December 2013 Budget Review

December BudgetMy student loans for 2013 have been taken care of, so now I move onto my budget review for the last month of 2013. You might remember that in my November 2013 budget reviewed that I busted my budget pretty badly. I needed to get new tires and a wheel alignment, and it turned out that I also needed additional work done to my car. With that in mind, I headed into December looking to recover and spend as little as possible. I knew I would have to spend money on Christmas presents, but I really wanted to limit what I spent on myself and avoid any unnecessary purchases to try and turn the numbers around in my favor this month.

Item Budgeted Actual Difference
Income $2,920.00 $2,920.00 $0.00
Rent -$100.00 -$100.00 $0.00
Car Insurance -$110.00 -$110.00 $0.00
Cell Phone -$20.00 -$20.00 $0.00
Gas -$100.00 -$85.00 $15.00
Gym -$20.00 -$20.00 $0.00
Dining Out -$50.00 $0.00 $50.00
Entertainment -$100.00 -$13.00 $87.00
Total Income After Fixed Expenses $2,420.00 $2,572.00 $152.00
“Extra” Spending $0.00 -$192.00 -$192.00
Total Income Before Student Loans $2,420.00 $2,380.00 -$40.00
Student Loan Payments -$2,200.00 -$2,200.00 $0.00
Total Remaining $220.00 $180.00 -$40.00

I think that after I take everything into consideration, my budget passes this month with flying colors from an overall perspective. I was very happy when I was going through to track all my purchases for this month with just how great my budget looked. My gas spending was down this month from my average, due to my girlfriend doing more traveling to me instead of me traveling to her. I was also able to work from home a few days this month because of bad weather, so that cut back on my driving a bit as well.

I only spent $13 on myself this month, which I just put in the entertainment category. My extra spending ended up at $192, with $15 of that being a haircut and the rest going to presents for family, girlfriend, and some friends. I think that was a pretty reasonable budget to have for Christmas gifts, and I don’t think I ended up spending too much or too little. I try to find more meaningful gifts or maybe things that are less of gifts and more of an item that the person could or would definitely get use out of.

I actually ended up putting closer to $2,500 towards my student loans this month in paying off a loan completely, but I had taken $300 out of my savings in preparation for doing that this month – so I considered it an off budget item. Since I ended up with $180 in excess money this month, that move ended up only costing me a net of $120 from my savings account. Not bad at all – and I gained the psychological victory of paying off another loan completely.

I don’t expect January’s budget to look quite as pretty as this month, because without the spending on Christmas gifts this month would have been as close to zero spending as I can get (not factoring in recurring expenses). I do plan on reigning in my spending as I have been, but I know that January will have some more upcoming expenses. The important part is limiting the spending in other unnecessary areas and realizing that every dollar that I save there is another dollar that can be put towards my loans instead.

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc


  1. It is absolutely incredible how much you pay to your loans! You’re going to make pretty quick work of them at that rate!

    1. That’s the benefit of still not having a smartphone 🙂 Even though it does have it’s drawbacks. $0 is rare for me, as I usually end up going out one or two times a month with people from work. With the holidays and lots of people having off I got lucky with that though, especially since I was trying to cut my spending back this month.

    1. Thanks very much! This month was definitely a down month for spending, I barely spent any money on myself. I put my student loan as #1 priority, but I also want to enjoy myself and not completely deprive myself from fun.

  2. Definitely awesome job meeting that budget for December. You’re way ahead of the game, taking advantage of not having to pay full rent. One of my buddies bought a new car instead of paying off debt when he was in the same situation, and I was just like “guy, are you serious right now?” Keep it up, they will be gone before you know it. But, definitely remember there is more to life than paying off loans. It’s easy to lose track of that some times, but you seem like you already know that. Well done!

    1. Thanks, it might have actually been my best month for the budget this year, haha. The rent thing is absolutely the key here. I appreciate the support and it’s absolutely important to keep things in perspective, I still want to take advantage of things while young..need to find that balance.

      And while I know that a car is necessary for a lot of people, when you’re in debt getting a brand new car usually is going put you behind even more, he should have probably went used in this case.

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