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Using my budget

November 16, 2007

I’m not a strict budgeter. I set monthly goals in excel based on fairly narrow categories, and I track my spending for each category. If I buy a magazine at the grocery store, I sometimes it slip into the grocery budget, even if it should be in entertainment. If I go over my budget, I don’t really worry about it. If I save $100 less one month, it’s not a big deal. As long as my net worth continually grows and I’m conscious of my spending, I’m not strict at all. I’m great at making a budget, but after that, I ignore it!

This week I decided I wanted new running shoes. Usually, I’d just buy them and worry about it later. This time I actually went into excel, and tried to see where the money was going to come from. If it was going to detract from my savings, fine, but I just wanted to know. I was able to take a little bit out of my utilities (low energy bill in the fall), a little out of “personal”, and was able to come up with an extra $75 for running shoes. There is a chance the shoes will be a little more, but the vast majority won’t affect my savings.

While I was there, I set up a rough December budget. Due to the year end bonus, I should be able to put $1000 towards my student loan, $2000 in my e-fund, and leave plenty of wiggle room in my new years vacation budget. I love bonus month!

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