I don’t think I’ll post my spending every month, and I’m picking what seems to be a particularly bad month to share. But here is our joint spending for this month, and my thoughts on it.
Let me explain how this works. The first column is my initial guess at the category. The second column is the adjusted budget. The third column automatically fills up as I enter expenses, and the last column is also automatically calculated (based on the 2nd and 3rd column). Certain categories that are irregular and large (insurance, travel) have savings funds, and the negative balance is deducted from the funds.
What I’m saying is, the important column is the 3rd, which is what we really spent. Not included is maxing out my 401k, taxes, and health.
Restaurant spending was really high. This is partially because I allowed myself to use my jury duty pay to go out to eat in downtown LA every day for the 14 days I was on the trial. It also includes eating out during our weekend trip to Big Sur. It also is just plain high because we went to a nice restaurant or two. We’ll work on that in May.
I don’t really want to talk about Entertainment. Do you ever have one of those events that ends up costing WAY more than it should have, way more than you expected, and you just are annoyed by it? And you want to pretend it never happened? Yeah. I do. So I’m not saying why, but let’s just say it was a dumb mistake, and I’ve moved on.
Clothing was actually mostly for T, who buys clothes about once every 3 years. We have about $60 to return (he ordered two sizes) and we’ll get that back next in May.
Fitness probably included the 5k I ran, and a new fitness belt, and some running socks.
T actually did put $2500 into our emergency fund this month, but I didn’t track it in this budget because I felt like it should have been done before the month even started. Anyway, you can see our other cash savings were very low (nonexistent!), but I expect that to change in future months.
The system we are using is that I TRY to cover all our bills with my paycheck, except that T pays his own $400 Roth IRA and continues to pay $600 in rent. Then T will put what he used to spend on our joint expenses into joint savings. It really isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and is actually much simpler than what we were doing. We don’t have merged checking accounts (I don’t think it is important) but we have completely merged all of our cash savings. I think that is important.
Here’s to better luck next month. We have a driving vacation planned for memorial day weekend, but I’m really going to try to keep our other expenses reasonable.