This month I worked on perfecting my lazy man’s budgeting system wherein I no longer meticulously track my day to day expenditures. The system I’ve come up with works by glancing at my credit card balances and keeping the balances under the amount I budget towards discretionary variable expenses (historically $600).
Things started off a bit rocky but got easier towards the end. At first my (non-discretionary) medical expenses, purchases with sinking funds, and cash expenditures all made tracking the discretionary expenses difficult. This resulted in instances where I didn’t know how much I had left to spend. Additionally, April also was one of those months – a bit atypical. That happens sometimes. Either way, I’ve figured things out.
Net worth wise, you wouldn’t know that April was such a struggle. My net worth increased by 5 percent. The only category that saw a loss was my “Savings”. Apparently the markets did really well.
|Cash & Checking||$1,800||$1,875||+$75|
I basically went over my budget by a lot. I had extra expenses and splurges. Some of these purchases were planned, others were not. Thank goodness for sinking funds that were able to absorb the costs. So where did my money go?
|(1)Bills & Utilities||$150||$155||$5 over|
|Total (1+2+4)||$750||$1,080||$330 over|
|Total + Medical||$1,310||$560 over|
(1) Bills & Utilities
I was hoping to be under budget this month due to having 3 months of free cell phone service with Republic Wireless. But Republic Wireless was terrible, and I wouldn’t recommend it, even for free. I only lasted a month and a half. I’m now using Mint Mobile which is cheaper and more reliable. The cost is $15/month for Unlimited talk + Unlimited Text + 3GB of 4G LTE high speed data + Unlimited 2G data. The “catch” is that you have to pay multiple months in advance. So it cost me $45 for the first 3 months. For $20/month and $25/month you get 8GB and 12GB of LTE, respectively. This means in July I’ll be forking over $180 for 12 months of cell service. Though I should already have $30 in referral credits. [Referral link for $15 off]. So far I’m really pleased.
I accidentally purchased 3 meal kits instead of 2 so that took me over by exactly the price of the third meal kit.
As usual this is higher than the $0 I’d like. I have chronic health conditions and my health care usage is above average for my age. Thankfully I have excellent health insurance. I am a bit concerned about my future medical costs due to a new medication I’ll be starting soon. I’m not sure how much it will cost me.
See what had happened was:
- Wardrobe Expansion – I’m still expanding my wardrobe and getting rid of things I don’t wear! I saved a lot by buying second hand. As winter approaches I need to work on my sweater collection. Then I should be good for a couple years. Cost: $150
- Gifts – There were birthdays this month! Cost: $150
- Plants – I bought houseplants and their necessary upkeep supplies. They are struggling though, and in shock from being shipped. If they die I hope it’s within 30 days of purchase so I can get a refund. I’m hoping they aid in clearing out the new construction smell from my condo. Cost: $150
- Bills: A biannual payment came up for a meetup group that I run. Since this is an optional bill I put it in the miscellaneous category.Cost: $95
(5) Sinking Fund
I had to withdraw from my sinking funds due to my overages. That’s what they’re there for !
Conclusions & May
In conclusion, I think I’ve perfected my budgeting system, and I’m excited to try again in May. Also next month I’m getting a pay raise!