August in Review

August is a very slow moving month around here. Not that we don’t have alot going on but it was 5 long weeks of anticipation for all the fun scheduled in September!

Groceries– budget amount is $200 NOT Met! $974.87 I did not include Amazon so I am going to realistically say we spent $1050 this month. Groceries are continuing to rise. My goal is to spend bare minimum the rest of the year, whatever that may look like.

Auto/ Gas. My goal is $400 a month. NOT met! $ 587. Uggh no explanation or ways to really reduce this.

Cash Envelope system- This worked well for us!

Blogging- 15 post per month. This is post number 17f or the month. I am going to guess that this is the first time EVER to post this often. Probably not going to happen again but hey once is good!

Exercise days- 2 days…….. I just want to feel well!

No Spend Days-Did not keep count again!

JULY In Review

July was a different month to say the least.  Kendall and Lily spent a week in Orlando Florida at a national youth conference, followed by a week at the beach for all of us. Next up was outpatient surgery for me followed by two weeks of recovery.   Our spending was definitely different, and I was not able to develop a new budget, but I still have a little over 3 weeks before returning to work full time!  August is much more laid back and relaxing!

Groceries– budget amount is $200 NOT Met! $318.24 before the cow.  We spend a today of $31.81.44 including 659# of beef. I am continuing to think around $700 a month with any excess to be placed in savings. We did use savings to purchase the meat so for the remainder of the year we will try to replace any of that we can.

Auto/ Gas. My goal is $400 a month. NOT met! $ 548.74. Prices have started to decrease, and this did include gas for the generator that we ran for 6 hours when we lost power.

Cash Envelope system- I was doing excellent until the last week. Now it is back to cash for us!

Blogging- 15 post per month. This is post number 14 for the month. I have been much better at posting on a regular basis. Just need to squeeze in one additional post. I am really excited to keep this so close again this month! Especially given the fact that I did not post on vacation

Exercise days- NONE

No Spend Days- ummmmm what ? I honestly have not been keeping track of this. I am giving myself a pass on both Exercise and No spend days due to my surgery this month,

August should be a much slower month with plenty of time for relaxing!

June in Review

One of the biggest headlines that I am reading this month is that inflation is out of control. Most grocery items have increased in price between 15 and 25 percent since January.  The cost of gas has hit an all-time high but is slowly starting to decrease.  I am not at all shocked by the numbers this month.  I have spent a considerable amount of time reviewing the budget and planning but at this point I am going to wait until August to set the official budget for the remainder of the year. For the month of June and July, I am planning to offset any additional uncovered expenses with funds that are currently in our short-term savings.  This should allow us to enjoy our annual beach trip and also get a better idea of what we are currently spending in order to develop a realistic budget. My car is currently in the shop and also needs a set of tires this month. So we have lots of small expenses to pay out.

Groceries– budget amount is $200 until June.  Not Met! $1231.74 before the deposit on the cow which is an additional $300.  I did have a significant food expense for the weekend of Haley’s wedding and I also have already purchased food for the beach.   If I take the amount divide that by 5 people and 3 meals a day we are spending around $3.00 a meal per person which is still significantly less than I could purchase a meal any where for.  This is definitely a hard category to budget for.  I will continue to watch and average to determine where it ends up.  My thoughts prior to this month were $700 a month but I am not sure how realistic that is at this point.

Auto/ Gas. My goal is $400 a month. NOT met! $759.80 gas.   It is currently sitting around $4.34 a gallon.  I will like have to double this budget in August depending on the cost of gas which means I will also need to reduce spending in other categories to make this work. I do not want to continue to use money from short term savings every month.

Cash Envelope system- We are back to use a majority cash system.  I am hopeful that this will work even better in the Summer. This always works well for us!

Blogging- 15 post per month. This is post number 14 for the month. I have been much better at posting on a regular basis. Just need to squeeze in one additional post.

Exercise days- 2.

No Spend Days- ummmmm what ? I honestly have not been keeping track of this. One question I have is do I count days I spend from a budget category or only unplanned or over spending?

June was an interesting month.  I am actually not surprised at all with the spending but really feel like we need to get a handle on where we can reduce our spending and where is it just going to have to increase the planned amount.

Month in Review

Groceries– budget amount is $200 until June.  Not Met! $1000 This is the second month in a row that we have been way over budget for groceries. I was able to stock up on 2 Liter Diet Cokes.  We also committed to purchasing a whole cow in August.    My plans for the next couple of months are to keep my stock up at its current level with everything but meat. I would like to also restock the freezer with some meals that will be good for grab and go once we hit September again. In light of the significant increase in food prices, I am returning the grocery budget to $700 a month. I will see what happens and how I decided to pay for the cow in August.

