Okay, March was a rough month. I technically got paid three times this month, which was something I totally forgot about and didn’t plan for. The month flew by and we made a lot of decisions that affected our spending.
Here we go:
Where things went right: Pet food, Gas, Utilities, House Stuff, Cell Phones.
The easiest categories to stay under budget for are of course the fixed expenses. We’re pretty frugal with the basics (don’t use a lot of energy; cats don’t eat gourmet cat food, etc.). And gas is always the same amount every month unless we take a road trip. These types of expenses happen once or twice a month.
Where things went wrong: Food, Clothes, Personal Care, Entertainment, Fun Money, Side Hustle, Misc., Parking, Fees.
Boy, oh boy. Our biggest area that needs improvement is Entertainment. That’s what living in the big city does to you, folks. When you live up the street from authentic Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Korean AND Soul food, good decision-making seems to get thrown out of the window! What can I say? Eel sushi rolls are my Kryptonite!
Another big expense was our grocery budget. The jury’s still out on this one because $160 a month for 2 people might be too low. I do think we need to plan our meals more instead of buying as needed. And we could totally utilize the crock pot more.
Fun money is supposed to be $100 a month. This is something we can do better in. Even though we love going out with friends, eating out at lunch and drinking beer on the weekends, all of this stuff is not important. If we want to get out of debt in a reasonable time frame, we MUST say NO to some extracurricular activities. And the great thing about living in LA is the weather, which allows us the opportunity to get outside for fun. A trip to the beach or a hike in the mountains is free!
Clothes- Totally unexpected expense. After noticing that my superhero costume was a little snug, I decided it was time to stop looking like a bum and get myself some new threads. As much as I hate to admit it, folks tend to judge you by your appearance. And my jeans were starting to develop holes that couldn’t be fixed, PLUS most of my shirts didn’t fit anymore. So even though the expense was unexpected, it was definitely worth it.
Side hustle– Like most 20 something year old Wonder Women, I’ve got a side hustle. I am a freelance writer and am starting to do a bit of consulting. The Hubs and I decided that if I was going to be serious about my biz, I would need to upgrade a few things. We got a new printer (the one we had been four years old and stuttered when we printed something), a new desk (so that I wasn’t typing in my lap) and got a domain name. I think it was worth the investment, but it wasn’t planned. Going forward, I’m going to keep add “Side Hustle” in our monthly budget.
Misc– I joined Weight Watchers this month (have lost four pounds!), checked my credit score (was $30 bucks for all three agencies) and had to get my maid of honor a gift. All of these things were not planned.
Debt repayment!!– I really wanted to put at least $500 on my credit card, but it didn’t happen thanks to our spending.
So what now, Debt Girl???
As we say in my mama’s house, KEEP ON KEEPIN ON! I haven’t done a line by line budget in a long time, so it was good to confirm what our biggest money pits are. And I really do have high hopes for the month of April for adding some additional moo-lah on my credit card…