Putting all of this information together helps me see the hot spots, and feel more in control of our spending in the weeks ahead. It gives me a good picture of where we're at, how far we're over, and areas that I should be paying close attention to.
Our new monthly budget is around $11,400. We're at 60% of the month elapsed, and we've spent almost $5,700, or 40%. Once I factored in the known mortgage payments that just haven't hit yet, but are definite amounts owed, we're at 62% spend, so pretty much on track. Here's where we're over & under for the month:
Areas where we're over:
- Groceries - we've spent $630, and our budget was $540 for the month. No surprise. We had to fully restock with the move.
- Dining out - obviously, we were out of our house & in a hotel, so there was lots of dining out. Since then, we've also planned more social activities than usual (meeting new people for lunch, visiting family, etc). I'm okay with this, as I think it's an important step in getting comfortable with the area. Budget was $100, and we're at $272.
- Gifts - budget was $100, and I spent $253 on a plane ticket for my sister to come up & visit in a few weeks. Super excited about this - it's part of how I wanted to spend my "fun" portion of my yearly bonus.
- Travel - budget was $0. We spent $169 on a rental car until our cars were delivered. Long story, but I don't think we're getting reimbursed for this.
- Health - budget was $100, I spent $180 on a weekly pilates/yoga class. Totally worth it so far!
- House - budget was $100, and we've spent $420. Wow. Lots of needed house expenses: propane tanks for the barbecue, laundry soap, dishwasher soap, mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo. All things we couldn't move &had to replenish.
- Boys - budget was $50, and we're at $193. Expenses include: lunch money (perhaps this is food?), school pictures, Halloween costumes, and a couple of new books.
- Liquor - the budget was $0, but I spent $110 on a case of my favorite wine, & beer for M. Again, something we couldn't move. I like a glass of wine on the weekends. :-)
- Boys clothes - budget was $0. Spent $90 so far for new socks, and a couple of extra pair of athletic shorts for soccer practices. I thought we had plenty, but Sam outgrew his. Also, new swim trunks x2.
Alrighty, and here are the categories where we're under:
- Boys lessons -budget was $150, and we've spent $10. I'd earmarked this money for soccer, and we did end up paying $300, but were reimbursed $290 from the registration I paid six months ago for the team in our old area. Net difference was $10.
- Gas - budget is $275, we've spent $70 so far. We didn't have our cars for a while, & I have had plenty of no driving days, while I've worked from home. We may be able to lower this monthly budget. Woohoo!
- Utilities (both houses) - budget is $600, and we're at $300. We haven't been at the vacation house, & haven't been using much at the primary house (only the contractors). That said, I haven't gotten bills for our new rental yet, so that should drive this up, as we'll be paying for utilities on 3 houses. Also, we canceled cable, probably permanently, and have no cable bill, which will help.
- Childcare - budget was $800, but we've spent $0. If I accept a new job, that will change, & the budget will likely go up to $1200/month.
- Personal - budget is $70, and I've spent $0. I expect to remedy this shortly, & get a pedicure, a haircut & a massage. So, I'll be going over, using the rest of my "fun" bonus budget.
- Car - budget is $100, and we've spent $0. That said, Sam hit our car with a ball & split a piece of the front bumper (yikes), so that will eventually need to be repaired.
- Cleaning - budget is $500, and we've spent $0. This is more than normal, as we want to do a deep clean on our rental (it's filthy with all of the movers, & electrical work that's been done) & also a deep clean on our house in Seattle to get it ready to have renters - once the contract work is done.
- Skiing - I also had planned to spend $900 on 4 ski passes for the year (they go on sale for the cheapest annual price in September) , but that's probably not an issue now that we're in California. :-)
Ahhh, just putting this together helps me feel so much more in control of our spending! Yeah!
Also, breaking down my recent stock vest & bonus, here's how much I made, and how we're spending the money:
- Net stock award - $41,000.
- Net bonus (guessing, as lots of other things were lumped into this paycheck) - $15,000
- 401K loan payoff - $39,600
- Flooring at our vacation house (long story on this, but we're just going to pay it, despite the terrible job they did) - $1,000
- Money earmarked for my "fun" (includes: spa day, ticket for my sister here, and likely a ticket for me to have a long weekend with another girlfriend in October) - $1,000
- All remaining money ($14,400) went to beef up our emergency fund. We know we will owe a lot again in taxes due to the relocation benefits, etc. Emergency fund currently stands at $35,188 - so just over $5,000 above where I'd hoped.
That's pretty much it. How are you doing with your September spending? Do you also find that laying out all of your monthly expenses helps to reduce your financial anxiety? :-)