Life in Transition

Navigating Personal Finances During Life Transitions

Archive for the category “Budget”

Spending Report: June-July 2012

Here is my budget and spending for the month:

Projected Income: $2400             Actual Income: $2448.50

Catagory Budgeted Actual Difference
Rent $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Tithe $240 $244.65 -$4.65
Taxes $400.00 $294.76 $105.24
Health Insurance $100.00 $99.04 $0.96
Cell Phone $43.00 $43.00 $0.00
Gas $50.00 $8.77 $41.23
Food $310.00 $314.11 -$4.11
Car Insurance $72.00 $72.00 $0.00
Doctor’s Appt $50.00 $100.00 -$50.00
Medication/Contacts $170.00 $224.13 -$54.13
Personal Care $20.00 $28.90 -$8.90
Home Supplies $10.00 $0.00 $10.00
Roth IRA $250.00 $250.00 $0.00
Emergency Fund $75.00 $75.00 $0.00
Tuition Savings $360.00 $268.50 $91.50
Entertainment $130.00 $154.79 -$24.79
Gifts $30.00 $21.75 $8.25
Christmas Savings $50.00 $50.00 $0.00
Misc $10.00 $57.00 -$47.00
Total $2,370 $2,306.40 $63.60


This is my first month with no rent! My lease is finally over.  Unfortunately most of the money freed up from rent went towards medical expenses.  I had a minor accident while I was learning how to ride the scooter so I ended up with medical bills.  Even with insurance, co-pays to doctor, physical therapist, and medication added up.  Originally, all the medical expenses budgeted for the month were for my husband’s annual allergist appointment, contacts, and regular prescriptions.  We ended up pushing back the allergist appointment buying contacts to next month.  On a high note, we spent less than $10 on gas this month! We did not have to fill up the tank for our car at all this month since we only drove it about once a week.


Spending Update: Apr-May 2012

I’m a little behind on a lot of things, but I finally finished tabulated my April-May spending

Projected Monthly Income: $2800.00
Actual Monthly Income: $3088.95

Category Budgeted Actual Difference
Housing $700.00 $777.16 -$77.16
Tithe $280.00 $300.04 $20.04
Transportation $195.00 $180.84 $14.16
Health Care $120.00 $149.26 -$29.26
Food $180.00 $176.57 $3.43
Roth IRA $250.00 $250.00 $0.00
Targeted Savings $310.00 $354.00 -$54.00
Clothes $45.00 $90.20 -$45.2
Entertainment $80.00 $72.71 $7.29
Miscellaneous $150.00 $231.62 -$81.62
Tax Withholding $450.00 $490.64 $40.64
Total $2,760.00 $3073.04 -$313.04

I got married during the pay period, and my husband and I moved into our new place.  Even though our new apartment is free, we still have a few months left on the lease, so we will still be paying rent, utilities etc.  For all the other catagories, I pretty much just made up a number, hoping that the total amount of money spent is less than my paycheck.  Hopefully after a few months, I’ll have a better idea of how much money to allocate in each category.

The bulk of the extra money spend went towards buying new things for our new apartment.  Luckily, I ended up having a larger paycheck than expected so cash flow wise, we were still in the black.

Spending Update: Mar-Apr 2012

I know most people make a budget from the first of the month, to the last day.  I found it easier to create a budget based on when I get my monthly paychecks, which is on the third Friday of each month.  Since I get paid hourly for both jobs I work, but monthly for one and bi-weekly for the other, my income is always a little unpredictable based on how many hours I work each job, even though I work the same number of hours each week.

Projected Monthly Income: $2000
Actual Monthly Income: $2018.39*
*I did not include my extra paycheck

Category Budgeted Actual Difference
Housing $325.00 $342.63 -$17.63
Tithe $200.00 $200.00 $0.00
Transportation $195.00 $190.12 $4.88
Health Care $140.00 $129.04 $10.96
Food $110.00 $142.19 -$32.19
Roth IRA $200.00 $200.00 $0.00
Targeted Savings $465.00 $465.00 $0.00
Clothes $35.00 $42.27 -$7.27
Entertainment $30.00 $15.46 $14.54
Miscellaneous $0.00 $5.73 -$5.73
Tax Withholding $300.00 $247.31 $52.69
Total $2,000.00 $1,979.75 $20.25

Last month, I knew I had a lot less money to work with than usual, which meant I was going to have to be extremely disciplined keeping my variable costs low. Overall, I stayed pretty well within budget.  I ended going over budget for housing since my roommates and I had to turn on the heat again; I was anticipating a heat-free month since January and February was abnormally warm.  I guess I should always expect unpredictable weather here and account for it in my budget.  To illustrate the unpredictability, this past month we had a deadly tornado that killed over thirty people one day, three inches of snow the next day (the biggest snow-fall all winter), and an eighty-degree sunny day after that.  I also went over on my food budget.  I’ve been running around town doing errands for my wedding so I haven’t had enough time/too tired and lazy to cook.  I definitely want to cut the number of times I eat out for lunch next month.  Normally I don’t spend about $200 on transportation (insurance and gas), but I knew that I had to make trips to Cincinnati and Peoria, IL so I reduced the amount of money I would normally spend on entertainment.

My usual routine is to have a new budget a week before I get next my paycheck.  However, I’m getting married in two weeks and I have no idea what costs to anticipate next month.  I don’t know how much to budget for food, gas, etc.  Usually I look at my past spending history and make a list of expenses I’m expecting (ex. oil change, dentist appointment, gifts).  I’ve tried getting my fiance to track his spending for the past year but he has been pretty unsuccessful keeping it up, so I can’t use his past spending history as a place to start.  We’ve talked about our overall goals and priorities when it comes to finances, but we haven’t talked about the mechanics of combining our finances or how we are going to create a budget yet.  My fiance is finishing up his first year of dental school and has been studying for finals, so he’s already stressed and finances are the last thing on his mind.

Have any of you made the transition from separate to joint finances.  How did the first month look?

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