I’ve started to really practice what I preach (tracking my expenses) since Jan. this year. Even if it’s not too easy for some ‘airhead’ like me to really be consistent with something, I can gladly report that the expenses have been tracked each and every month, so I now have a very good view on where my money is going and what needs to be better optimized.
Truth be told neither me or husband are clubbing or buying expensive clothing, so most of the money goes to what needs paying anyway: utilities, taxes, car expenses, health expenses, all the stuff we need for the baby, groceries.
Anyway, while this exercise has bee a real eye-opener, I never bothered thinking about a budget and seeing how we’re doing each month. On October 1sth though, I created a small budget based on the money we spend usually (I have separate ‘accounts’ on my software for the savings, so this is just to track what we pay every month. What I don’t exchange into our currency, remains in my paypal account or goes to our savings).
This explains why you won’t hear me talk about ‘savings’ when it comes to the budget, the money we’re left every month goes to the next one’s budget, the savings are done each month, but in another currency (oh, well, the pleasures of living in a non-US or non-Euro country).
For this month I had scheduled around $1.2K to cover our expenses and we didn’t need more than that. This is the good part. The not so good is that we had so many things to ‘cover’, that my remaining money for this month is around $65.
Almost $200 were the taxes and our accountant’s fees. We also had to send my husbands gas analyzer to be checked ($200) and the car expenses amounted to around $150 (gas and the yearly insurance – this is pretty cheap, compared to what US drivers pay, but still steep enough for our wages). Health costs were $150, I also bought maternity clothing ($25 on a pair of jeans). I do try to keep myself from filling the closet with ‘fat clothing’, since I can still wear some of my old ‘attire’, not to mention I can borrow a t-shirt or blouse from my husband (I work at home, so I don’t need to be ‘en vogue’).
My ‘entertainment‘ expenses were $10 (met with friends 2 times and had a latte – decaf, of course), we also spent $30 on a day trip to a nearby Serbian city (we bought some cream for our upcoming baby – the expenses for her amount to $150).
Most expenses were on groceries and things for Nadia (this is how we’ve named her). I’m not too pleased with how much we have spent, but we’ve bought most of the ‘big’ stuff we needed for her, so the next months will surely be WAY easier for us money-wise. I don’t think we’ll spend more than 40-50 bucks/month until she’s born. Husband’s income is not in the ‘chart’, he’s not thrilled about the idea of tracking his expenses, but on the other hand he’s not spending money on anything but what we need for the household. Each cent he’s made this month was put to pay for the utilities (as you can notice, this category is not in my list), a part of the taxes for our firm and a lot of the groceries – baby expenses.
The conclusion is that I really don’t want to have too many months like this one (having to pay for the car, analyzer and most of the baby stuff which was crazy expensive), but we still made it on our ‘cash’ money and didn’t have to go into savings or postpone any bill. We saved money (even if I really didn’t expect to be able to do this, after knowing what a disaster this month’s budget would be) and have no more stress when it comes to the baby. All we need to buy in the next months are few clothing items and some stuff for me after I give birth.
For November I have budgeted around $800 (will need to pay some taxes to change my name on my firm – got married weeks ago, so there’s a lot of paperwork to be done), let’s hope nothing unplanned appears out of the blue again.
How was your budget this past month? Were you able to ‘fit’ all the expenses? Do you have money left? Did you have a good month?