The text came in yesterday around 5:00 pm that school would be closed another day…yay! Whether the daycare kids come today or not, hoping to join Faith (and maybe the other kids) in the snow for some snow day fun. I stayed in yesterday because I’ve been fighting a barky cough and figured the cold air wouldn’t help matters, but I realize all the time how many days I’m missing to play with my little girl. Time goes too fast! We did manage to do some science experiments yesterday and enjoyed snow ice cream. Yummo!
I haven’t given an update on our no-spend month yet and figured I better do that today. I’d been lacking the time and energy to do the final tally (because, admittedly, I got bad towards the end of the month keeping expenses recorded), and I wasn’t looking forward to admitting that while we started out strong, we fizzled at the end. 🙁
So after a tally this afternoon, here’s the report:
Estimated income – $90 less than estimated
Estimated expenses – $170 over
I determined there were some flaws to my budget, so that and some business expenses that were reimbursed in the first couple days of February (therefore not counted as income in January), affected the overall result. I forgot that dance fees would be due, Faith’s YMCA membership dues, and that we’d be registering for 4-H this month. That alone was an $88 difference. I need to get business expenses off of this budget completely, and be more realistic about our “misc” categories. Spending unbudgeted money in miscellaneous meant not putting money into envelopes that should be saved for other upcoming expenses…home repairs, vacation, medical and savings.
In most categories I stuck to the budget well. We overpaid on credit cards, but that’s largely due to paying off the first small one…YAY! Our grocery budget…OUCH. I knew it was low but we were doing really well until the end. I had set it at $336 which is a huge decrease from where we usually are. We spent $475 on groceries…still down from our $545 average from last year. I think $375-400 would be do-able. (The amount I spent doesn’t include Ibotta or Checkout 51 rebates that I’ll eventually get, either.) Our Bountiful Basket location had to stop pick-ups for a while because produce was freezing and a new location was needed. I do think that saves us a lot on produce and makes a difference in how I plan meals, so I’ll be interested to see how low we can go with that back in February.
Probably the most disappointing was that we spent $156 eating out…I had budgeted $0 for this and I didn’t even do my regular Scooters drive-thru run. I went out for coffee twice…once because I was between appointments and hadn’t eaten breakfast, and the other because I met a friend this past weekend for a coffee date. Against the rules, still, but a drastic improvement in the coffee department. The rest of the eating out was pretty inexcusable. #hangsheadinshame
So what happened? My willpower was great until Brad started to cave or we hadn’t planned well and needed to eat. It’s also really easy to justify a spontaneous trip to Taco Bell on date night at home when the kid’s at Grandma and Grandpa’s. 😉 In addition, the budget was lacking some categories and business expenses need to be separated.
Tomorrow’s a new day. I want to do the “no-spend month” again soon and really stick to it. We will learn from this month and use that information going forward. I’m sure we would definitely have spent way more than we did having cheated on our resolution to spend zero. For now, a new, more complete budget is in order. I’m on it!