Auto/ Gas. My goal is $400 a month. NOT met! $760 gas.  We have also seen a significant increase in the price of gas. It is currently sitting around $4.25 a gallon.  I am going to increase the budget to $500 for now but that may not be enough if gas prices continue to rise or don’t go back down.

Cash Envelope system- We are back to use a majority cash system.  I am hopeful that this will work even better in the Summer.

Blogging- 15 post per month. This is post number 13 for the month. I have been much better at posting on a regular basis. So hopefully, i t will continue this summer.

Exercise days-  Although my knee is feeling much better. I am at almost a month with no pain so that is at least a 2 week improvement over the relief I got from the first shot.  I have not started exercising again. Hopefully I can get to the pool soon!

No Spend Days- ummmmm what ? Yeap another expensive month.

May was super busy as expected. We have received our last check from Matt’s inheritance, so I am hopefully to get a permanent budget in place and look forward to finally getting some repairs we have talked about for the last year completed on the house.

 

April in Review

The winds of April certainly brought about lots of change.  Matt is now employed full time.  We also enjoyed a 10 escape from reality to Disney.  May is usually one of our busier months so I anticipate full steam ahead to summer and the school break.  We were over budget in several different categories. My intention is to just work through the month of May as it comes budget wise. I will plan to spend some time after we figure out Matt’s pay and do a re-vamp of the budget beginning in June. This revamp will also take into consideration inflation and the price increases that we are seeing.

Groceries– budget amount is $200 until June.  Not Met! $658.81 This does include our Amazon subscribe and save.  I am a little shocked at this amount but I have started to readjust again and instead of buying one item we are out of, buying two instead. I will continue just to monitor this in May but have no clue where we will end up.

Auto/ Gas. My goal is $400 a month.  NOT met! $355 for regular gas and $430 for the trip to Disney.  Matt’s job is a 35 to 40 minute drive so I am going to have to monitor and adjust this amount going forward.  This also includes gas prices as high as I have ever paid so that could be an issue.

Cash Envelope system- Did not work with out trip so it was out the window. Disney prefers cards so that is what we used for ease.

Blogging- 15 post per month. 8 post during April not bad considering we were gone for 10 days.  Hopefully things return to normal and I can get back in a good routine soon!

Exercise days-  We managed to work an average of 7 miles a day at Disney so I am going to count 8 days of exercise. I also have an appointment this week for another shot so that should help. 
 No Spend Days- ummmmm what ? 

April was a fun month but it was also a month of struggle and change. May should bring about a sense of normalcy and anticipation of the summer!

March in Review

March was a long hard month.  I knew that this would likely be a one paycheck month and planned accordingly   But even with that knowledge it has been a difficult month trying to decide what to spend and what to wait on.  The fact that we had COVID for the past 10 days also added to the stress.  April has a shot of sunshine and family fun along with the promise of additional funds arriving  even out our budget!  I have also noticed a significant increase in prices. Gas was above $4 a gallon but has return below that mark currently.

Groceries– budget amount is $200 until June.  Not Met! $314.16 This does include our Amazon subscribe and save which was $145 by itself. We are continuing to eat out of the freezer and pantries but with the price increases we have seen it may be impossible to stay under $200 for April, May and June.  This is the goal. I will be readjusting the grocery budget in June no matter the outcome.

Auto/ Gas. My goal is $400 a month.  NOT met! $410.89   We have really limited our driving this month so I am going to assume that I will need to adjust this budget based on the price of gas. We will be traveling to Florida in April so I anticipate at least $400 in gas expense so I would assume we will spend around $800 in gas for April.

Cash Envelope system- You cant spend what you don’t have so this is working well for us!

Blogging- 15 post per month. Post number 13 for March!   Hopefully things return to normal and I can get back in a good routine soon!

Exercise days-  No progress to report! Knee pain much better…. no excuse!
 No Spend Days- 3 while I was so sick from COVID that I could not leave the house! 

As I stated before March was a hard month for everyone in addition to several rounds of sickness. Looking forward to April with sunshine and lots of warm!

February In Review

Groceries– budget amount is $200 until June.  Not Met! $505.58  We decided to go ahead and buy the drinks we need for our Disney trip. I also ended up placing a small ($75) Costco order that included toilet paper and saltine crackers.  Although this is double what I wanted to spend it is still below my normal budget of $650.  I hope to be back on track for March.

Auto/ Gas. My goal is $400 a month.  Goal  met! $295.41  Gas prices have jumped at least fifty cent a galloon this month so I am very thankful that we were able to control the gas budget!

Cash Envelope system-  We are doing extremely well with this!

Blogging- 15 post per month. Post number 13 for February which is good for me.  I do have lots to say in March so hopefully this will be including a noticeable improvement.

Exercise days-  No progress to report! Knee pain much better…. no excuse!
 No Spend Days- 4 for February, so double the days from January.  I am very hopeful to again increase this for March.

