Another month gone! Progress, progress, progress (mostly.)
It was a reasonably successful month; I’m ending it about where I’d hoped I would be in terms of spending, but I didn’t get there quite in the way I expected to. Also, the markets took a tumble towards the end of the month, which is kind of depressing in terms of my net worth numbers, but I don’t have any control over that, so not much to do but shrug and keep on keepin’ on.
Here’s my expected/actual budget numbers for the month:
1. The food budget there is ridiculous. What happened: my roommate and I bought a share in a meat CSA, for $140 each. We get five months’ worth of local, ethically raised meat (chicken, beef, and pork.) It’s a little expensive, but she wanted to do it and I thought I could afford it. So there was that. But then I also went overboard on buying coffees and snacks this month; in October, one of my goals is to meal-plan better so that I have afternoon snacks to bring with me to work rather than caving and buying stuff at work.
2. But that was mitigated by the fact that two major expenses I was expecting to materialize, didn’t. I’d been saving up for a big utility bill (I need to pay the entire summer’s electric bill) and it turns out I didn’t need to — I had $200 budgeted for it and only needed $80. Then, I had $90 in the budget because I was expecting to need to pay a final phone bill on my old plan, and maybe also pay for the first month on my new plan. But it turned out that I was paying ahead on my phone plan (who knew?), and I won’t have to pay for the new one til next month. So, great.
3. I moved most of the savings from #2 into “slush” where it ended up covering even more food (see above), entertainment, and charity expenses.
4. Medical: That’s the dentist’s bill for a cavity I had filled, plus a couple of co-pays for doctor’s visits and prescriptions.
5. Travel: I took a weekend trip to Chicago at the end of the month. I was able to cover some expenses out of slush, but didn’t have quite enough, so I’m withdrawing a little from my travel account to cover the rest.
6. I also almost had to blow both my travel and e-funds right at the end of the month even though I’ve only just gotten them started! My closest friend had a family emergency that I nearly flew out for, but that ended up not happening. And I dropped my ipad and cracked the glass, making it unusable. However, I have a small freelance check coming in early next month that will cover the ipad repair, so even though I’d rather be putting that money in my IRA, I guess it’s good that I don’t have slow down my credit card repayment.
Like I said, the markets dropped a bunch — I lost pretty close to $200 in my retirement accounts, which kept me much further from my net worth target than I wanted to be. But c’est la vie. I still made decent progress, and barring a total October-1929-style event, I should be on track to hit $10K in net worth in November, and to pay off the last of my credit card debt in December.
How’d y’all do in September?