Past Month’s Happenings
It is time to discuss October. In case you guys didn’t know, there are less than eight weeks until Christmas…That Learning Gal has already busted out the Christmas albums. I mean, I like Christmas music as much as the next guy–and God bless my wife–but the ear plugs will probably be inserted around December 2nd.
October was a busy son-of-a-gun!
1. My Book Got Edited, and Boy, Did It Get Edited
That heading is no lie. My editor did a lot of tearing up of the plot. If I didn’t think I was going to get my money’s worth on that one, then I was horribly wrong. I paid $200 for her services. The value I received from that modest investment was well worth it, and will be extremely helpful going forward. The next steps are to compile the book for self-publishing and then continue pushing the marketing and put the thing up on the market place!
2. That Learning Gal and I Are in the Process of Purchasing Our First Home
This one is a little obvious since I’ve been writing a series of blog posts on the subject, but she and I are getting out first house! Now, things aren’t completely set in stone yet. There are a few more items which need taken care of, but all of the major obstacles to acquiring the home are nearly complete! We just need to get our appraisal completed, make sure the seller has completed the items we asked for them to fix as part of the inspection, and do a final walk-through (and yeah, all of the paperwork…). After that we’ll be good to go.
The house is of modest price, leaving us with a PITIP (principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and PMI), which should only be marginally more expensive than our current rent is right now.
And now we finally come to the expense report:
|Bills||Monthly Estimates||Monthly Actual ($, USD)||Change From Last Month (%)|
|Totals||4692.24||4806.14||Spent Last Month = 5120.18|
There were several things of note (both positive and negative) that occurred with our expenses last month. They include the following:
Our auto insurance decreased because we had a one-time bull crap fee we had to pay. Now we have evened out at what we will be paying over the coming year.
Nothing has changed in the world of our health insurance yet, although I know my premiums for work will be increasing next year. However, I’m lucky because they aren’t increasing anywhere near the national average; they are increasing by about 8%.
My life insurance policy lapsed! This was without warning. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I am still looking into it. This means I haven’t had to pay the monthly policy amount. So that $10.76 isn’t leaving the bank account.
We haven’t been paying to go to the gym. That Learning Gal hasn’t been going at all, and I have been going to the gym on-site at work. This is so we can save money in an area that isn’t critical at the moment. This has allowed us to save $60 we wouldn’t have otherwise.
We continue to make the minimum monthly payment on our government based loans, and pay $1500 per month on my private loan. We’re using the interest rate method of paying down our highest interest debt first, so that way we pay the least in the long run. By doing this, we have gotten my private student loan down to under $6000! At the current rate, that loan will be paid off in approximately four to five months! It’s super exciting to know we have almost demolished a big chunk of our debt.
Dining Out/Alcohol/Fast Food
We did a very good job of not going over budget on actually dining out at restaurants. However, fast food sneaked up on us. That Learning Gal had to commute pretty far a couple of times, which resulted in her purchasing food from Jimmy John’s and the like. This elevated the fast food up, but I wasn’t blameless.
I had training/classes for work, and purchasing fast food happened a few times because I either forgot to prepare my food for the next day or I couldn’t bring prepared food with me. Hopefully, we’ll see a decrease in fast food this month.
Also, we didn’t spend any money on alcohol! How awesome is that? Wait, wow…is it sad I’m celebrating one month of spending no money on alcohol? Haha.
The electricity bill for October came in under budget! Unfortunately, we didn’t get off scot-free this month like we did last month, but any time we’re under budget, I am a happy camper.
This area decreased significantly from September. We didn’t go out as much or do any big fancy weekend things. This is why there was a decrease of almost 75%! I know it still isn’t good, and there is a lot we could do to change this. This was composed of a lot of random items (I had to pre-pay for a friend outing in December, That Learning Gal got some cosmetic things done, etc.). So far for November we have been doing a pretty good job. However, when it came to getting my book edited, I had to spend over $200 (which is peanuts, really). I will be applying this to my personal allotment as well as the monthly business spending.
Expenses weren’t too outrageous in October. We came in way under budget in several areas, and just went slightly over in others. In November, hopefully we’ll see even less red.
Have any questions about how we are spending our money, or how we are going about reducing our spending? Feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to reply. The battle to reign in spending is a never-ending one, and I wish all of you Personal Financiers the best of success!
How is your budgeting going? Do you ever have any areas where you have to fight to keep spending down, or you have a hard time staying within the budget you outlined? Let’s discuss! Have a great weekend, you guys!
-That Learning Guy