Saturday, July 7, 2012

Monthly Budget Breakdown: June 2012

Budgeting for dummies... or something. Since I started keeping track of money (again) in June, I figured maybe I could do an update of sorts too. Keep things interesting. Everyone has money (or doesn't...), and everyone needs to use it to buy stuff they want.

Learning how to spend it smart is one of the best things that my mom ever taught me. It comes to my attention now and then that the general public has no idea how to determine the cost by weight/mass of an item in a store. They also tend to have no clue how to tell if something is a good price or not (hint: if the "sale" is 20 cents off... it's just publicity).

So, I'm going to update my monthly budget here.

June's budget was the following:

Rent: 1110.41
Rogers/Hydro/Telus: 131.08 (had to pay 2 months worth of Telus since I neglected to pay for it last month... thankfully I just pay my dad since the account is in his name and the payments are automatic)
Car payments: 212.62
Various insurance: 160.51 (car and life)
Daycare: 221.34
TFSA Savings: 200 (ING is great for keeping money out of sight and safe)
Entertainment: 30.53 (netflix and zip memberships... we don't have cable)
Groceries: 420.20 (was aiming for less than 400$ so I've got to get that under control)
Dining out: 294.86 (family came into town, so we happily took them out on our dime :) other than that, we spent less than 150$ on restaurant food)
Gas: 77.85 (way less than I thought it would be! maybe our car is more efficient than I thought!)
Smokes: 44.43 (I always budget 60, just in case)
Psych: 850 (some will be reimbursed, and switched providers as well to one less expensive)
Dental: 60
Car (other): 53.65
Other: 55.51

Total expenses: 4062.99

Salaries: 4648.87
Babysitting: 95
Total: 4743.87

Difference: 680.88

Now, you may be wondering why I wouldn't put that difference in a savings account or use it to pay off the car loan. For now, since my job situation is less than secure, we are working on increasing the amount we have in our general use account. Until we know if I will have a job in October, any difference in income versus expenses is going to be kept aside and not invested. That way, we will have a buffer of cash (kind of like an emergency fund) in the off-chance that I won't be able to find a job for a month or two. That way all of our expenses will still be covered, and we will not go into debt.

The number one way I save money in a month is by controlling grocery spending and not eating out. I know that sounds like two separate ways, but they are intrinsically connected. I always make sure I have a lot of cheap food in the house from groceries to minimize how often we resort to going to restaurants for eating. By cheap, I mean quality but inexpensive. Very few of the items in my pantry/fridge/freezer are no name or store brand. We are almost always able to get the name brands because we wait for them to be cheaper than e store brands. No crappy toilet paper (tehe... pun intended) in our home, and no off-brand ketchup to ruin sandwiches.

Once the job situation is sorted out, the extra float money in waiting will be applied to the car loan as a lump sum. Hopefully we'll be able to drop a few grand onto the balance, shortening our financing term a year or two. We shall see.

All it takes is patience and good money management. And of course, a wife (WonderWife, even) to keep her manic wife from spending all their money on fabric and beads. *grin*

Goal for next month (July): bring total expenses down unter 3500. Bring it on.

Got budgeting plans or ideas? Helpful hints or concerns with money? Share them here, bring finances out of the dark and into the light. Help can only be found when people know that it is needed.


  1. Good luck Laura! Keep us updated on the progress!

  2. Thanks! Hoping to ditch the debt before my next birthday :)