Grading Our Trial Budget

maybudget

We’ve successfully completed our first month of budgeting.  So how did we do?

Mostly fantastic!  I give ourselves a 95%, an A on the grading scale!

We met our budget in most categories, were under budget in a few, and over budget in even less.

Fixed Expenses – Rent, pet rent, washer/dryer rental, Netflix were as expected, easy peasy categories obviously.

Electric Bill – Well under budget for the electric bill.  In fact, it’s not even due until next month.  We just  received the first bill and I was expecting it to be upwards of $200.  For the first 6 weeks we’ve been here our bill is a total of $158!  This bill includes $52 carried over from the old apartment and a $15 service initiation.  So our electric bill for 6 weeks is $91!?!  Hallelujah!!  I guess it pays to have fully functioning appliances!  We’ve had the AC running for weeks now…I’m hoping this is not some fluke and we continue to see low electric bills throughout the summer, when we typically have higher bills!

Internet – We were under budget with internet this month.  I’m not sure why but it was $10 cheaper than usual.

Cell Phones – I originally thought our cell phone bill would increase with hubby’s new smartphone but it was actually about $40 less than I anticipated.  Next month will be a little more expensive because it’s a pro-rated month but once July hits I’ll have a full understanding of what our normal bill will look like.

Renter’s Insurance – I did not receive a renter’s insurance bill, so that’s $33 under budget.  It was never made clear how often I had to pay, it seems it’s not always monthly.  I’d call to find out but I’m sick of dealing with them after it took 5 or 7 times of contacting them to get the information that the leasing office needed.

Gas – Somehow, even with my 5 hour drive up north to visit my friend, we’ve only spent about $108 of our $150 gas budget.  I guess having cars with better gas mileage really pays off!

Car Stuff –  We put $1000 down on the new car.  Insurance for this month was $8 less than normal after updating our address.  However this will be increasing in June by about $50 after getting the new car.  I spent an unnecessary $39.75 on registering my now dead car for a year.  I’m hoping to get some kind of refund after I junk my car and take proof to the DMV.

Prescriptions – $47 over budget on this one.  Wasn’t expecting the increase in the cost of some of my home delivery prescriptions.  Will need to up the allotted $15 a month to cover this increase.

Medical Bills/Co-Payments – Did not spend any of this budget but will probably carry this over to next month because I have several co-payments due in June.

Groceries – We may have a few dollars to spare but we basically met our $400 budget.  This category definitely needs some improvement.  I wasted so much food by not sticking to my meal plans.  I feel like a horrible person when I let food go bad.  Eventually I’ll be able to trim this budget once I can get into the habit of cooking.  Why are habits so hard to form?!

Dining Out – Because I was so lazy about not cooking, I often found myself eating out when I had to hang around base a couple times during the month.  I budgeted $25 a month and spent $45.

Energy Drinks – Hubby stayed within the budget!  I think he even has a few dollars left over!  Yay!

Slush Funds – Hubby stayed within his $100 budget and I went over my $50, spent $68

Electronics and Games – Used all of the electronic budget and used 91% of the games budget.

Pet Expenses – Used up 69% of the pet expenses for food and litter.  I could probably trim this down but I think I will keep the $65 budget where it’s at and rollover whatever is left into savings for future vet visits.

Splurges & Miscellaneous Expenses – We bought a $129.99 vacuum cleaner that we needed badly to tame the pet hair.  We threw $500 at the credit card.  I used my credit card to pay for the rental car when my car died and to visit my friend 5 hours north of here.

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with how our first month of budgeting went.  For next month’s budget we need to figure out how much we can put towards an emergency fund and start saving for future purchases.  I’d like to be able to save up a bit for my possible trip to the Midwest in July and hubby will require a laptop for his deployment next year.  I’d also like to start saving for future furniture purchases.  It would be so nice to have a couch some day!

In other news, hubby made 2nd Class Petty Officer this week!  His frocking ceremony is today.  This means he’ll get a slight pay increase in 5 or 6 months.

How was the month of May for you budget-wise?  What improvements can you make?

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9 thoughts on “Grading Our Trial Budget

    • Thanks! I think it helped that I’ve been keeping track of our monthly expenses in a spreadsheet since 2011 so I had a pretty good idea the average amount we were spending on stuff each month. 🙂

  1. Haven’t gone over our May numbers yet, but I know for sure we went over in the usual two categories (food and drinks), so definitely will need to adjust those soon. We also bought a nice microwave/convection oven and a slow cooker because the ones we had we either got for free or really cheap and they weren’t that good. So yay for nice things that will work great, but bad for the budget!

    I like the detail of your budget recap posts. You did good for your your first month of budgeting, keep up the good work! 🙂

    • Thanks Morgan! I really want a slow cooker and a toaster! Starting this month, I’m adding a home goods category so we can get those things for the apartment and they won’t be considered splurges anymore 🙂

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