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September Summary

September 30, 2013

Happy last day of September readers! I have been anxiously awaiting this day since I started the blog and I am so excited to update you all on our progress! So, without further ado, here are our September financials:

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Overages/Adjustments

So, as you can see from my analysis, we over spent our budget by $284. Here’s a breakdown of the overage and adjustments for us to make over the next month.

  1. I didn’t account for commuting expenses appropriately in my original budget – I take the Metro to/from work everyday, but I also get reimbursed for it by work ($275/month). I put this in the “tolls” section of the budget and moving forward will update the budget to reflect this. I’m also going to include $275 as additional income since this is my reimbursement amount.
  2. Our HOA is paid quarterly and was due this month so that was over the monthly budgeted amount
  3. Our water bill is also paid quarterly and was due this month so that was also over the monthly budgeted amount (but less than anticipated for the quarter).
  4. Our grocery bill included a stock up trip to Costco and a couple good deals at our local grocery store to stock up on essentials (paper towels, laundry detergent and organic peanut butter to name a few).  We also actually didn’t plan to go to Costco so we did a pretty big trip to the grocery store a day before. In the first week of the month we spent about $300. After our major stock up week our weekly grocery bill for the rest of the month averaged $54, so not too bad.
  5. We overpaid on the Highlander this month – I had automatic payments set to $500/month and didn’t change it in time! Oops – it has been fixed for October, so we’ll be good to go next month!
  6.  Bschool – so I think I mentioned this earlier, but these expenses are cyclical. We started classes in September so I had to get all my textbooks/course packets. Thankfully, that’s done now! I will have to buy course packets/text books again at the end of October but that will be the LAST TIME EVER!!! Yipeeeeeee!
  7. We had more income that we thought! In terms of salaries- we brought in $100/month more than we projected. We decided that this extra amount was going straight to savings and we’re not even counting it as part of our income (it actually doesn’t even get transferred to our joint checking – it just stays in the savings account where the check gets auto-deposited) We also got approximately $80 back on our car insurance premiums and we got approximately $25 in credit card rewards for our normal monthly purchases.

Couple awesome lessons that I learned/re-learned in September:

1. Always check your receipt at the grocery store (or any store for that matter). Seriously – I saved $15 in two weeks just by making sure all the discounts rang up the way they should.

2. Check your car insurance coverage. Make sure you’re not paying for things you don’t need. See my post on The Hidden Cost of Driving for more details on how we ended up saving almost $80 on our 6 month premium by making some relatively minor modifications.

September Debt Repayment Recap:

Even with our overages

October Projections

Based on some minor rounding differences and not including my commuting expenses/reimbursements I updated our October projections:

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A couple things to note – we should be getting reimbursed from our childcare FSA for $1250 worth of childcare expenses, which we included in “other income”. I’ve also included my metro reimbursement as “other income.” Also – you’ll see that I combined Hubby’s SL1 and 2 into one line item – that is because these are actually consolidated and not separate, like I had originally thought!

Potential Overages – For October, I’ve identified a couple areas where we may overspend our budget:

1. Travel/Savings – we’re going to a friend’s engagement in Dallas this month (YAY)! We’ve already paid for our flight and hotel room but still need to rent a car, pay for gas, get a gift and budget for food. To account for this, we are planning to use some of our childcare FSA reimbursement to cover anything over the $300 we budgeted for this category. I’m hoping to limit this overage to $150 which I think is totally reasonable.

2. Bschool – this is also another potential area for an overage. I start my last 6 weeks of school at the beginning of November, which means that I’ll have to get all my course packs and textbooks prior to this, which means that this expense will probably be incurred in October. The good news is that after this, I shouldn’t have any more bschool expenses EVER!!

October Debt Repayment Projections:

In September, we realized that hubby’s student loans were consolidated and that, even though we could see the balance of each loan in the consolidated one, we couldn’t pay one down directly. So, we adjusted our debt repayment strategy:

  1. We are focusing on paying off the Honda car loan ASAP, with our projections showing a December/Jan payoff date.
  2. We are also still on target to pay off hubby’s student loans by May/June.
  3. We are still planning to continue paying the interest on my highest-interest rate student loan.

Summary

In summary, September was an awesome month and it has felt really good to be on track with our plan. Also, it didn’t feel like we were “deprived” or missing out or making some crazy sacrifice. Hubby and I also had a chance to look at our long term financial planning and it felt so good to think that we might actually be completely debt free – student loans, cars, mortgage, everything gone – in less than 10 years! This just keeps motivating us to stay on track and really prioritize our spending and our purchase habits. This is kind of feeling like a little game and it has been fun! Plus, we don’t like to lose and I get a sick sense of pleasure from tracking expenses and doing projections (that’s probably also why I’m really excited to move into a more finance-focused field after I finish my MBA!). All-in-all a great month – really looking forward to what the next month has in store for us!

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