As mentioned in every post this month, during the month of June we had a bigger budget than we have starting tomorrow, July 1st. This was because I (mom) was still working up until yesterday (my last day of of professional development) and there are costs that come with that (transportation, classroom materials, meeting co-workers for weekly Friday breakfast, etc.) So, rather than be completely limited by our “Year of Family” budget, we were simply trying to be more aware of our spending this month, and trying to cut down on “extras.”
Every month I will provide a breakdown of our spending in detail, as well as some analysis of where we kept spending down and where we needed to improve. Our goal each month, starting July 2012 is to keep our monthly spending to $3500 or less, which includes $2550 of fixed costs and $200 of savings.
The Money Breakdown for June, 2012
In total we spent $4681.29 (which includes $2550 in fixed costs and $200 put away for savings). This means that we spent $1931.29 on non-fixed expenses
Of that $1931.29:
- $711.90 was spent on groceries
- $380.23 was spent on household needs (garden supplies, new smoke detectors, mats for LP’s outdoor play-set, etc.)
- $258.56 was spent on work-related expenses for mom. This included end-of-year gifts, books for students, breakfast bought on the go, transportation etc.
- $229.68 was spent on vet bills
- $116.00 was spent on LP’s music classes
- $95.01 was spent on eating out
- $39.95 was spent on non-work related transportation
- $66.99 was spent on miscellaneous items (cards, gifts for father’s day, etc.)
- $32.97 was spent stocking up on sunscreen (which goes in our “personal health” category of spending)
If we subtract work-related expenses and vet bills (both of which will not be an issue during our Year of Family) we spent $4193.05 (or $1443.05 of non-fixed income)
If we then also subtract LP’s music class (which we pay for out of generous gifts from family that are for LP’s personal enrichment) we spent $4077.05 (or $1327.05 of non-fixed income). This total is currently $577.05 above our Year of Family budget goals.
Where we saved:
While there is no question that we will need to cut our spending significantly for our “Year of Family,” we did make some significant spending cuts this month. We spent about $60 less on eating out than we have most months of this year. We did this mostly because we didn’t go out, or get take-out, for dinner at all this month. Instead, we did some lunches out and one splurge on breakfast. Additionally, while I (mom) did spend $47.29 on coffee shop stops (for soy hot chocolates, bagels, etc.) during this month, that is actually $40.00 less than I have spent at coffee shops most months. While both of these totals will need to go down (or become obsolete in the case of my coffee shop habit) during our “Year of Family,” we made some good progress cutting down on “extras” this month.
Where we spent:
We really spent more than anticipated in two important areas this month: groceries and household needs. In terms of the household needs, a lot of this was materials that we needed to get our garden up and running for the year (such as seeds, staking materials, etc.) and to get our summer furniture set up (paint for the deck table, propane for the grill, etc.). This also included things like newborn diapers, a fan for our guest room, etc. There were no purchases that I wish we didn’t make, but I am realizing that we might have to make some difficult choices about home-improvement projects this year, and we might need to put off some projects until we have income again.
In terms of groceries, some of the increased expense comes from three trips to Costco where we stocked up on a number of things, such as super-cheap veggie burgers, bags of onions, almonds, crackers, etc. Quite a bit of this “stocking up” was to get us prepared for the new baby – we want to make sure we have easy to prepare (and clean up after) meals when we are balancing life with a newborn and toddler! We also have been buying more frozen fruit for smoothies since I (mom) have been home more and having smoothies as well as dad and LP. I also think that we splurged a bit more on some convenience items, like Tofutti cream cheese and a carton of mocha chocolate chip coconut ice cream, because we weren’t eating out as much. In July we will start being more diligent about what we are buying, and with a newborn on the way it shouldn’t be hard to limit ourselves to one grocery trip a week – which always helps us focus our spending!