Month 1 = done!
Over Budget: $126.25
- Giving: $79 over
- Utilities: $47.25 over
Under Budget: $1.18
- Gas: $59.99 remain, 1/3 tank of gas in each car; oil changes due next month
- Doc/Meds: $49 still in budget (dental visit deferred)
- Vet: $21 still in budget (shots to come for three dogs and a cat)
- Savings: $50 saved for a rainy day
- Cell phone: $1 balance
- Food: $0.18 remains
- Art Supplies: $45 still remains (paint needed)
- Free Home Warranty expires in February. To renew will require $43/mo
- Child school “field trip” installment due: $35
- Fence/Gate repairs: worked several freelance gigs to pay for this sudden expense
- taxes… don’t know if we’ll owe money or not
- homeowner dues…did we pay those yet? Need to check.
Proposed Solution: cut the food budget by $165; watch utilities and see if can reduce monthly expense there. Also, I’ll keep looking for additional freelance/part time work, since having the Home Warranty continue makes sense with an older home with older appliances.
New food budget for February: $300
Y’all read about our food budget post earlier, so for February, we can do this. You know that. There should be no panicking amongst the troops. Theoretically, with three fewer days, that should shave off $45 right there to stay within the $1/1/1 plan. If I’m going to get “out of the red” then I’m still $38 short. Menu planning is going to be a pretty serious key to this deal working.
In the past, I would have simply put that $125.07 on credit, with perhaps a few more impulse spends tossed in for good measure. But do that every month and you will end up in a heap of trouble one year from now. Do it for years and you’ve dug a mighty deep hole. Utilities and food are for me, and probably other people like me, the only real spaces in the budget with any wiggle in them. Hmmph. Perhaps, I need to designate a child to be the “utility warden” and watch for excess lights on, too long spent in showers and baths, turning up the heater vs putting on a sweater and socks.
February is going to have a pre-planned camping trip tossed in for adventure. That will involve gas, food, and camping fees coming out of our regular budget. If you are vacationing on the cheap, camping is the way you do it. Most of our gear is already in hand, which makes it a no-brainer! This also means that I can’t steal from the “gas” envelope to make up that $38. I’ll need every penny for traveling back and forth.
Overall, I am happy that at the end of the day, I did not spend every penny that we earned. There is money that was budgeted for future things, still available for those future things. The giving and the utilities are going to need to be reigned in. Either that, or God’s going to have to send us some more income so that I can keep giving the way I love to give. Interesting thought/prayer that.