February felt like a long hard month. Things that I will want to remember in the future… Matt has been unemployed for 13 weeks as of today. All prices are increasing significantly.

January In Review

Groceries– budget amount is $200 until June.   Goal Met for January! We spent $193.63 including Amazon subscriptions!   I actually have $116 left in the Grocery Envelope so that is awesome!  Would love to increase that amount to $200 in February but just staying under budget is the goal!

Auto/ Gas / Insurance. My goal is $400 a month.  Goal not met! $405.99 This is huge because that included our trip to Conway South Carolina with an average of 5-7 miles per gallon while pulling the trailer.

Cash Envelope system-  We are doing extremely well with this!

Blogging- 15 post per month. This is actually post number 13 which is not the goal but really good for the month of January.

Exercise days-  No progress to report but I do have a doctor’s appointment this week. 
 No Spend Days-  2 for January, not great but a start! 

 

November in Review

I know very well how quickly things can change but November gave us a good reminder of just how change affects everything. My goal for November was to reduce spending basically a no spend month. Sounded like a reasonable goal with the focus on paying off all the bills by the end of year. Just three days into November and we learned that Matt would be losing his job. After looking at our situation, some prayer and as the shock wore off, we decided to first sell the van and try to arrange our lifestyle to live on what income we could be certain would be available. I am thankful that it really will not be a difficult adjustment. Things are different but not awful.

Groceries– budget amount is $650.   $484 I have already been purchasing some items for Lily’s party.  I also did some stocking up on drinks and other things that I wanted to have on hand.  I am not sure what the month of December holds as far as groceries but I know that starting in January and lasting until Matt has steady employment is to reduce the grocery budget to $50 a week which or $200 a month for fresh veggies and bread only.  I may try to do this as well in December after Lily’s party.

Auto/ Gas / Insurance. My goal is $400 a month. $385.80.   Met! One of the big downsides to the new Tahoe is the gas mileage of 15 miles per gallon. We are trying to be diligent about driving it only when needed. The Equinox gets awesome gas mileage and we can drive as much as we need without a second thought.  I am going to keep the goal the same with alot of monitoring at this point.

Cash Envelope system-  Goal not  met!  This goal becomes one of the most important part of our budgeting system. It is no longer a choice but a requirement.

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per monthGoal Met! This is post number 15

Goal # 5- Fitness– Goal is to exercise of some type at least 10 days a month.  Nope Naa

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal-  Read or Listen to the entire Bible in a year. Need to find something to get started on this.

Earnings– Cashed out Ibbota for $28 and fetch for $3, with another 7 currently in the account, I am waiting to cash out at 10 this time. Verizon for $5. Total $36 free money this month!

No Spend Days– Did not keep up with this as it just was too difficulty.  I worked hard to make sure things were paid. I know we had 1 day of no spend and even that is an improvement over zero.

We had some unusual expenses during this month. We also spent a ton of money but in the end, I have been able to balance out most things. We are ending the month with a brand new Tahoe, new to us camper and a huge drive way!  Most of this was covered by Matt’s inheritance so we are grateful.  We also have to figure out how to cover the expense of Lily’s car.

I know of at least one more project that we want to finish which is some better organization in our closet.   We also have our first camping trip planned for December. And best of all is CHRISTMAS!

October In Review

October is typically our busiest month of the year. This year did not disappoint.  I am actually relieved to finish the month and start with November.  I am going to make an effort this year to post an item I am thankful for each day!  I probably will do in groups of five or seven but we can always see how it flows.

Groceries– budget amount is $650.   $500  Under budget and back on track hopefully for the rest of the year. I would plan to reduce the grocery budget for November but Lily has her sweet sixteen birthday party the first Friday of December so I am going to leave the budget in place to cover that!

Auto/ Gas / Insurance: . My goal is  $400 a month. $456.79.   Not Met! Gas prices continue to rise. Currently they are above $3 a galloon.  We also needed an oil change in the van so that has made things more difficult than usual

Cash Envelope system-  Goal met!

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month.  This is post number 8. Did I mention how busy this month was!

Goal # 5- Fitness– Goal is to exercise of some type at least 10 days a month.  Nope Naa

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal-  Read or Listen to the entire Bible in a year. Need to find something to get started on this.

Earnings– NONE

No Spend Days– Did not keep up with this as it just was too difficulty. We covered all our expenses and that is what is important .

We had some unusual expenses during this month. We also spent a ton of money but in the end, I have been able to balance out most things. We are ending the month with a brand new Tahoe, new to us camper and a huge drive way!  Most of this was covered by Matt’s inheritance so we are grateful.  We also have to figure out how to cover the expense of Lily’s car.

I really really want to attempt a no spend November to keep us on track and help cover the camping expenses for December and January.  So here to a quieter and less expensive November.