We rung in 2013 with lots of clearing out clutter, organizing furniture and getting the kids to sleep in the same room. Along the way we also cooked fun meals at home and spent a lot of time playing in the warm house when it was insanely cold outside. Overall, a productive winter month.
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 January, 2013
In total we spent $4510.93 (which includes $2550 in fixed expenses and $200 put away into savings). This includes $1760.93 spent on non-fixed expenses.
Of the $1760.93 spent on non-fixed expenses:
- $870.00 was spent on our flight and deposit on a room for Mom and Dad’s vacation (yes, we are going away without the kiddos for four days!)
- $528.05 was spent on groceries
- $150.00 was spent on graduate units and professional membership fees for Mom
- $94.32 was spent on gardening supplies
- $60.49 was spent on gas and parking
- $14.00 was spent on coffee shops
- $23.86 was spent on miscellaneous costs (printed photos and a book for the G-man)
- $20.22 was spent on two lunches out
If we subtract the gardening supplies and the trip expenses (both of which we budgeted for separately last year) from our non-fixed spending we spent $796.61, about $45.00 above our goal of spending $750.00 on our non-fixed expenses every month.
Where we saved:
We continued to save money by eating in a lot. Instead of having take-out as our special treats, we are planning fun meals, like vegan mac n’ cheese and lentil sloppy joes. Mom has also used the slow-cooker a lot to make dinners on her work-days much easier. This all helped make eating-in a breeze! Also, we did things for fun around the house, and we used our Museum of Science membership to go out an have fun. Since that membership was a gift to us we had an easy and cheap way to get out and have fun, even in 10 degree weather.
Where we spent:
The main thing that put us over our budget this month were the professional costs for Mom. I belong to a professional organization that has tons of online resources and holds conferences (including one coming up where I live and teach!) This membership, and cost for graduate credits are just part of the expenses of my profession. While they can be costly in the short term, the credits will pay for themselves in an eventual salary increase, and the membership is something that helps me be a better teacher. So, even when money is tight, we figure these are very worthwhile things to spend money on!