I can’t believe that it is already September. I know that technically the season of summer doesn’t end until mid/late September, but I totally feel that summer has ended with the beginning of September (probably because that’s when school traditionally starts…) It also doesn’t help that the weather changed over the last few days and brought some nasty rain and wind, and then I got sick, so spent the last few days snuggling under a blanket on my couch.
Anyway, I’m feeling a bit better now, and so it is time to do my monthly budget review and preview…
Last month, I admitted my discovery of a feature of YNAB that I hadn’t used before when I go overbudget in a category. So this month, instead of rearranging the budget when I go over, I just let the overspending be taken out of my income for September. I was a little nervous about doing this, and I wouldn’t recommend it if you are tight on a typical monthly budget, but this month turned out to be a very good month to try this on because I worked a bit of overtime and also got a bonus from my work, and my husband had one of this busiest months for both of his jobs. Extra income allows some leeway for this, and with the wedding this month, it was definitely required.
So, first up, let’s look at the pretty spending graph that YNAB provides us.
See that giant red section… Yeah, that’s mostly wedding… It’s kind of crazy to see that it is about 3 times the total of all our other spending for the month (and August was a spendy month in other categories too). But is it done, and paid for, and we didn’t go in to any debt for it.
Funny side note about wedding spending and debt… I went to the bank at the beginning of August to get out some american cash for a quick trip down to the states, and the bank teller asked me if I wanted to increase my credit card limit because I was pre-approved and I might need it for an emergency while traveling. The amount I was allowed was crazy high, so I agreed to increase it a little bit, but mostly for the ability to put the big wedding expenses right on my card (hello rewards!). In telling the teller that it would help pay for wedding expenses, she asked me if I wanted to apply for a line of credit to help with the wedding expenses. That’s right, the teller was suggesting that I go in to debt to pay for my wedding… I laughed and said no thanks, I had the cash saved but was using the card to pay. But I was a little surprised that it would be a suggestion from the bank. I guess they do make money off debt…
Anyway, back to the budget… It’s time to look at the numbers:
See those red numbers in the balance column for August? That’s all the categories where we went over budget! Whoops!
Now for the analysis of the numbers… And because I didn’t do any rearranging of the budgeted money that I normally do, I don’t have to refer to last month’s post to see what I actually budgeted.
1. Mortgage: Predictable and normal. I don’t know if I mentioned it in a post before or not, but our mortgage payments went down a bit in July after our property tax was paid because they had over estimated the required amount for that, so they decreased that portion of the monthly payment. Hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite us in the future.
2. Utilities & Home Insurance: I didn’t budget anything in August for this, and luckily the funds covered what came in. I’m adding to the funds for those ones this month so that we are saving up for insurance and the higher cost of the winter months (heating).
3. RRSP & TFSA: Right on budget. I’ve increased the amount for September because my husband wants to increase his RRSP contributions a bit. I am totally on board with more saving.
4. Planned Spending / Saving: This is where there were some major over budget categories (wedding) and lots of spending (wedding). This month I hope to fill up some of the other savings funds, and get to work on the emergency fund.
5. Life Insurance, Medical & Family Expenses: This overbudget category is what happens when you take money from one fund to help pay for some overbudget items in another… When things come up, you don’t have the money in the right funds resulting in big red numbers… I budgeted a bit more for September to hopefully get those funds back up for future expenses.
6. Cable, Cell Phones & Internet: Nothing exciting here. Some expenses as usual, some that were a little lower than normal… We are considering switching providers for our internet and cable, so this might change in the coming months… We are just seeing if it does end up being a better deal or not…
7. Car Insurance, Maintenance & Gas: We spent way more on gas than I thought we would. Lots of driving around for the wedding mostly… plus we drove two cars up to the wedding… But my car maintenance didn’t cost as much as I thought it might, so there is still some money in that fund for a rainy day.
8. Groceries, Eating Out & Liquor: As I predicted, our food and drink expenses were down in August. Probably mostly due to some of those expenses getting rolled up in travel budgets or wedding budgets… or because we survived on leftovers after the wedding for a few days… September will be interesting because I am away for work quite a bit, so our grocery spending should go down, but that often leads to us eating out a lot when I am home for short periods, and my husband will probably eat out a lot more than normal as well since he is alone.
9. Household Goods & Toiletries: We were within budget for August (one of the rare categories that worked out), and nothing special is planned for September, so just put the regular amounts in (with a bit of extra to bulk up the rainy day funds).
10. Fitness & Sports: Mildly overbudget on this one. I think I categorized one of my husband’s golf games as fitness by accident (normally those come out of his “fun” money)… so that’s probably what did it… but not a big deal. September is when we pay our dues for our team sports, so this category gets a big budget this month. Hopefully I estimated correctly and didn’t forget something.
11. Clothing & Personal Care: We did a bit of back-to-school shopping in August which resulted in this category going over budget. I hadn’t planned for any of that, since I don’t really do any for myself anymore, but my step-daughter has out-grown a lot of her clothes from last year, so we did splurge a little while shopping down in the states (which with our Canadian dollar did not really work out so well for us… oh well.) Oh and we had some extra haircuts in preparation for the wedding, so that added to the personal care expenses… though I guess they could have gone in the wedding category…
12. Misc.: Another overbudget category because of gifts mostly… birthday gifts, thank you gifts, welcome gifts, wedding gifts… most gifts were of the consumable kind (food & drink), which I feel is better than giving unneeded stuff.
So there you have it, my August spending recap and my preview for September… As I mentioned before, this was my first month of leaving the big red numbers in the budget, and I think I like it. It makes it really obvious where I didn’t do a good job of estimating or we totally overspent. However, I think I lucked out this month with our extra income allowing us the freedom to do that and still be able to budget well for September. That being said, I’m going to try it again for September and see how we do. As I mentioned in my review of my financial goals last week, I think we are about to turn a corner on our budgeting and spending, so maybe the big red numbers will help give us that last push that we need.
Did you go over budget on any categories this month? How do you deal with the over spending? Do you like to have big red numbers to show you where you missed the mark?
**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.