March budget update

Well, this was kind of an insane month budget-wise.

I had unexpected expenses in both needs and wants. My car and motorcycle insurance as well as my motorcycle registration all came due within the last couple weeks. I also spent a decent sum over budget on my car as well - like I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I finally got around to installing my power locks and windows and needed a fair number of parts I thought I already had. I should be able to recoup some of this in the future by selling off everything I didn't end up using.

I was wise did finally add a category for unexpected this month, complete with a $200 allotment. I bought a fancy new (to me) smartphone and some other stuff and this category ended up overspent by about the same amount my grocery category was underspent. I decided to do some manipulation and moved the phone to grocery (this also includes toys and entertainment) since it was more of a gadget expense than a necessary emergency or unexpected expense. Now they're both within $10-15 of estimated/budgeted. Along with my new phone, I decided to get a data plan so that will add $30 a month.

I joined 24 Hour Fitness, which cost $60 up front (no joining fee but you must pay first and last month's membership upfront) and will cost $30 a month but will hopefully pay off in health benefits. After finally getting my chiropractic billing issues straightened out, I decided to cut my chiropractic back to every other week instead of every week. I'll just make sure to stretch more. I do know that regular exercise does help my back remain limber.

I set up some automatic savings plans for my Roth IRA through Scottrade (to be fully funded by December 31), payments toward principal on my student loan, and a fund for future car insurance and registration expenses - both of the latter through ING Direct where I opened sub-accounts specifically for those purposes.

I also received my federal income tax refund, which was sizable. I immediately transferred most of it to my ING Direct general savings account. I'm not going to frivolously spend the rest - I left it in my checking account as a cushion since the car insurance wiped that out.

My goal for April is to have everything come out at or under budget (except savings). We'll see how I do. I still do have that unexpected category for contingencies.

1 comment:

  1. On the stretching, you might check out Intu-Flow. I've been using it a bit--should to more--and my "gravel" has decreased.