January 2015 Budget Review

I had originally planned to post this last week, but I really didn’t feel like going over numbers while I was sick… so it’s a bit late…

Anyway… January is done.  And so my first month of budgeting is done… And as I mentioned briefly last Monday, it didn’t really go as planned…

You can see my original budget post here.  Basically, my budget went out the window almost immediately, because I had leftover expenses from December that I hadn’t accounted for which came through in January (though I suppose I could have ignored them, but it’ll happen every month, so I best get used to it), and I forgot about a couple weekends away that we had planned, so the nonexistent travel section is way bigger than it was supposed to be.  (I have now learned to have the calendar next to me when making my monthly budgets.)

January 2015 Budget
How things were supposed to go…

I also liked my pretty graph wheel thing, but turns out it isn’t as easy to use as I had hoped, and I’m not sure it helps explain anything for a before and after… but I’ll post my results for January in a similar way so that they are comparable.  I think I’ll try something different for my February budget post tomorrow.

After reading about budgets on a bunch of other blogs, I have realized that I need to do some more work on my budgeting, and want to get some budgeting tools sorted out.  I also think I might change the way I show my budget… but I will discuss the February budget tomorrow, so today I will just go over the January successes and failures.

Successes:

  • I made a budget.
  • My fiance and I have discussed money more this month than I think we ever had before…
  • Also, my fiance made more money that we had budgeted for.  Go him!  He’s quite good at the “side hustles” I guess with various small revenue sources.
  • Oh, and my annual rebate for my credit card came through, so that’s totally bonus money!

Failures:

  • Pretty much everything else associated with the budget…
  • We went well over in travel expenses (I forgot about some planned trips, and also paid for part of a February trip in advance), and medical expenses (thanks to the dentist)
  • I also got my hair cut. (I normally don’t get my hair cut more than once a year, but I’m on a hair makeover schedule to get my hair long and healthy for my wedding, so I may have to up my budget on this one.)
  • And food… I don’t even want to talk about that category…

Anyway, here is my pretty graph for the results:

How things actually turned out...
How things actually turned out…

And here are the results in number format:

1. Mortgage & Property Tax: 56%  46%
This is down because I underestimated our monthly income.  The cost itself is fixed.

2. Utilities & Home Insurance: 4% 2%
This is down because we don’t have to pay our electricity or water bills every month… but I would like to put aside money each month for the costs when they come… not exactly sure how to keep track of this… like I said, my budget is a work in progress.

3. Savings & RRSP Contributions: 12% 7%
This is where the hit came from being over budget on other things.  I didn’t really put much in to savings.  I really want to work on this.  In a month where we make more than planned, this should really be the one that goes up…

4. Life Insurance, Medical & Family Expenses: 6% 11%
As I mentioned earlier, we had some medical expenses that I hadn’t accounted for resulting from my fiance going to the dentist for the first time in maybe 5 years.

5. Cable, Cell Phones & Internet: 6% 2%
Not exactly sure how this one worked out, but probably because of timing that we paid bills early at the end of December, and then haven’t paid for January yet…

6. Car Insurance, Maintenance & Gas: 5% 7%
I think that this increase is probably from the extra gas that we spent on our weekends away.  Oh, and I under-budgeted for my car maintenance.  This is another area where I’d like to keep a monthly contribution going so that I can cover the bigger maintenance issues when they come up…

7. Food (& Liquor – including eating out): 4% 29%
Yes, you are reading that number correctly.  We spent a lot of money on food and drink this month.  We ate out a lot!  And ordered take-out… And I guess a bunch of this was the expenses from December that came through on my Visa in January (including all the fun from New Year’s Eve).  This is the area that I most need to work on.  I’ll discuss my plan to cut this down for February in my budget post tomorrow.

8. Household Goods & Toiletries: 2%
This one was bang on percentage-wise, but because we brought in more money than expected, the actual monetary value was overbudget.  I can blame that on a trip to Target where I bought the baskets for my decluttering project.

9. Fitness & Sports: 2% 1%
I had planned on registering for both a 10k race and a half marathon, but I only did the 10k registration in January.  I will get my half marathon registration done this month.

10. Clothing & Personal Care: 2%
Another category that appears to be right on budget because of the extra income.  As I mentioned, I got my hair cut, and my fiance spent some on clothes that he needed.

11. Misc. Others: 1% 18%
This is where I put the travel expenses… hotels, ski lift tickets, ferry rides… Yeah, I had the calendar out when I made the February budget, so hopefully this won’t happen again.

I’m not sure if anyone spent the time adding those numbers up… but they do not add to 100%… in fact, it adds to 127%.  Yup, this month we spent more than we made by a huge margin… Luckily, we have a slush built in to our savings, so we aren’t going in to debt for this at all, but it’s a definite wake-up call that we need to get our spending in check if we are going to live on mostly my wage while my fiance is in school.

Have you ever had a month go so over budget?  Any tips or words of wisdom you can provide for my budgeting?

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2 thoughts on “January 2015 Budget Review

  1. Since we regularly use our credit cards and pay them off each month we always have expenses carry over to the next month. I never knew what to do with these expenses in my budget. I started to just include them when they are put on the card.

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    • Yeah, it’s a tough one with the delay… unless I keep track every day… which I guess would make me more responsible… I’m still working out exactly how things would work best for us. Good to know I’m not the only one that has had that issue…

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