November Round-Up

>> Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm embarrassed to reveal this month's spending. I don't know how we could have gone so wrong! I can't even blame it on going green because that only accounts for part of it. The rest I'm guessing must have been celebratory spending because my husband and I thought we would be closing on our house this month, which would have given us a little wiggle room in the spending department. But we didn't close on our house, so instead we just ended up spending money we didn't technically have. Thank goodness for that cushion from the economic stimulus check!

Monthly Spending (budgeted amount in parentheses)

  • Groceries: $751.56 ($500)
    • Okay, I admit when I first saw this number, I started hyperventilating a little bit. But then I remembered that this was a five-shopping-trip-month, which happens about four times a year (I really ought to figure out a way to budget it in). So if you subtract $125, the amount of an average shopping trip for me, you get about $625, which is still scary, but not as scary. And at least I know now that if I really want to retarget my grocery spending, it's gonna cost at least $100, probably $200, more than I have budgeted.
  • Transportation: $205.80 ($300)
    • Another good spending month in this area, and this is even considering that we took a trip to DC to see the Green Festival, so that added another $60 to the usual spending. Of course, gas prices are hovering around $2 in Raleigh these days.
  • Electricity: $89.39 ($150)
    • Good times here again, thanks to Raleigh's temperate climate.
  • Water/Sewer: $19.51 ($50)
    • Again, good here.
  • Entertainment/Miscellaneous: $595.45 ($300)
    • Here's where we really went wrong. Again, there was the trip to DC, and it was my birthday, but that only accounts for about $100 of it. The rest is itty bitty spending here and there, all adding up to a whole lot of money we don't have.
  • Clothes: $0 (no set budget)
    • I don't have any idea what happened to that suit I mentioned last month because it never showed up on Wesabe. Therefore, I don't have to report that spending, right?
  • TOTAL: $1,661.61 ($1,300)

Changes I Made This Month:
  1. Bought recycled paper towels, and tried to decrease my paper towel usage by sacrificing some of Third Son's diapers to rags.
  2. Bought recycled copy paper.
  3. Took some steps to decrease my junk mail. This will be an ongoing process.
  4. Started making yogurt again!
Goals for Next Month
  1. I have one more paper-related change to make.
  2. I had planned for my next change to be food, and originally, I had intended to completely change my grocery spending all at once, no looking back, and then figure out how to get my spending back under budget a little bit at a time. I think that would make my budget list on my sidebar look a lot cooler, but unfortunately we are still paying for two houses (sorry to keep harping on that), so I don't have the money to do that right now. Especially if we're going to keep blowing it on the entertainment/miscellaneous category. So for now, I'm going to have to make small changes a little bit at a time. This month, the plan is dairy and eggs.
  3. I'm going to start keeping track of how many bags of trash/recycling we go through a month.

Gratitude Today: My bathroom cleaner smells like peppermint (which is my absolute favorite smell in the whole world) because I made it myself. And because it's nontoxic, Third Son can play on the floor next to me while I clean the bathroom.

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