February 2015 Budget Review

Another month done. So time for another budget review. I changed up the way that I did my budgets for February (from % in January to $ in February), which has made it easier for me to keep tabs on.

I challenged us to not eat out or order take out/delivery for the whole month of February, and I think we did pretty well. The only dinner that we ate out together was on Saturday (Feb 28th), so that was sort of like a reward for the rest of the month. And I only ate one lunch out (while traveling). Oh, wait, that’s not true… I ate out once with some coworkers, but that got paid for, so not out my budget. 🙂

My fiance (still working on a name for him on here… and I guess a name for me…) ate out and got take out quite a bit more than me, but his schedule with work has been chaotic and somewhat unpredictable, and he’s aware that we are trying to cut costs in the food department, but it’s not as easy for him to go cold turkey…  We did go for milkshakes/smoothies the other night with the fiance’s daughter, so I guess that is eating out as well… sort of.

Anyway, I think the experiment was a success, and this next month I’m not going to be as strict on myself, but will try my best to maybe limit eating out/take out to once a week (if at all).

So, let’s forget all this mumbo jumbo and go for the results:

Category Budgeted Actual
1. Mortgage & Property Tax: $ XXXX** $ XXXX**
2. Utilities & Home Insurance: XXX** $ XXXX**
3. Savings & RRSP Contributions: XXX** $ XXXX**
4. Life Insurance, Medical & Family Expenses: XXX** $ XXX**
5. Cable, Cell Phones & Internet: XXX** $ XXX**
6. Car Insurance, Maintenance & Gas: XXX** $ XXX**
7. Food (& Liquor – including eating out): XXX** $ XXXX**
8. Household Goods & Toiletries: XXX** $ XXX**
9. Fitness & Sports: XXX** $ XX**
10. Clothing & Personal Care: XXX** $ XX**
11. Misc. Others: XXXX** $ XXXX**
Total: XXXX** $ XXXXX**

So… yeah, another not so great budgeting month… But I feel like it was an improvement over last month.

Let’s discuss the categories.

1. Mortgage & Property Tax: Not much to say here.  Normal.

2. Utilities & Home Insurance: The thing that makes this one so high is that we pay our home insurance in one lump sum (it saves like $20-30 or something in the monthly set up fees??) and we pay it in February.  I budget a little bit each month to go towards the home insurance, so there should be a “fund” for this, but haven’t exactly figured out how to make that happen…

3. Savings & RRSP Contributions: I guess going over in this category isn’t a bad thing.  We had some gift cash that we hadn’t deposited, so we finally got that in to a savings account and bumped up our home reno fund.

4. Life Insurance, Medical & Family Expenses: Had a few medical expenses come up that I hadn’t anticipated.  Hopefully this category calms down a bit in the next few months.

5. Cable, Cell Phones & Internet: I think one of the cell phone bills didn’t get paid yet?  Or maybe the cable bill?  It might make March look expensive.

6. Car Insurance, Maintenance & Gas: I budget to put some money in to maintenance funds, but we didn’t spend any on maintenance this month, but spent more on gas… so there really isn’t that much in the “fund”… more stuff I have to figure out.

7. Food (& Liquor – including eating out we aren’t eating out this month): Despite me not eating out, we still managed to rack up quite the food category again.  Not cool.  I might have to get on the fiance for his food habits.  Or just start budgeting more for food?  I don’t know the answer yet.

8. Household Goods & Toiletries: We bought a toaster because ours broke.  It’s a nice toaster.

9. Fitness & Sports: I didn’t sign up for the half marathon yet, but the fiance played some drop-in hockey that required payment.

10. Clothing & Personal Care: Right on budget… not much to say.

11. Misc. Others: This category includes travel expenses.  I went on a girls’ weekend and paid for a bunch of the accommodation, and then they paid me back in cash, so that sort of isn’t shown in the budget… Also, I paid for a bunch of stuff that my work will pay me back for, so it almost shouldn’t be in here… Maybe I should keep the work expenses separate?  I don’t know.  This budget thing is still a work in progress.

