I had actually planned on writing this post last weekend, but I’ve been struck down recently by a terrible stomach flu and then a cold. There was really nothing to do two weekends ago, so I thought I was going to be super productive with writing posts, doing my taxes, and getting some errands and shopping done. That was quickly put on hold due my multiple sicknesses. I’ve since pushed those activities to this past weekend, and it’s going fairly well. It was a lot busier but I made time to accomplish what I set out to do. I’ve already finished filing my taxes and now I’m writing this post for this week instead. I was able to write the post on graduate school stipends during last week. Better to get the update out-of-order than not at all, right? I think I’ve done well with my budget for this month and it builds upon progress I started in January.
We’ve completed the first month of 2016, and I think that I’m off to a great start to the year. My spending levels were low across almost every category for this month, with most of the entertainment spending coming at the end of December. Apparently I decided to start the year out by dining out a bunch of times, though it didn’t really seem like that as the month was going on. Luckily I was able to save in many other areas of my budget, and I’m happy with how things turned out. I was a little slow with compiling all the numbers for this month, but I guess now I have most of February done too. So there’s always a positive side to procrastinating apparently.
I’ve given you the 2015 round-up on my retirement accounts, and while the market didn’t do me any favors there, I was still able to make positive gains in the second half of 2015. But how exactly did my last budget of 2015 fare? Even with additional Christmas shopping that had to be done, I do think it turned out well when it was all said and done. There was the increased spending with Christmas and for the holidays in general, and I did go away for New Year’s Eve but my travel expenses were kept low. I won’t be doing any sort of yearly spending summary for 2015 as living at home makes my expenses pretty basic. After my loans are paid off I do hope to incorporate even more into this post as I track both spending and savings. But for the last month of 2015, I will continue with my monthly summaries. We’re entering the middle of winter now, so I could use some motivation and/or reassurance in knowing that my December budget didn’t look too terrible.
So if October was my budget busting month with going camping and higher expenses in general, November ended up being the exact opposite of that. I was very happy when I was putting together all the numbers and seeing every category turn green as I ended up almost completely under budget. I did start purchasing some Christmas gifts though, so that did balance things out somewhat. I was hoping that I’d be able to recover in November so that I wouldn’t go over budget three months in a row, and it looks like i was able to do exactly that this past month.
Happy Halloween to everyone reading from the US, hope you were able to secure plenty of treats and no tricks. I don’t plan on pulling any tricks with my budget and I knew that I would be spending more than usual this month, but was hoping it wouldn’t be anything too extreme. I had a camping trip planned over Columbus Day weekend which causes an increase in spending across the board. October also happens to be BOTH of my parents birthdays, so things start to add up quickly. I also splurged a bit on hockey tickets this month all while continuing the same pace of paying back my student loans.