Monthly Budget Report – September 2013

It’s been a little hectic at work and I’ve also been keeping pretty busy with other things, so I haven’t had as much time to write for my blog – and because of that I apologize for the somewhat late September budget report! If you remember back to last month’s budget where I slightly overspent, I think this month puts me right back on track and even a little bit under my budgeted amounts. August had the added cost of going on vacation, so I did factor that in and pretty much expected it. If this month’s budget came in way over then it would have really been time to start worrying, but thankfully that is not the case – you can read right below!

My September 2013 budget:

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 -$94.00 $6.00
Gym -$20.00 -$20.00 $0.00
Dining Out -$50.00 -$20.00 $30.00
Entertainment -$100.00 -$100.00 $0.00
Total Income After Fixed Expenses $2,420.00 $2,456.00 $36.00
“Extra” Spending $0.00 -$12.00 -$12.00
Total Income Before Student Loans $2,420.00 $2,444.00 $24.00
Student Loan Payments -$2,200.00 -$2,200.00 $0.00
Total Remaining $220.00 $244.00 $24.00

As you can see, most of my categories for this month actually came in under budget or right at the budget limit. My car insurance payment was back to normal after prepaying a majority of it last month. It will stay like that until next Spring where I won’t have to pay for a few months again. It’s a nice break but it’s really 12 months of coverage squeezed into 8 months of payments, so you feel like you are getting a few months “free”.

I spent $94 on gas this month, a much lower amount than I had been paying throughout the rest of the Summer. Carpooling and not traveling definitely helped and gas prices have also been trending downward throughout the month. I’m hoping that pattern continues throughout October as it looks like I may not be carpooling as much this month.

Dining out totaled to $20 this month which was half on lunch one day with the other half going to drinks with co-workers. I don’t think this was bad at all, and I made sure not to spend too much money on both occasions. I used up all of my “entertainment” budget for this month(which I’m still using as mostly a catch-all category). I got a haircut which costs me $15 now, switching barber’s saves me $5 a haircut  and  I’m trying to go less often by getting my hair cut a little shorter. Maybe I’ll start cutting my own hair eventually or my girlfriend can help me out with that one.

I also spent a decent amount on clothing this month too, but almost everything was on sale. I try to keep it at under or about $10 per clothing item but I will say that nothing was bought from a thrift shop this time. I try to do that to keep costs even lower , but sometimes it is hard to find the right fit. I got a bunch of t-shirts for $5 each in an end of summer clearance sale. I’ve been in need of long-sleeve work shirts too, would be able to have a little variety in what I wear to work. I’ve found that paying a little bit more for higher quality and not washing every single time you wear it (unless it got dirty, obviously) it makes things last much longer and you save money in the long run.

The extra $12 in spending was put towards a charity raffle at work, going to a local food pantry. Earlier in the year I just brought food to donate but this time I just bought some tickets. Unfortunately I didn’t win any of the prizes, but it went to a good cause so no complaints here! Some people in my group did win some gift certificates, so that was nice to see someone that I knew win something.

For the student loan portion of my budget, I ended up putting $2,200 towards my loans from my budget. I did not include the extra amount I put towards my student loans in September as to not cause any confusion. I consider that an extra off-budget item, which makes it easier for me to see my true spending. So the overall picture for this month was great, with a little over $200 in surplus going into my back account. I plan on putting $200 extra towards my student loans next month to compensate for that.

photo credit: Bourguiboeuf via photopin cc

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