May 2019 Budget

Mike’s latest furniture project, a dresser that our neighbors were getting rid of and is now housing Ellie’s toys

Mike’s latest furniture project, a dresser that our neighbors were getting rid of and is now housing Ellie’s toys

Despite feeling like we were hemorrhaging money during May, we managed to stay within our overall budget. Makes me feel good about the amounts we’ve set for each line item and that our budget is flexible enough that it can accommodate “spendier” months. Between Ellie’s birthday and new babies and retirements, we spent more on gifts than we usually do. We also booked an Airbnb for a few days this summer, which put us over in travel too. And finally, I bought a bathing suit. The two pre-Ellie suits I have aren’t great for running after small children and my one post-baby suit was purchased not too long after she was born and doesn’t fit anymore. We have a camping trip at a lake coming up next month and I figured I should pick one up before then. Groceries were a little over ~800 this month, which is pretty good considering we fed people for Ellie’s birthday and hosted a few dinners at our house. While it wasn’t the best month as far as spending goes, the fact that our overall expenses were less than the amount I got paid is still a win!

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

may 2019 budget

Housing
Budgeted: 42.06%
Spent: 41.34%
Leftover: 0.72%
over budget spending in travel

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.

May notes: Mike worked on refinishing a dresser that was given to us by our neighbors this month so we spent a little “fun” money on that. Otherwise, this month was pretty typical for housing expenses.

Groceries
Budgeted: 19.69%
Spent: 17.58%
Leftover: 2.11%
over budget spending in travel

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

May notes: Between Ellie’s birthday and a few dinners, we bought more groceries than “normal” this month. However, this is probably a “normal” May amount (given birthdays and end of year events), so I should probably make a note of this for next year. Plus, we’re still under budget!

Utilities
Budgeted: 7.44%
Spent: 4.98%
Leftover: 2.46%
over budget spending in travel/gifts/clothing

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

Travel related expenses
Budgeted: 7.51%
Spent: 10.38%
Savings for yearly bills: 1.69%
over budget: 4.56% (pulling from extra in housing, groceries, and utilities)

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.

May notes: We booked a few days away at an AirBnb this summer, so that’s where most of these additional expenses are coming from. I also turned in my transit pass for the summer (it doesn’t financially make sense for me to hold on it for the summer). However, work doesn’t end until mid-June, which means I’ve been purchasing regular passes whenever I take the train, so that’s an added expense that is usually already taken out of my paycheck. Mike and Ellie also did a bit more transit related traveling this month.

Phone/internet
Budgeted: 3.69%
Spent: 2.70%
leftover: 0.99%
over budget spending in clothing, student loans (or roth)

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

Health
Budgeted: 1.16%
Spent: 0.42%
Savings for yearly bills: 0.32%
Leftover: 0.42%
student loans/roth

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: 1.20%
savings for yearly bills: 2.84%
Leftover: 0.01%
student loans/roth

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: 0.96%
Leftover: 0.20% ⇒ student loans/roth

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

May notes: While we didn’t do a ton of dining out this month (we got pizza for dinner one evening), we did do more entertainment related activities (e.g., visits to museums/the zoo).

Gifts
Budgeted: 1.05%
spent: 1.66%
over budget: 0.61% (pulling from extra in utilities)

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 birthdays. Anything left over in this category gets put into our savings until we need it.  

May notes: We had Ellie’s birthday, a baby shower, and a retirement that we purchased gifts for.

Clothing
Budgeted: 0.53%
Spent: 0.74%
over budget: 0.21% (pulling from extra in utilities and phone/internet)

What’s included? Clothes (pretty self explanatory)

May notes: Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I bought a bathing suit for an upcoming camping trip.

Retirement
Budgeted: 1.26%
moved to savings: 1.26%

What’s included: Monthly contributions to a Roth IRA

Student loans
Budgeted: 10.40%
Spent: 10.40%
leftovers from above categories: 1.53%

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

May notes: Not a month where we had a ton of extra money to throw at Mike’s loans, but that’s to be expected, especially as we start getting into the summer months. I think the slight reduction in my loans has to do with the fact that I checked the balances earlier in the month than usual (so interest hadn’t accrued as much)

May 2019 loan progress

May 2019 loan progress