April 2019 Budget

Mike has a habit of building things when I’m at conferences

Mike has a habit of building things when I’m at conferences

Holy groceries!!! We spent under $600 on groceries this month!!! It does come with a caveat… I was traveling for ~5 days, so there was only 1 adult to feed for 5 days of the month. However, we hosted a few meals at our house, cooked a meal for a friend with a new baby, and re-upped on some freezer meals… so we didn’t skimp on food purchases.

In addition to the grocery bill, I’m excited about my new clothing rack (see pic above)! While I was traveling, Mike used his evenings to build it for me (thanks Mike!). I’ve been using it to set out my clothes for the next day and/or just get things off the floor.

We also decided to start putting some of our leftover money each month to retirement savings in the form of a Roth IRA. While most of this leftover will still go to loans, we wanted to start being a bit more proactive about retirement. And, one final note, our percentages have changed due to my cost of living bump that hit back in February, I never got around to adjusting the budget %s.

Previous budget posts can be found here: December 2018 (first post with background information), January 2019, February 2019, and March 2019.

april 2019 budget

Housing
Budgeted: 42.06%
Spent: 41.67%
Leftover: 0.39%
home improvement savings fund

What’s included? Mortgage payment, property taxes, home insurance, home warranty, and any home improvement costs. Still have the spending moratorium on unnecessary home improvement stuff (which wasn’t a big chunk to begin with) so we’ve got a little bit of leftover.

We’re starting to do some small projects again… like the clothing rack pictured above!

Groceries
Budgeted: 19.69%
Spent: 11.89%
Leftover: 7.80%
student loans/ira

What’s included? Food, non-food cooking stuff, toiletries, cat supplies, cleaning supplies, paper products, pharmacy… anything you can buy at the grocery store.  

Utilities
Budgeted: 7.44%
Spent: 6.25%
Leftover: 0.80%
used to cover misc extra amount; 0.39% student loans

What’s included? Electric, gas, water, and trash.

Our miscellaneous expenses went over this month (another preschool related deposit for first month’s tuition).

Travel related expenses
Budgeted: 7.51%
Spent: 22.64%
savings for yearly bills: 3.80%
over budget: 15.13% (all reimbursed)

What’s included? Car insurance, gas, registration (billed every 2 years), AAA (billed once a year), savings for a car maintenance fund, and a general travel fund for family visits and smaller local trips.

I traveled for a conference so I had some big travel related expenses that went on the credit card. All of these purchases were reimbursed (e.g., hotel room), so even though we went over, I ignored it and still set aside funds for yearly bills and our travel fund.

Phone/internet
Budgeted: 3.69%
Spent: 2.70%
leftover: 0.99%
Student loans

What’s included? Phone bills, phone insurance, internet

Health
Budgeted: 1.16%
Spent: 0.21%
Leftover: 0.32%
workout fund; 0.63% student loans

What’s included? doctor’s bills (we also have an FSA but keep this additional fund to give us a little more padding just in case), a gym membership [dropped this until summer and then will reassess, putting the extra towards loans], and a savings fund for a summer bootcamp.

Miscellaneous
Budgeted: 4.04%
Spent: 4.84%
savings for yearly bills: 1.02%
over budget: 0.80% (covered with extra from utilities)

What’s included? a random assortment of things… jewelry insurance (billed once a year), a once a year haircut for me, Netflix, Prime membership (billed once a year), website hosting (billed once a year), and just a general miscellaneous category. For the things that are billed once a year, I just divide them by 12 and include it as a line on our budget each month, putting it into savings each month, letting it earn a tiny bit of interest. In early spring 2019 I added Ellie’s co-op preschool and 2 membership subscription sites that are blog related.

Dining out/entertainment
Budgeted: 1.16%
Spent: 3.97%
over budget: 2.81% (all reimbursed)

What’s included? Dining out/take out, museums, kid stuff (e.g., a class at the rec center for Ellie)

Again, all the extra in this category is coming from my work trip which was reimbursed. We did do takeout one night and I think there was another day where we got a snack while out and about, but we didn’t exceed our budget.

Gifts
Budgeted: 1.05%
spent: 0.06%
Leftover: 0.99%
gift savings fund

What’s included? Gifts, mainly for Ellie, sometimes for the occasional wedding or new baby. Mike and I don’t buy each other gifts (aside from the occasional food item during holidays/birthdays). We’ve got a gift moratorium going on for family/friends. Anything left over in this category gets put into our savings until we need it.  

We bought a few things for Easter for Ellie as well as a few birthday cards for family members. Everything else got put into savings.

Clothing
Budgeted: 0.53%
Spent: 0%
leftover: 0.53%
clothing savings fund

What’s included? Clothes (pretty self explanatory)

Retirement
Budgeted: 1.26%
moved to savings: 1.26%

What’s included: Monthly contributions to a Roth IRA

I’m not actively contributing to a retirement account. We both have 2 accounts from previous employers, plus my current employer contributes 6% of my salary every month to a targeted retirement fund (which does not come out of my paycheck). However, it makes me nervous to not be putting anything more towards retirement. Our debt isn’t going away anytime soon, so I’d like to split our efforts between loans and savings. So… we decided to open up a Roth IRA. We’re not putting a ton towards it, but it’s more than nothing!

Student loans
Budgeted: 10.40%
Spent: 10.40%
leftovers from above categories: 2.01%+

What’s included: Mike’s student loan payments and my student loan payments. The % budgeted/spent used to reflects our bottom line payment (e.g., our minimum payment amounts, plus a little extra on Mike’s so interest doesn’t accrue).

Haven’t decided how I’ll split up the grocery extras between loans and the new IRA, so at a minimum we’ll be putting 2% towards loans this month.

I decided to break up our loan graph payments because the interest earned on my PSLF loans was making the progress we’ve made (and continue to make) on Mike’s loans look less significant. Psychologically speaking, it’s nice to see one of our lines getting closer to that 0 mark. In addition to our overall loan line, I separated out my loan balance and Mike’s loan balance. No big moves this month.

April 2019 Loan Progress

April 2019 Loan Progress