April 2015 Budget Review & May 2015 Budget

The past few months I’ve split my review of the past month’s budget (ex. March 2015) and the preview of the next month’s budget (ex. April 2015) in separate posts, but this month I thought I’d try something a little different… I’m going to put both the review of April and the preview of May in the same post.  We’ll see if I like it… Let me know what you think too.

April marked the first month that we started using the YNAB software to make our budget and track our spending.  And I’ve loved it!  My trial period is almost up, so I’ll be splurging and spending the $60 USD to purchase a license.

You Need A Budget
You Need A Budget

If you aren’t familiar with YNAB, the software is pretty simple to use and helps to get you to use the YNAB methodology, which consists of four rules:

1. Give Every Dollar a Job.

2. Save for a Rainy Day.

3. Roll With the Punches.

4. Live on Last Month’s Income.

Because every dollar needs a job, and April we put in the existing balances from all our accounts, the April income is totally weird and inflated.  However, in the future we shouldn’t have that issue.  The saving for a rainy day is the basic idea of “funds” for larger expenses that only come around every once in a while… This is great because I used to just have this sort of “slush fund” that things like that would come from, but now I can see where all that money is sitting and why it is waiting there, rather than thinking I can just go spend it… As you’ll see when we go over the numbers, the whole rolling with the punches thing is really important and we used that a lot.  Basically, if something comes up and you have to spend money on something unexpected, just rearrange the money you’ve budgeted for other things to account for that.  Once you’ve got your rainy day funds in place, this will happen less and less, but until then, rearranging is how we kept things going.  The last rule we haven’t really got under control yet, but we are pretty close.  I get paid every other Friday and since May 1st was a payday Friday, that pay is going to be used for the month of May instead of saving it for June… but there will be two more pay days in May that I will put towards June’s budget…

And now on to the numbers…

 

ynab april 2015 spending

This pretty graph shows an overview of how our spending was distributed between the categories this month… The big ones are always the mortgage and our food & drink… but the graph doesn’t show where we went over or whatnot… So, perhaps the numbers might help…

ynab april & may 2015

 

Since rule #3 of YNAB involves rearranging the numbers, we’ll have to look back at the April budget for the original budget numbers.  But I’ll just quickly go through everything.  If we ignore business expenses, we have 13 categories…

1. Mortgage & Property Tax: nothing to report here… I had originally budgeted $ XXXX**.  That didn’t change.  Nothing exciting.  This month is the same… not exciting… perhaps I won’t comment on this category anymore…

2. Utilities & Home Insurance: I had originally budgeted $ XXX**, and we were under budget, but I increased it to bulk up the “fund” and this month is about the same.  It’s getting warmer, so we don’t have to heat the house as much anymore, which should bring down the electricity bill, but gardening season will bring the water usage up, and since we pay our home insurance once a year in a lump sum, this fund needs to grow each month.

3. RRSP & TFSA: This one is sort of like the mortgage category.  Not exciting… I budgeted exactly what we spent.  Though, I would like to increase these contributions.  Maybe after another month with this YNAB software we’ll be in a position to feel comfortable putting more money away…

4. Planned Spending / Saving: This is where the big issue with starting with some already funded planned spending funds occurs.  We have been saving this money for months and months… We were also given some very generous contributions by our parents to bulk up our wedding fund.  This should just show contributions and spending from the funds from now on…

5. Life Insurance, Medical & Family Expenses: I had originally budgeted $ XXX**.  That was way off.  We had some dental expenses to pay for… among other things, so I had to rearrange the numbers to make room for that.

6. Cable, Cell Phones & Internet:  I had originally budgeted $ XXX**, but for some reason the cable/internet bill got paid twice in this month… I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t pay it in March… or if I paid the May bill early… I’m also not totally sure what is going on with my cell phone… I wrote about it here, but then I got the bill in the mail… and it doesn’t match what was discussed on the phone… Time to investigate…

7. Car Insurance, Maintenance & Gas:  The original budget was $ XXX** and we came in under budget, since we did less driving this month… My fiance is biking to work most days, and we’ve had a decrease in our after work driving because winter activities have ended… I bumped up the fund though since I’ll be renewing my insurance and everything soon.

8. Groceries, Eating Out & Liquor:  I have to laugh at my original budget amount of $ XXXX**.  Not a surprise that we went over in this category… it’s where most of the extra spending happens… To be fair, we did host dinners/parties quite a few times this month, which increased some of the expenses, but really it is something that we need to work on… I’m trying to be more realistic in the budget for May, but I’m really hoping that we can concentrate on bringing that down.

9. Household Goods & Toiletries:  The original budget was $ XXX**.  We came in under budget on this one, but I ended up increasing the budgeted amount anyway… to increase the “fund”… I know we will want to do various small projects around the house this month… especially in the yard and the back shed.

10. Fitness & Sports:  I didn’t plan right when I made the original budget amount of $100.  Summer hockey dues for the fiance were paid, so we had to up this section.  This month we are paying for some summer soccer.

11. Clothing & Personal Care:  The original budget had $ XXX** for this, but this came in under budget, so I transferred some of this budget to other areas.  I’m not sure what May will hold for this, but I’ll budget around what we spent last month, and hopefully it works out.

12. Misc.: This has turned out to be a big category… I had originally budgeted $ XXXX** mostly for gifts.  We didn’t splurge on gifts as much as we had thought, but ended up paying some income tax and accounting fees.  We’ve got some plans in the works for my fiance’s daughter’s birthday in June, so we have to keep adding to the fund.

13. Slush Fund:  original = $ XXXX**.  This is my safety net… I had it in here to hold the “slush” that I had always sort of had, but I don’t think we really need it, since we are now designating money in to the emergency fund, I have moved it to savings in May… and I’ll probably put it in the “hidden categories” once this month is over…

Well, there you have it… April’s budget review and May’s budget preview… This ended up being a really long post, so I’m not sure if I will keep them together in one post or not in the future.  What do you think?

**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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5 thoughts on “April 2015 Budget Review & May 2015 Budget

    • I know I’m responding weeks later… but thanks for the comment! I think I like having both the review and the preview in the same post as well. It does allow for the thought process to be all in one place instead of divided. I just hope that future posts won’t need to be as long…

      Like

  1. Always good to meet a fellow YNABer! I’ve been using the software and implementing the principles since April 2013, and they’ve revolutionized my finances! It’s almost become a little freaky how much I enjoy budgeting now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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