June 2009 Budget Update & Mid-year Analysis

In general, I did well keeping to my budgeted amounts in June. It was a rough month health-wise so between office visits, prescriptions, and my massage, my expenses there went over. I also bought a GPS system for my bike, which I categorized as auto but should probably go in misc or bike. Auto is more for maintenance and gas. My spending money came in under budget, primarily because I was sick for a week and a half and didn't leave the house for much of anything and didn't go to the cafeteria at work.

Now, on to the 6-month check-up since I began budgeting/tracking expenditures. My spending money category is good - my average is slightly over my intended $15/day. My medical allotment is low - I've budgeted $2/day and it has been more like $3/day (chiropractic and massages figured separately - those are very controllable). The "miscellaneous" category is interesting. I've bought a fair number of medium-to-big-ticket items:

  • Microwave
  • Projector bulb
  • Car seat re-upholstery
  • Timing belt repair
  • Motorcycle
  • Motorcycle safety gear
  • Mattress
  • Motorcycle GPS

I have no regrets about any of the above and can certainly justify each of them to some degree (ok, so the GPS is more of a frivolity than any of the rest of it) but they are also all items that need purchased once every blue moon. I was able to pay for them out of savings or budget surplus (which would otherwise have gone to savings) with the exception of the motorcycle, which I feel I got a fair financing deal on through the BMW dealership. I really don't see myself having a several-hundred dollar unexpected expense every month so I'm going to leave my misc category where it is right now and just see what happens the rest of the year.

Since I have the motorcycle now, I'm very motivated to get it paid off quickly. This should help with frivolous expenditures (mostly buying breakfast and lunch at the cafeteria instead of taking it from home). I'd also like to automate as much as possible. I already have a few things automated but want to explore the capabilities of my ING Direct accounts. I'd also like to go through my stuff and sell or pass on the extraneous junk, as much for de-cluttering sake as anything else. Proceeds will go to the motorcycle loan.


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