April continues the theme of low spending in 2016 for me, and now we’re even four months into the year. The strange part is that I haven’t really gone out of my way to avoid spending money, I’ve just had a lot of opportunity for free entertainment (other than the cost of gas) and not to many expensive activities. I except that trend to reverse somewhat in May as I know that I’ll be going to the eye doctor later this month and as the weather gets nicer that also provides more opportunities. I do think this has been a major contributor to paying off my loans in April when I had originally project a May or June payoff date. The extra hundred dollars (or more) each month was then funneled towards increasing my student loan payments instead.
Here are my April budget numbers:
You can see that my ‘rent’ and car insurance expenses remained the same as usual, and my income is back to normal levels after receiving a bonus and tax refund last month. This is actually my last month for paying car insurance for the year of coverage. I’ll have two months without car insurance payments, and I’m hoping to reduce that expense when it comes time to renew my insurance. I also had a car maintenance expense this month, but that was just paying for the registration of my car.
My cell phone and gym payments were also the same this month, and gas spending was super low once again. Gas prices are still very low relative to how they could be, and I am still using my gift cards to pay for gas as much as possible. The dining out budget consisted of going out to lunch a few times during the lunch, but nothing really major there. I was still able to come out under budget there too.
Entertainment spending was paying for parking twice at a hockey game, as my Dad was able to get tickets for free twice which was really great. The only other spending on my budget was for a haircut and then the student loan payment. Because of the low spending month, I was able to come out almost $600 under budget for the month. Not bad at all!
And my off budget items are as follows:
I put $300 (of the $600 surplus) in my Roth IRA this month since I ‘only’ put $2000 towards my student loans this month, figuring I could get a head start on that with the extra money available in my budget. But with my super low spending I probably could have put even more in as you can see that both the checking account and emergency fund combined are higher than I have my targets out. That should be corrected later this month after I make another contribution. I also continue to pay off my car loan at the standard pace for now because of the low interest rate.
Now that April was last month of paying my student loans I will be having to adjust my budget going forward, though for the next two months it will essentially remain the same. The student loan payment will now just be replaced by a Roth IRA contribution, but the dollar amounts and concept will be similar.