The February 2013 Money Breakdown

In February the clutter-clearing continued, but at a slightly slower pace.  We made it through a massive snow storm without a last-minute trip to the store, and LP got more opportunities to use his special snow shovel.

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 February, 2013

In total we spent $3532.50 (which includes $2550 in fixed expenses and $200 put away into savings).  This includes $782.50 spent on non-fixed expenses.

Of the $782.50 spent on non-fixed expenses:

  • $373.55 was spent on groceries
  • $235.83 was spent on garden supplies for the G-man – our house is being taken over by seedlings and grow shelves!
  • $77.42 was spent on gasoline and parking
  • $38.68 was spent on eating out
  • $39.00 was spent on diapers
  • $9.02 was spent on medicine (children’s Tylenol)
  • $5.00 was spent on a graduate school transcript
  • $4.00 was spent at coffee shops

If we subtract the gardening supplies (which are budgeted for separately) from our non-fixed spending we spent $546.67, about $200.00 below our goal of spending $750.00 on our non-fixed expenses every month.

Analysis:

Where we saved:

This month I made it my personal mission to keep our grocery bill down.  I put off a Trader Joe’s trip until March 1st, which helped a lot.  I also tried to cook meals that used ingredients that we had around the house, but never seemed to use.  We had teff injera using our teff flour, wheatberries and pesto, cous cous, and a few other new dishes.  I also tried to buy only fresh produce and basics – like soymilk and tofu – as much as possible.  I didn’t bake as much (which meant I didn’t need to buy non-dairy butter, and we ate a bit healthier).  I planned meals around what we already had.  I substituted when it made sense.  All of this meant that our grocery bill was about $200 less than it normally is.

Where we spent:

The G-man did spend quite a bit on his gardening set-up this month, but he budgeted for that separately at the start of our Year of Family.  Although $235.83 sounds like a lot of money, it was well-spent.  He has all the seeds and plants he wanted to get, he set up grow shelves (which he can now use every winter in preparation for spring) and he has the tools he needs to dig up parts of the yard.

We also did spend a bit more than usual on gas because we took a couple long driving trips, but even that was only $7.00 over our transportation budget.  We spent a bit on eating out, but it was all spent on eating out with friends, which is totally worth the expense as far as we are concerned!  Overall this was a very successful month as far as our household budget is concerned.

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