August was a busy and often stressful time for us. We were adjusting to having a baby that didn’t sleep much, and we had a couple weeks of difficulty with lack of sleep (for everyone) and difficulty eating (the baby). However, the month has ended with the baby and toddler thriving and Mom and Dad surviving! We managed to stay in our budget this month, but we still have some improvements to make.
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, is to keep our monthly spending to $3500 or less, which includes $2550 of fixed costs, $200 of savings and $750 of non-fixed expenses.
The Money Breakdown for July, 2012
In total we spent $3490.75 (which includes $2550 in fixed expenses and $200 put away into savings). This means that we spent $740.75 on non-fixed expenses.
Of that $740.75:
- $476.85 was spent on groceries
- $88.39 was spent on eating out, most of which was lunches and a couple coffee shop visits.
- $79.00 was spent on household needs (a mattress pad for LP’s new bed and stamps)
- $50.50 was spent on transportation, parking and our yearly car inspection
- $10.00 was spent on medication for our baby
- $37.01 was spent on miscellaneous expenses (envelopes, thank you cards, IP’s birth certificates and a book for Mom).
The $740.75 of non-fixed income we spent was below our our goal of spending $750.00 (or less) on non-fixed expenses every month, but not by much.
Where we saved:
It is quite exciting to see that we spent less than $3500 for the second month in a row. We continued to keep our grocery bill low. We also did a good job lowering our household expenses. Some of this is incidental since our garden doesn’t require much more development – we are now fully in the harvesting and maintaining phase. However, there were a few times when we thought about some things we might want around the house, but that we didn’t absolutely need. We chose not to buy them, which helped us stay within our budget.
Where we spent:
Our “eating out” costs were higher this month, and that is something we need to re-focus on. We went out for lunch almost once a week. While going out to lunch doesn’t have to break the bank (we usually feed three of us for around $16.00) it does add up over time. Also, most of the time we didn’t need to go out for lunch since our fridge was full of leftovers that simply needed to be heated up. After considering this we decided to try and curb our eating out in September and keep it limited to those times when we are meeting up with friends.
Also, we were hoping to save a bit more this month because we know we have some higher expenses coming up in September. The G-man is a best man in a wedding, which is super exciting! However, we have to plan ahead for the bachelor party fun, renting the tux, etc. Also, we are in the process of moving kids’ rooms around so that IP can be in her own room instead of Mom and Dad’s. This is going to involve buying a twin mattress for LP. With these expenses in mind we will stick with our leftovers and cooking at home in September!