So there you have it, our February budget results.  Not stellar, but I’m okay with it.

How has your spending turned out for February?

**Edit:  I have decided that I don’t want to share my actual numbers on the blog, so I have removed them from this post… Sorry if it makes it a bit confusing or unreadable… Hopefully it isn’t unbearably so.

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8 thoughts on “February 2015 Budget Review

  1. Straight and to the point, nice. 🙂 My Feb earnings and spending were pretty normal. By the way, do you have a Twitter account or email or some other way for readers to contact you? I want to ask you something, but not here. 😉

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    • I guess I should probably put some way for people to contact me, eh? I don’t have a twitter account currently, but was considering making one… maybe…
      But I do have an email: allroundbetterme [at] gmail [dot] com
      I’ll find a place to post that on here for future reference.

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  2. Wow, we live in *totally* different financial worlds. I about fainted when I saw how much your mortgage is! I’m glad you feel like you’re making progress, though; my experience of reigning in spending was that it took a while to sort out, and getting a somewhat reluctant partner on board is another thing altogether. Regarding work expenses, I generally keep them off budget if they’re being reimbursed. You might consider keeping a separate credit card just for those, it makes it easier to figure out what to ignore when you’re pulling together monthly numbers. One question: when you go $3000 over budget, where does the extra money come from? Did you actually make $10000 in the month (if so, amazing; that’s like 1/4 of my yearly income!) and so the $3000 would otherwise have been saved, or did you have to put it on credit cards?

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    • I have to admit that my mortgage is pretty high, even I am aware of that, but we have chosen to live in an expensive city and in a nice part of town. There is a cost associated with that. It’s a cost that I’m willing to pay, but it’s a little tight right now with my fiance not having as much work as before. I guess a big thing here is that this is a shared expense report for both me and my fiance, so it’s two people’s incomes that pay for all that.

      I think I will leave out the work expenses from my budget from now on, as it really messes with the numbers. I paid around $1000 of work expenses this month, which will get 100% reimbursed, so that will bring my overage down by $1000. And now looking at it, I really shouldn’t have put the gift money that we put in to savings as an expense… Hmmm… Like I said, I’m still working on this whole budget thing. Maybe I am making it look worse than it is, maybe I’m trying to scare myself in to being more frugal? So really, if I take out the work expenses, and the extra gift money that is just going to savings… I’d say we were only $1500 over budget (still a lot of money I realize).

      As for where that is coming from, last year I worked a lot of overtime and out of town work, and my fiance had a regular job for most of last year, so we have a pretty big “slush” fund that I’m still trying to figure out how to keep track of or assign to a purpose… So, yes, I guess that extra did come from potential savings… or maybe existing savings? Or maybe that money is my built in gremlins fund?

      I’m not sure if I answered your questions, or just caused more… lol…

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      • hee hee hee. Yes, that answers my questions 🙂 $1500 is a lot better than $3000 over! I think spending from a built-up slush fund is fine, actually, as long as you have a plan. I’ve definitely been in situations where I silted away a lot of savings and then spent them down in a period of less work — that’s what the freelance life is like. The only time I worry is when people don’t have a plan for what they’re going to do when the slush runs out!

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        • Well, I don’t really have a plan… but I’m hoping that I get my budgeting and frugal living sorted out before it becomes an issue. We are in a new phase of our lives financially, which part of why I started budgeting and tracking our expenses.

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  3. Way to go on your improvement in the eating out category! That’s a tough habit to break and it seems like you made major strides in that area. I’m still working on figuring out our budget, especially the things like cash and bills that come in at odd times, so I know exactly what you mean about it being a work in progress.

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    • Thanks! I have to admit, it was quite tough not to just get takeout when I was tired and didn’t want to cook. But meal planning, and knowing that I was only doing the challenge for one month, kept me motivated.

      I’m hoping that with the changes I’m making with my March budget that it might help me to get some of the strange timed bills and expenses sorted out. I’ll be posting more about that tomorrow and Wednesday.

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