Sunday, July 31, 2011

Budget Babe

Chuck made tea this morning and tossed the Sunday paper down on the bed.  The picture above pretty much sums up my morning.  It has been many years since I have spent the morning in such a decadent fashion. In my previous life, I would be popping up and doing a chore of some sort.  When I shared that with Chuck, he merely raised his eyebrows a little and said something about shifting my frame of reference a bit.

We also had some fun trying out his "new" acquisitions on my behalf:  a dining table (found by the side of the road) and clothes dryer.   

While lounging, I did a fair bit of reading about deficit spending and the debt ceiling; this made me chuckle when I crunched my personal numbers tonight.  Here we are at the end of my first month on a budget. And how did I do?

Drum roll.....

Not that great.

I spent more than I earned by about $400.  However, all is not lost.  Here is the rundown.

1.  Rent is a fixed cost.  No surprises there. ($860)
2.  Child support.  Fixed cost. ($180)
3.  Phone.  Oh, shit!  I ran over by about $28.  This is because I'm getting used to not having a land-line. I knew I was in trouble and have already started working on getting it under control:  paying more attention to my minutes and texts, so I don't go over; letting many calls go to voice mail, so I can call certain people back at night or on the weekends. It should be $57 and I paid $84.  Even $57 sounds like a lot to me...
4. Electricity.  I came in a little under my budget. Now that I have a drier, I have to play it cool. I need a dryng rack, so that during the summer I just use the drier for towels and emergencies.
5.  Gas.  Also a little under budget.
6.  Water.  A little over budget. 
7.  FOOD!!!!!  OK, this was crazy.  I budgeted $400 and spent $606!!!
8.  Gasoline.  I came in slightly under!  I budgeted $350, and was under by about...$25.  Not bad!  I was sure I would overrun.
9.  Kids' clothes.  I had a line item for this, but the kids didn't need clothes this month.  They will next month, though...
10.  Internet, newspaper...  Both were more expensive this month because there were initial start-up costs; or I had to pay for several months in advance.  Those costs will be lower next month.
11.  Car insurance.  This sucked:  about $350.  But I don't have to pay it again for 6 months.
12.  Hair.  It was an expensive month, because I did color.  I won't do color again for a few months, so the next couple times I get mye hair done, it will be cheaper.

And... stuff came up:  I had to pay for the Utah mandatory divorce class.  My laptop croaked and needed to be repaired to the tune of $160.  I had to pay the bill for my dentist and my therapist.  I thought I would never go in for counseling again, because of the cost.  Then I remembered that I have a cafeteria plan and that money to pay for health-related stuff is waiting for me in my benefits account.  Oh, yeah!

Next month's challenge:  Can Kate shave $400 off her expenses? 


  1. This week I have an expense you may be interested in: $350 for.... (drum roll)... the real-and-official divorce! Squeeee!

  2. We have about $600 more in expenses than we make, trying to work overtime as much as possible though..ugh.
    Cowboys and Aliens was pretty good, I would suggest going to see it. It wasn't stellar, but not bad and it is too damn hot to do much else.

  3. Budgets, the bane of my life. I am fine at planning and sticking to the budgets of six magazines, but when it comes to my personal life I am not so hot.
    But it's the unexpected extras in life! And hair colour, car insurance, lap top repairs etc won't be every month. So yes, hopefuly next month you can loose that extra 400!