Wednesday, August 2, 2017

July In Review: A Solid 9 Out Of 10

July was a winner of a month here at the 76K Project. Work was low-key (a welcome respite from the craziness of our early summer busy season), we completed the Frugalwood’s Uber Frugal Month Challenge, we spent a lot of time outside, the Kiddo and I took a relaxing and wallet-friendly vacation to Seattle, and Fortysomething trained for his new job. On the budget front, we wound up a little less than $1 over… something I’m not really mad about given that we had some unexpected expenses AND paid off one of our credit cards

From our wildflower walk! Free and beautiful.
BUDGET RUNDOWN:

Our complete budget is shown at the end of the post, for anyone wanting to compare our intentions with what actually happened.

Where we were right on the money: With respect to rent, debt repayment, phone, Internet, compost, and several other expenses, we followed the budget pretty much to the letter. In some cases we came in under budget: the Very Expensive Feline wasn't quite as expensive this month, and we didn't spend as much on gas as we thought we might. Wins!

Where we went over: Although I'm still pleased with our grocery bill improvements, we exceeded the budget by a few dollars in that category. Same went for insurance (I'm not sure why this varies by a few dollars each month and need to look into that), Hulu (apparently we hadn't paid the bill in full last month), and our vacation. We did have quite a few unexpected expenses, including my used Hokas (I still contend that was a well-considered purchase!) and a room air filter (we were smelling smoke from the neighbor's apartment and decided an air filter was a necessity). 

The items shown in purple in the table below are expenses we didn't initially plan on but that we added to the budget later in the month. They included some logistical expenses related to Fortysomething's new job and a school-related fee for the Kiddo.

DEBT REDUCTION: 

Between paying off one of our credit cards and continuing to make payments on our other cards and loans, we reduced our debt load from $77,289.31 to $75,281.42 - a total of $2007.89!!! If you're interested in the details, check out the link to The Current Debt at the top of the page.

SAVINGS:

We used savings to pay off the credit card, but we still have $1098 on hand in case of emergencies. We'll start replenishing this account in September, when a side hustle will bring in some extra cash.

OVERALL ASSESSMENT: 

I'd give July a solid 9 out of 10. Yes, we came in slightly over budget, but we also made a dent in the debt. Thanks to the Uber Frugal Month Challenge, we dialed in our spending. No going out to eat, no unnecessary purchases, a lot more free fun. 

AUGUST GOALS:

Financial: The August budget is going to be tight, mostly because Fortysomething’s new gig has a payment schedule that differs from that of his previous job. We’ll have to be strict about our spending and possibly borrow from savings until we get paid more at the end of the month. Our primary goals are to simply stay on track with our repayments, stick to the budget, and hang in there until September, when we’ll have more financial breathing room and can start saving for end-of-year expenses, such as a trip to see family at the holidays.

Personal: August will be hectic. My goals here include adjusting to our family’s new work and school schedule, writing at least twice a week on the blog, and ramping up my running (I had an injury in the Spring and am building my mileage back up… It’s a slow process).

July Budget: The Plan vs. Reality

Planned
Actual
Rent
1447
1446.95
Internet
76
75.89
Phone
91
90.28
Car and Renter's Insurance
70
72.35
Student loans and credit cards
1300
1299.83
Car Loan
300
297.84
Thousand Trails
108
108
Compost
10
10
Gas/Electric/Utilities
75
74.95
Food
725
732.19
Gas in car
70
60.33
Cat
50
38.49
Netflix + Hulu
26
36.8
Work Trip
50
50
ACLU
30
25
Medical Bills
95.52
95.52
Work Clothes
150
103.25
Trip to Seattle
200
200.53
NYT Subscription (final)
13.33
13.33
Glassware
40
38.12
School Fees
154.28
154.28
Work Expenses
84.15
84.15
Unexpected
100
157.93
Total Expenses
5265.28
5266.01




9 comments:

  1. July was an excellent month for you! Love your breakdown...down to the penny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I appreciate that! Here's to a great August for all of us.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Patti! I appreciate that.

      Delete
  3. Ahhhh! Less than $1 over. Ha. That would have drove me crazy! But awesome job on keeping budget. I think you can let that minor overage slip by... this time. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! I know... That's so us - to be $1 over. Argh. Oh well. We'll work for UNDER budget this month!

      Delete
  4. Great month overall and congrats on decreasing your debt! It seems like we'll have the exact same *problems* in August (new job for my SO / keep on writing for the blog and running after injury!) haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Best wishes to your SO. New jobs are exciting, but getting into the groove financially when salary/benefits/pay dates change is a bit of a pain. How's your running injury? I messed up my IT band in February and it has been a very, very slow recovery process.

      Delete
  5. Great update, I'll take 9 of 10 every time. It's tough to stay on a budget, congrats on that one.

    ReplyDelete

Winning, November 2017 Edition

I almost - but not quite! - slacked off on posting the November edition of WINNING, a series in which I identify our accomplishments in an e...