October 2015 Budget Review

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.

Here is my budget for October:

I have increased the amount of “rent” that I am paying to my parents again, as I’ve started to eat a lot more than I was before. I’ve set a new personal and fitness goal so in order to offset the cost of that I added another $25 to my rent payment. Because of me eating more food, my parents did not fight the increase this time.

My car insurance payment was normal along with my cellphone payment, and I have another month of not requiring any money needing to be put towards car maintenance which is nice. Unfortunately I did have increased spending for my gym membership, as the gym that I have been going to has had to shut their doors. With the crowding an increase of ‘Planet Fitness’ type gyms the membership declined to the point where they couldn’t stay in business. I found a different gym which will also cost $20 a month (probably $21 now with taxes/fees) each month and I had to pay an activation fee of $30.

I spent a ton of money (for me) in the dining out and entertainment categories. The dining out category includes the groceries I purchased while camping, going out to lunch with coworkers, going out to happy hour, and then taking my parents out for a birthday dinner. The entertainment spending for the month was all hockey tickets or paying for the transportation/parking to the games. Part of that was because of my parents’ birthdays and it was partially because of getting free tickets and going with different groups of friends.

The travel expenses were all related to the cabin rental for the long weekend as well as purchasing ice and firewood from nearby stores. You can see that after making my $2400 student loan payment that I actually ended up $300 over my budget because of this huge increase in spending. I have the money to cover the additional expenses between my checking and emergency fund, but I also think I can do much better in November on the expenses side of things.

Here are how my other budget related goals are looking after October:

I included the cost of the reservation in this month’s budget, even though I spent the actual money months ago. You would have probably seen an even bigger hit on my checking account if that money had actually came out of the account this month. Because of the way my paychecks fall, the increase was also more drastic after making back to back $2400 student loan payments. Looking over my current budget and the above goals I’m not quite sure if that pace is sustainable right now.

I’m hoping that for November I can put 100% of my gas spending on the gift cards I’ve accumulated which should net me around $20-40 extra compared to the past few months budgets. I also plan on using all of my cash back rewards in December which helps to soften the blow of Christmas shopping. I’m hoping that I can find the balance and continue to move towards being student loan free.

photo credit: First Jack of 2013 via photopin (license)

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