I meant to post this budget recap yesterday but I was so excited about my new couponing series that I decided to put the boring stuff off for a day. I don’t know how it was for you, but September flew by for me. I actually felt like I blinked and the month was over. I had a lot of things on my list that I wanted to accomplish, and looking back, perhaps I was a little overly ambitious. (Me? Overly ambitious? No!) I think I ended up being able to cross off only half my list, but as my 4 year old likes to say, “neh neh, nevermind.” On a brighter note, I did once again come in way under budget for the month and ended up putting a lot more in savings than I was shooting for.
But despite my feeling of never quite being able to catch up, I can’t emphasize enough how much budget living has changed my life for the better. My marriage has never been stronger, and while I am generally a pretty positive person, I am happier now than I have been in a long time. If you would’ve asked me six months ago if I thought I’d enjoy living on a budget, I would have emphatically said no way in you-know-where. And yet here we are, going into October, and I am prepared to shave an additional $150 off my budget (to help pay for our new minivan) without a single qualm.
Budget-wise, here is how I did for September (over budget categories are in red; under budget in green):
Groceries: budgeted $400.00, spent $312.99
(I am very happy to see my grocery bill go down significantly from last month. After three straight months of extreme couponing, my stockpile is plentiful, which means I can focus on only the very best deals each week. I’m hoping October sees even better savings!)
Eating Out: budgeted $125.00, spent $122.21
(I just barely made it under the wire on this one!)
Gas & Automobile Expenses: budgeted $225.00, spent 364.22
(My biggest expense of the month is also my most frustrating! I’m not sure what to do to get this one down to a more reasonable number (besides never go anywhere.) Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
Date Night: budgeted $75.00, spent $25.00
(We went out for a wonderful fancy dinner and used a Restaurant.com certificate to pay most of the bill!)
Kids’ Activities &; Crafts: budgeted $150.00, spent $149.26
(I’ve been feeling a little craftier than usual lately. As a result, our craft supplies were running low so I stocked up on a variety of very cool things. As usual, those costs added up!)
Home Decor & Organizing: budgeted $100.00, spent $275.11
(I ended up going way over on this category because I purchased several items for my upcoming master bedroom remodel.)
Clothing: budgeted $100.00, spent $79.95
Gifts: budgeted $100.00, spent $6.04
Entertaining & Parties: budgeted $175.00, spent $207.43
(What can I say? We like to entertain. Most of this went to stocking up on liquor, beer, & wine.)
Babysitting: budgeted $150.00, spent $68.00
Health & Fitness: budgeted $25.00, spent $0
Beauty: budgeted $25.00, spent $19.06
Misc.: budgeted $50.00, spent $111.99
(Most of this went to assorted blog-related expenses. Next month I am going to have to add a new category.)
Total amount spent: $1,734.27
Total amount saved (from coupons, deals, & discounts): $2,911.28
Actual Money into Savings: $533.89
All-in-all, another very good month!
Goal-wise, on the other hand, September wasn’t the best month for me. Here is how I did:
-organize my kitchen cabinets
-plan my master bedroom remodel (to be done in October)–develop an inspiration board & budget.
-begin planning & working on fall/halloween decorations
-baby proof my bathroom cabinets!
-clean & organize my garage–do one thing every day
-start Christmas shopping
-re-organize my coupons
-sell unwanted/unneeded items on craigslist. If they haven’t sold by the end of the month, donate remaining items to goodwill.
-sort through Maggie’s art projects from the past year. Keep the good ones and recycle the rest.
I didn’t exactly hit it out of the park. But that’s the beauty of a new month–I get to wipe the slate clean and start all over again with a renewed optimism. (Pathetically delusional, aren’t I?)
-complete my fabulous blog makeover
-baby-proof my cabinets
-organize the garage
-continue working on early Christmas shopping
-sort through Maggie’s art projects
-decorate for Halloween
-begin working on Thanksgiving plan
-organize my kitchen cabinets
-clear out the armoire in living room (so we can finally convert it into a wet bar as planned.)
–re-organize craft supplies
-re-organize home office
-complete my Master Bedroom remodel
And maybe I am just a glutton for punishment, but I really think I can get it all done this month!
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