra donations this month, which is why it has no budget allocation.
Fall 2011 Budget
- I was able to pay an extra $361 towards our vacation mortgage, & have now paid off 7.25% of the overall loan. Yeah!
- I put close to $1000 in college accounts for the kids ($978, to be exact.) :-)
- We were under on gas for the first time in A LONG time.
- I returned a few clothing items that I bought in September. It's kind of a highlight, but I overspent that budget item in September, so not sure that it's a net budget win. :-)
- We're over on groceries. Again. This month included a bunch of random grocery purchases: the treats that I made for a Halloween party we're more than $25! It was my own foolish mistake that made this happen. I was also in charge of soccer snacks for two separate games, made meals for several families that are struggling, and brought a few meals to family get togethers.
- It's our first time to separate alcohol from grocery spending, and the goal is to understand where the money is really going. We typically stock up on wine when Costco carries it, as they don't carry it regularly.
- Boys lessons - this wildly varies month to month depending on when we have to sign them up for a new session. We are thinking of cutting this back a bit, as it feels crazy high!
- Gifts. Wow. I will be getting reimbursed for $300 of one gift, but we had a ton of events to buy for in October. We'll see how this category stacks up month after month & whether our budget needs to be adjusted and/or our spending needs to be trimmed.
- Travel. I'll be getting reimbursed about $250 in this category, as I booked a room that my sister & I are sharing. The rest was our anniversary trip. We had a great time, but it was extremely pricey for one night, & we likely won't be doing something like that again. We'll either do a 3 day weekend & spend a bit more but go somewhere, or just do a fancy dinner at home.
- Personal. I had several appointments fall in the month of October, and the rest is actually my personal training expense from September - the billing cycle if funky. (I've canceled my training going forward).
- House. We're over on the house because we had to have our oven repaired. It was leaking gas!