Half Month Budget Update

So we’re a little more than half way through May.  How are we doing 2.5 weeks into budgeting?

halfmay

CELL PHONES

My husband upgraded his cell phone to a smart phone and I figured we’d wind up paying about $40 more each month on our bill.  He had his new phone for less than 2 weeks and was about to exceed his 2 GB data plan, so I thought the bill would increase even more when we upped that to 4 GB!  It baffles me how he could use less than 1 GB in a month playing a game on my smart phone all the time but expends nearly 2 GB in data in 2 weeks playing the same game on his new smart phone.  Anyway, Verizon wouldn’t let me upgrade his data plan to 4 GB without losing my unlimited plan that Verizon did away with a number of years ago (I haven’t upgraded my phone in over 2 years).  We switched to unlimited talk and text with 4 GB of shared data allowance and now our bill is $4 less than what we were paying before his upgrade!

CAR AND GAS

We’ve used about half of the gas budget, so we’re on track with that.

I had to update the address on my driver’s license, so that was an unexpected $20.

While updating my ID address on the DMV’s website, I noticed they allowed me to renew my vehicle registration online.  It didn’t mention anything about having to get a vehicle inspection so I thought maybe it wasn’t annually that I needed to have it done.  So I paid the $39.75 registration fee thinking I would have another year to drive my car into the ground.  Then I had a gut feeling I made a mistake.  So I called the DMV.  They confirmed I needed an up-to-date inspection sticker but that wasn’t something they dealt with. They couldn’t refund my money if my vehicle doesn’t pass inspection but I can have the registration transferred for $2 should we get a new car.  Somehow, I still hope my car will miraculously pass inspection. It would be nice to have two cars for a while.  It would significantly help in the job front.

Then there’s that pesky personal property tax for $26 that I need to see if I can have reduced since I’ll likely be junking my car at the end of June if it doesn’t pass inspection.

MEDICAL CO-PAYS AND PRESCRIPTIONS

I recently received several doctor bills, each around $30.  I haven’t paid them yet but will before the end of the month.  I only allotted $20 for medical bills but I’ve been having a lot of doctors appointments lately.  I guess I need to increase this amount in future months and save up what I don’t use for future bills.

Tricare has increased the cost of prescriptions.  I was paying $25 for a 3 month supply of birth control but now that’s up to $43.  I’m wondering if I can get my doctor to fill out a medical necessity form (home delivery would be free) since I take BC for hormone deficiency rather than for birth control.

ELECTRONICS, GAMES AND SLUSH FUNDS

The internet bill was $10 less than usual.  Not sure why, but I imagine it’ll go back up next month.

As previously mentioned, hubby has used up his slush fund and I’ve used 46% of mine.

I’m going to use up the rest of my slush fund plus what is leftover from the electronics fund to buy an $80 32 inch LCD tv from a tenant selling it at my apartment complex’s for sale forum.  I’m hoping to get it for less. I’m going to take a look at it on Monday and my plan is to go there with $60 + whatever singles I have laying around.  When she asks if I want to buy it, I’ll “scrounge” through my purse to see if I have the cash on hand…obviously I won’t have it all but I’m hoping she’ll take what I’ve got!  🙂

PET EXPENSES

Haven’t needed to purchase any food or litter since the last time I updated.  Running low on litter now, but I’ll definitely be able to keep it within the monthly allotted $50 for food and litter budget (currently spent $19 of that).

FOOD & DRINKS

I went grocery shopping last night.  I think I somehow, subconsciously, know how much I’m going to spend on food.  I meal planned for the week and made a list and I headed to the store thinking I’d spend about $200.  The total came to $181.44 and I saved $19.27 using coupons and my store rewards card (that’s $200.71 without the savings).  Right on the target!

As it stands now, we’ve used $392 of the $400 grocery budget.  $8 left over for the rest of the month.  I’m really hoping the food I purchased will last the rest of the month.  I planned on freezing the leftovers of several of the meals I’m making this week, so it should stretch the food.  I just need to get my butt in gear and actually cook and stick to the meal planning!

Hubby has $28 left for energy drinks this month and he just purchased 3 boxes (12 energy drinks) yesterday.  I’m proud that he’s sticking with using cash for his purchases!

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6 thoughts on “Half Month Budget Update

  1. Sounds like you are starting to learn more about your spending habits. While there is always some win and lose with my budget, it’s good to see where the money is going and how you can do better next time.

    • Indeed! I should have budgeted for more car inspections because I knew my registration would be running out around this time of year. And I probably should have budgeted for more medical expenses since this time of year is usually when I get my yearly follow-ups. Definitely going to do better next time!

  2. It seems that a lot of phone providers are trying to terminate old deals promising ‘unlimited’ data! Same thing is happening in the UK. Funnily enough, I remember the same thing happened with text messages about 10 years ago. Some networks offered a deal of 3p texts for life, before the standard became 10p… They did everything they could to get people off those old sim deals!

    • I don’t know of any phone providers who still offer truly unlimited data plans anymore. Data is what we use most on our phones. I imagine as technology advances our cell phones will use more and more data so they can’t keep unlimited around or they won’t make a profit!

  3. I am still foolishly holding onto my unlimited Verizon data plan. Glad it worked out for you guys! Hopefully 4GB will be sufficient. And wow on being right on target with your grocery bill! I am normally way above what I think I am spending. I really should research what my car’s registration and so on are due. They’re all on my dad’s name.

    • I wouldn’t call it foolish…I held on to mine as long as I could 🙂 I kind of wish I would have kept my car registered under my dad’s name or at least in Wisconsin, where he could have mailed it to me or something. No inspections or property tax fees required in Wisconsin like it is here in Virginia.

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