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January roundup

February 3rd, 2007 at 07:33 pm

Tonight I sat down and made an Excel speadsheet for my monthly expenses. It seemed like a daunting task, but it was actually incredibly easy. In less than a half hour, I had twelve monthly sheets, each with a spot for me to list income (mine, DH's, interest, and other), along with a column for each monthly expenditure (groceries, gas, cell, etc.). The best part - each column tallies on its own, so no more writing everything down and adding it up by hand!I was going to post it here, but I had to switch computers, so I'm no longer on the computer where it is saved. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow in case it would help anyone.

January budget:
Groceries: 200 -> 190.48
Household/Cell: 113 -> 91.88
Car: 200 for gas -> 185.32
200 for inspection/repair -> 39.35
Medical: 6.83 -> 6.83
Clothes: 0 -> 18.16 (a spontaneous trip to the thrift store with my MIL - totally worth it!)
Loans: 800 -> 796.89 (no more car payments!)
Entertainment: 130 -> 100
Gifts: 15 -> 96.19 (over $30 of this was gifts that were returned to my cc which I reimbursed the giftee for)
Miscellaneous: 150 -> 250.85 ($80 to mom for miscellaneous expenses, ie dry cleaning she took for me)
Real estate: 0 -> 0
School/Day care: 0 -> 0
Investment: 0 -> 0
Cash withdrawals: 100 with no fees -> 166 with no withdrawal fees, but a 17.12 fee for E-bay (forgot to change my payment source and they charged me $15 for trying to get money from a closed acct)
Total income: 1500 -> 1523.04
Total expenses: 1914.83 -> 1768.59
That's pretty darn good, I think. I cannot believe how close I was on most categories. I'm usually farther off Smile I was even under budget on almost every category. We took a few hundred out of our savings this month to cover the last car payment.
A question: How does everyone account for charges on ccs? I used to not note the charge when it was made, but instead would note the payment when it came out of my account. However, when I was tracking expenses, the paymount amount didn't tell me what the original charge was for, so I changed my method to account for the charge in the month it was made instead of the month it was paid off. An example: DH's tuition. When I paid it back in the fall, I listed a $5k charge under school expenses. However, now I have no category to list the $100-300 I am putting toward it every month. I could create a category for cc payments, but then it would look (on paper) like I was paying for the same thing twice. However, if I don't account for the charge when it was made, then I lose track of what that $5k went for. Any suggestions?

February budget:
Groceries: 200
Household/Cell: 60
Car: 190 for gas, 300 for new brakes on DH's car
Medical: 27.00
Clothes: 0
Loans: 100.36
Entertainment: 120
Gifts: 25
Miscellaneous: 100
Real estate: 40 (need a new sign for my car)
School/Day care: 0
Investment: 0
Cash withdrawals: 100 with no fees
Total income: 2400 (I feel so RICH!)
Total expenses: 1162.36
This is the month I have been waiting for. Increased income (DH working somewhat steadily), decreased expenses (no car payment, only one gift-giving occasion, a grocery budget which will remain low as we are STILL cleaning out the pantry). I have already paid off all of our Discover card (over $1000 from December) and made more than the minimum payment on our AmEx ($250), and I will still have several hundred dollars left after accounting for those expenditures. Plus, if we get our taxes done soon (I'm aiming for having them in the mail this week), we will be getting app. $3700. I plan to use that for our 2006 Roth contribution, although I am so very tempted to pay off the AmEx too. We'll see. Now, just to bask in the glory that is extra money for a week or two while I figure out where to attack next!

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