Monthly Round-up

>> Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's time to see how I've been doing on the budget front.

You may be saying to yourself, "But it's the middle of the month." Well, I can explain...In my house the fiscal month starts on the 15th because that's when my husband gets paid and the bills start rolling in.

I haven't been able to find a way to put a graph of my spending on this blog yet, but I did join a site called Wesabe, which will file my purchases into different categories. Phew! I was dreading doing it all by hand.

Monthly Spending (budgeted amount in parentheses)

  • Groceries: $583 ($500)
    • My grocery total wasn't as bad as I was expecting, considering that I've been doing a lot of shopping around at different grocery stores this month. I haven't made any big changes in this area yet though, so I'm interested to see how much this number will be changing in the future.
  • Transportation: $184.86 ($300)
    • Woohoo! We did outstanding on our transportation budget this month! This is an area where the move to Raleigh definitely lightened our bill. Although my husband worked from home in Silver Spring, MD, we had to drive pretty far to get anywhere we wanted to go, and the traffic there was terrible. In Raleigh, my husband is walking or biking to work, and everything I need is within 5 miles from our apartment.
  • Electricity: $99.59 ($150)
    • The weather in Raleigh this month has been pretty mild, so we've had the air conditioning off most of the month. We'll see how this number changes as we head into winter. I am not a cold-loving person...
  • Water/Sewer: $19.45 ($50)
    • Another area where Raleigh is beating Silver Spring. I can't figure out why my water bill is so low. We are the same number of people washing the same amount of clothes and dishes. We even had an Energy Star dishwasher in our old house! The only guess I have is that we're in an apartment now - before we lived in a townhouse.
  • Entertainment/Miscellaneous: $394.37 ($300)
    • We're overbudget. :( But it was a good splurge! My husband's parents came to visit, and we took them out to this super yummy restaurant in Raleigh that serves NC barbecue tofu. It's amazing!
  • Clothes: $51.91 (no set budget)
    • Half of this was spent at Goodwill, and the other half was spent on a dress I had to have for a wedding. My husband also bought a suit for the wedding, but that hasn't shown up on the bank statement yet, so you'll see it next month.
  • TOTAL: $1,333.18 ($1,300)

Changes I Made This Month:
  1. Buy recycled toilet paper.
  2. Hmmm...Guess I didn't make many permanent changes this month, but I have been buying a lot more organic products during my Grocery Store Experiment.
Goals for Next Month
  1. Wrap up the Grocery Store Experiment and choose where I'll be doing my weekly shopping. I have four more places to check out: Kroger, Harmony Farms (another local grocery store), Harris Teeter (a regional grocery store), and the farmer's market shops.
  2. Keep changing paper habits.

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