As I mentioned last week and since I got my raise, I’m going to be much more strict with my budget going forward. My intention is to post here twice a month about my spending and budgeting: once at the beginning of each month, recapping the previous month and talking about the upcoming month, and then once mid-month, giving a progress report.
My favorite budgeting software/service is Mvelopes. Unfortunately, they don’t have the best reports and pretty pie charts. Alas. I’ll have to make due. Also, in these mid-month check-ins, I’ll only go over my “cushion” envelope, since that’s really the only discretionary funds I have. We can all just assume I’m in-budget for everything else: rent, cell phone, etc.
So, since it is now the middle of September, here’s how my discretionary spending for the month looks so far. Remember – this is in addition to the $100 in cash I take out every week for my day to day expenses – groceries, eating out, etc.
* For some reason, Connecticut calls their liquor stores “package stores”. I don’t know why. I just go with it. If I’m feeling particularly white trash, I call it a “packy”. (I understand this is a racial slur for Pakistani people. I’m sorry if I offend anyone.)
** I don’t keep coins in my wallet. Mostly because they are bulky and heavy, but also because it provides me with a little free money every month if I set them aside. I have a change purse in my car, and when I buy something with cash and get coins back, I just hold them in my hand until I get back to my car, then dump them into the change purse. Every three months or so I bring the coins to my bank, shove them into the coin counter, and get about $30. It’s like free money! I realize it’s not actually free money, but to me it feels like it.
As you can see, I’ve spent more than half of my budget for the month – whoops! But that’s okay. I’ve got a tight grip on the reigns for the next two weeks. Come October I’ll have a bit more breathing room, and November brings all kinds of new money to spend! Because again, I always live off last month’s income. So, I’m living off of August’s income for the month of September. Since my raise takes effect halfway through September, in October I’ll have one paycheck of my “old” income, and one of my “new” – a half step up, if you will. Then, come November, I’ll be living off October’s income, which will be the first full month of my new income. Woot! Don’t worry – I didn’t actually expect you to follow that.