Hello my lovely readers 🙂 What better way to start the day than a post about finances? I know, I know, you’re probably still bleary-eyed and barely awake, but this exciting post should perk you right up!
Okay, so maybe I’m deluding myself – finances are boring. Still, I think this is pretty exciting – we just wrapped up our first month of using a budget (Happy October, by the way)! It took some time and it required some patience, but it was worth it. As promised, I decided to be brutally honest with you and share how we did, regardless of whether we were over, under, or right on the money (ha ha, pun intended!). I really, really stuck with it – every single receipt, every last penny was tracked, marked down, and accounted for. I was soooo good. So, do you want to know how we did?
Well, it turns out that we were over-budget by about $200. Darn it.
How did this happen? A couple of things:
- Chris’ paycheck dropped down a little with me being added to his insurance premium, and I forgot to factor that in to my original income in the budget (oops). This will go away now that I’ve started working again and get insurance through the hospital.
- We had 2 unexpected bills – one from our last apartment (the landlord forgot to transfer the account back to his name, which he said he would do). This bill was going to show up late and we’d be charged a fee, so we went ahead and paid it. We’re waiting on the reimbursement check from the landlord. He really was a great landlord, so I’m confident that he’ll send it. The other unexpected item was my nurse’s shoes. My new hospital allows RNs to wear shoes that are either all black, all white, or all royal blue (???). I have an all black pair of clogs, but thought that I should go ahead and get some white shoes. What a mistake. I’m sending those shoes right back and sticking with my black ones – they’re much more comfy. So, some of the overage will be reimbursed.
- We had 1 incorrect bill – our car and renter’s insurance was still being factored as though we lived in Massachusetts. Chris is planning to call them and see what’s up, but I have to say that this was another benefit of doing the budget. I watched our bank account and credit cards like a hawk, and anything that wasn’t what I planned for was a red flag that quickly caught my attention. If I hadn’t been doing the budget, there’s a good chance that we would’ve missed those insurance premiums for another month.
- And last but not least, this was the first time we’d officially used a budget, so I was guesstimating on some of the projected amounts. We’ve never had credit card debt and we’ve always been putting money in our IRAs, the stock market, mutual funds, and our savings, so we were knew that we were living within our means. Still, we never actually sat down and mapped it all out. This was the first time in a long time that we haven’t both been earning salaries, and that’s why we were a bit over. I think that it’ll be much more manageable now that I have a better idea of our spending and we’ve had a chance to actually sit down, look at it, and talk about changes.
In conclusion, I’d like to say that setting up this budget reminded me a lot of going on a diet – a money diet. Instead of counting calories, I was counting pennies. We’re still planning to save all of my income this year and just live off of Chris’, and I still don’t foresee that as being a problem. I am very, very glad that we started this budget, and I highly recommend it. I never thought that I would be the type of person who would follow one or who would have the time or the organization to stick to it, but I did. I’m planning to do another budget re-cap post in November to let you all know how I’ve done, and as a means of keeping myself accountable. Trust me when I say that if I can do it, you can, too!
If you would like to see a copy of the budget template that I used, please send me an email at mrs(dot)praticallyperfect(at)hotmail(dot)com. I have to give credit where credit is due, though – the original was Mrs. Newlywed’s, and I’ve modified it somewhat based on my own needs.
Have a great Thursday!