April Round Up

>> Friday, April 17, 2009

I've been debating all day about what spendings I should include in each category this month. The total I settled on is a compromise with myself, but I could argue that it's both too high and too low to be an accurate picture of our spending this month.

It's too high because we went on a vacation for spring break for a week. Normally, I budget a monthly amount toward vacation savings, so I wouldn't include those expenses in my regular monthly budget. But due to our current housing situation, our savings have been wiped out. So even though the over-budget amount will be covered by our tax return, I still felt like I ought to include it in the total.

It's too low because my husband was invited to attend a computer conference in England this month. Since his airfare and hotel would be covered, we thought it would be a pretty inexpensive trip and would be good for his career. But my husband and I aren't always on the same wavelength about the definition of inexpensive. So, since his overspending was pseudo-work-related and so not my fault, I couldn't bring myself to include it in the total, even though it really should have been.

I admit that it is typically indulgent American behavior to go on vacation or pseduo-work-related trips while professing to be on a very tight budget, and I can't really defend us on that point except to say that we needed some vacation time. Please remember that I am a work in progress.

Monthly Spending (budgeted amount in parentheses)

  • Groceries: $648.49 ($500)
  • Transportation: $241.17 ($300.00)
  • Electricity: $118.84 ($150)
  • Water/Sewer: $20 ($50)
  • Entertainment/Miscellaneous: $528.71 ($300)
  • Clothes: $35.02 (no set budget)
  • TOTAL: $1,592.23 ($1,300)

Trash Report: 6 bags of trash (13 gallon bags); 1/2 of a bag of glass, 1 bag each of plastic and metal, 3 bags of paper (reusable bags about the size of a paper grocery bag).

Changes I Made This Month:

Goals for Next Month:
  • I'm going to keep buying more organics, and I'll start sharing some of the things I'm doing to keep my spending low.
  • I had a goal from last month to plant a container garden, but I've been watching the sun on my balcony, and I'm not sure it will get enough sun heading into summer. It's a south-facing balcony but with a roof, so as the sun gets higher and higher in the sky, it seems to stay pretty shaded. I'm going to have to think about it some more, but I might just do a couple hanging plants. Either way, I've got to get that done in the next couple weeks.
  • So far, my junk mail does not seem to be decreasing, so I'm going to take another stab at that.


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