Wednesday, October 5, 2011

September Budget

Do you keep a budget?



I keep quite a detailed budget.  I don't have a pre-spending budget where I go into a store knowing how much money I have to play with.  I have a post-spending budget.  I keep track of everything I spend and then make adjustments for the next month based on where I feel I can make cuts.  I wish I'd be able to say "cuts or additions," but thus far I have no room for additions.  (*sad face*)

Overall, I have five types of expenditures - Bills, car care, gas, food, and etc.  I try to cut my gas money down to <$100 which helps keep the care car down as well, my "etc." expenditures to <$100, and I do my best to buy all food on sale, but I don't limit the absolute amount I spend.  

The month of September saw - yet again - some budgetary exceptions!, VEGAS!!  (Many more of these and I will be out on the streets!)

So let's see...

Bills
This is easily the stablest column.  I only saw a $5 extra payment this month because I forgot to pay a Verizon bill a couple months ago. 

Car Care
Happily, this hit a grand total of $0 this month.  Nothing major went wrong, though I do need to get my heat/cooling system looked at.  I've been putting it off hoping I can simply live with it, but with cooler temps coming, the heat is going to be more and more of a necessity.

Gas
Car fuel shot up a bit this month - $140.  $32 of that was from Vegas and I did just fill the tank this past week since I had $0.20 off per gallon from a grocery store discount card.  So the current tank will last till well into mid-October.  Otherwise, I was pretty close to my target.  I could still make more trips to work on my bike though and save a bit more.  I'll be riding my bike today!

Food
My own fuel is on a constant increase - $286.52 this month, $72/week.  I do admit I splurged a bit with the Lobster bisque after my 20 mile run.  I also splurged a bit in Vegas (duh!), so that might account for a few bucks a week.  And as I look forward to October and my ever present thought of doing a diet (paleo, raw, or vegan), I can just see this increasing a bit more before it plateaus. 

Etc.
Ok, this is where the big exception came.  The Vegas trip hit me with hotel, bike airline charges, car rental, and some bike necessities.  If you don't count all of those "exceptions," I ran up a bill of $90.  The "exceptions" alone were >$700.  I just have to find a way to pay for my athletic adventures. 

With all of that in mind, and the fact that this month saw three paychecks instead of two, I ended up only being in the hole $150.  In my mind, that's pretty good given my exceptions, but I could still close that gap and be in the green.  My goal is to make October through January an overall savings!  I'm going to need to in order to do what I want to next year with training and racing!

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Questions
1.  Do you keep a budget?  If so, how well do you stick to it?  If not, why not?
I keep a budget because I had a big cut in income.  It took some getting used to, but I do well with it.

2.  Do you have any areas where you know you tend to spend more money than you should?
Is it a specific store, time of the month/week, category, etc.?  Food is my difficult category.  I eat a lot (always have) and I really do love food. 


Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 

3 comments:

Stephanie said...

I have a pretty meticulous budget! I must admit that I love budgeting and accounting {my own finances at least}. I definitely overspend on FOOD. I justify it in that I don't have many driving expenses {working from home} and I don't need to upkeep a wardrobe {work from home} and I have kids!

Runners Fuel said...

It's so difficult to stay on budget. I'm sticking to a $50/week for food. I am still eating healthy and getting the food I need, just difficult.

Mike said...

No hard and fast budget but we try to pay with cash whenever possible. It seems like real money when we pay cash and funny money when we charge it or use a debit card.

I spend way to much on food because I love to cook and cook for a lot of family and friends.