December 2016 Budget Review

Happy New Year everyone! This is a scheduled post as I will be on vacation when it’s published, so the last few days of the month are estimated but the rest should be 100% accurate. I put together the numbers before I left and the only extra spending would probably be for dining out which I accounted for in the estimation. I also switched jobs during the month, so I had lower than expected income bundled together with increased spending. I hope that everyone else didn’t have such a hectic December as me. Taking a vacation was absolutely something that I needed, and I was able to negotiate that into my start date since it had already been planned for a while now.

Here is the December budget, the last one for 2016:

We’ve adjusted our rent based on the amount of utilities that were being paid, and luckily it is a lot less than first thought! My rent going forward will be $1400 instead of $1500 so it’s nice to have some breathing room there. But you can see that I did bust my budget, and that’s because of the changing of jobs and increased spending from going on a cruise. I was able to book the cruise at a HUGE discount so there was plenty of value there, and it was something that we had been wanting to do. I was able to visit Florida and the Bahamas and the 80 degree weather felt amazing!

My gym membership will also cost more money going forward, but I expected that with the location and cost of living. I did spend more on gas this month with the traveling when I visited home, moving more stuff into an apartment, and travel before the holidays. All of the extra spending was on presents for Christmas, and then entertainment is all the added expenses of the cruise. I’m surprised that dining out came in under budget, but I had a lot of credit to spend on board and also had unlimited drinks which really cut down on the expenses. I may have slightly underestimated here, but I can’t see myself spending more than this.

I’ve also decided to start updating my wardrobe, something that was long overdue. I’ve budgeted $50 a month for this purpose. I’d like to think of it as an investment in myself, to increase confidence and make myself feel good. I’ll probably be over and under this budget some months, but I think it will average out across the year. I spent over that budget this month after purchasing some new items.

Overall spending was also down a bit lower than what I actually spent, as I redeemed both of my cash back bonuses for a little over $200 this month. It’s been something that I do yearly to keep the expenses lower during the holidays and give myself a “Christmas Bonus”. I’ve also been doing really well with Swagbucks referrals, so I was able to offload some of my spending with Amazon gift cards from there! If not – the budget would have probably looked even worse at the end.

I’m not too worried about going over the budget this month, as the vacation was a one time expense and so was the temporary drop in income. I’ll easily be able to make that back up in January and I don’t plan on spending nearly as much money. I’ll probably be purchasing some concert tickets, but those expenses will technically be spread out throughout the year. Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year’s and didn’t overspend this month!

This post was supposed to automatically schedule on the 1st, but for some reason I didn’t complete that part – apologies for that!

photo credit: JAbolins IMG_7628 via photopin (license)

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