To determine if we're over or under, I assess how far we are throughout the year (in this case, just over a quarter) & then measure what percentage of the yearly budget we've spent so far. In some cases, it's okay if we are tracking over, as I tend to prepay for our yearly travel all at once. In other cases, it really means that we're spending too much & we need to keep an eye on our spending.
Categories where we're trending ahead (a bad thing):
- Boys activities - we've spent $1533 of a projected yearly spend of $1500. So, yes, all of it plus a little bit. Yikes. I obviously didn't do a good job of creating this budget category, because there spending has remained relatively stable.
- Personal - I've spent 44% of our yearly budget. Which, may be okay as the majority of the spend was my 40th birthday massage. As long as I keep my other expenses (hair cuts, etc) in check, we could be okay.
- Taxes - well, I always put a $5,000 placeholder in the budget. It must be a mental block, because then I go ahead & save 40K, but creating a line item that big just doesn't work for me. I know, so rational, right? I promise to correct next year. Anyway, we've spent all of our tax money, plus about $25K more. So, there you have it.
- Travel - We're at 82% spent, but I've booked all of our flights for the year. The rest of the budget should work, if we stick to our plans.
- Boys (misc) - this category is the placeholder for all random kid expenses. We're at 70% of our spending, mostly because we just had the school auction & spent close to $500 on kid expenses. This is mostly planned.
Categories where we're trending behind (a good thing):
- Auto - We've spent under $100 for the year, and are at under 10% of our budget.
- Charitable contributions - under, but we do most of our donating in September for the kids school, and then finish out the year in December with our main contributions.
- Christmas - We've spent 2% of our budget, as we used frequent flier miles to cover the airfare, but had to pay $44 in taxes.
- Clothing - we've spent under 2% of our budget, so doing great!
- Gifts - We've spent 15% of our budget, but have some events coming up (M's birthday & Father's Day). Need to decide what we're doing for those two events.
- Health - I've spent under 2% of our health budget. I want to register for a couple of runs, so that will add up quickly.
And, areas where we are right on track - our "House" category. This includes paper products, small household items, etc. We're at 27%, so exactly on with our spending.
In total, we've spend 60% of our yearly budget (minusing out taxes), so we need to keep a close eye on our spending for the remainder of the year. Another check in will be coming at the half way mark!
What about you? Do you track your yearly spending? How are you doing so far?