The September 2012 Money Breakdown

September opened with travel for Dad, and closed with travel for all of us.  The rest of the month was filled with exciting firsts: LP’s first twin bed, IP’s first nights in her own room, LP’s first haircut (of 2012), IP’s first time sleeping 7 hours, IP’s first airplane ride, and Mom’s first September not teaching (since she graduated from college).

This month was a reminder that things don’t always go as planned, and our budget reflects that.  We blew through our allotted spending  (and then some) as I will detail below.  However, we are planning to make up the difference in October and November.

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 September, 2012

In total we spent $4385.78 (which includes $2550 in fixed expenses and $200 put away into savings).  This includes $1250.15 spent on non-fixed expenses and $385.63 on travel-related expenses

Of the $1250.15 of non-fixed expenses:

  • $485.01 was spent on groceries
  • $185.00 was spent on Music Together class for LP
  • $151.25 was spent on household needs (sheets for LP, new pillows for all of us and disposable diapers for nighttime and travel)
  • $150.00 was spent on LP’s new twin mattress
  • $103.60 was spent on eating out, including a special birthday dinner for Dad and a few coffee shop visits with friends
  • $84.66 was spent on miscellaneous expenses (a garage sale easel for LP, some gifts and a mattresses cover for LP)
  • $74.63 was spent on transportation, which included a cab ride home for Dad, some parking at the doctor’s office and one trip for gas.
  • $15.oo was spent on a copay for the doctor’s office.

We also started a trip this month that we have budgeted for separately.  So far we have spent $385.63 on travel-related expenses, not including our flight, which we booked several months ago.

If we subtract LP’s music class expenses (which are paid for through LP’s enrichment fund) from our non-fixed spending we spent $1065.15, well above our goal of spending $750.00 (or less) of our non-fixed expenses every month.

Analysis:

Where we saved:

We pretty much blew through our budget in the first half of the month, but we did manage to curtail our spending in the second half of the month.  In the last two weeks we managed to only go grocery shopping once for a few items.  Otherwise we made do with the ingredients we had on hand.  We used some substitutions (like powered ginger instead of fresh, thai chilis for jalepeno, and soaked oats for a small amount of non-dairy milk).  However . . .

Where we spent:

We had a several big-ticket expenses this month, including a new mattress for LP.  We also ate out for a couple special occasions.  I knew at the start of the month that we would have a really hard time keeping to our budget this month because of these expenses.  This meant we needed to keep our other expenses (like grocery shopping and coffee shop visits) down, but we didn’t manage to do that.  This was partially because we had didn’t plan ahead for meals as well as we normally do, except for these last couple weeks.  I’m hoping we can make up for the $315.00 we overspent in the next couple months.  Our goal is to save between $100 and $150 in October and November to try and make up this difference.

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