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May Summary

June 5, 2014

Wow – I cannot believe how long it has been since I posted last! Sorry for the hiatus – May has been a busy month for us! Between mother’s day, my MBA graduation and my brother’s wedding there really hasn’t been time for too much writing. June is a new month though, so without further ado, here is our financial summary for May:Image

Now, as you can see – there is some serious red going on this month. The biggest culprit was the Misc. category. We had already expected it to be high to account for the wedding gifts we were planning on getting for my brother and sister-in-law. However what put us over the edge was a ton of furniture/household purchases we made. We have been in our home for almost 2 years and had yet to buy a kitchen table, furniture for our guest room or furniture for our main floor living room. We had been stalking craiglist religiously and finally found all the items we had been searching for.  We scored a brand new Pottery Barn couch, end tables, a kitchen table/chairs,  and furniture for the guest room from craiglist. We also got a huge 8 x 10 rug, rug pads, curtain rod, and a pair of lamps from Home Goods as well as curtains on super clearance at West Elm ($30/panel for ones that are normally $90/panel and free shipping!). We had money in our savings account allocated for this purpose so we used that to cover the shortage this month, and we are feeling very, very happy with our purchases!

In total, the furniture/household purchases account for about $2200 of our overages. We still would have be about $400 over budget for the month. About $300 of the overage came from an expense we were planning to incur later in the summer/early fall. One of my dear friends will be celebrating her 30th birthday in New Orleans and I found a great deal on a flight so I bought it. The extra $200 over budget we went this month came from unexpected expenses related to the wedding – mostly food/drinks. We totally should have planned for this, but it completely slipped my mind when allocating funds in April. 

I have to admit, it has been super hard/frustrating the past few months to look at our monthly summaries and ALWAYS be in the red. We did do a couple things differently this month though, and I think it is helping us get back on track. First, we’ve continued to contribute to our “sinking” fund for things like property taxes, HOA fees, water bill, etc.  In addition, we also started automating our savings and taking those out at the beginning of the month. Now for our non-regular expected expenses (like HOA), we’ll still try and pull it out of the monthly budget if we can and convert the sinking fund into savings. However, if the need arises, we know that we can always fall back on our sinking fund and that makes things a lot less stressful. 

The other thing I did this month was take a look and see how much debt we’ve actually knocked off since the beginning of our journey. Sometimes it is just hard to see how an extra couple hundred dollars here and there add up. This exercise really showed me how much those extra dollars and cents add up. Since we started in September, we’ve paid off over $13,000 in non-mortgage debt. Not too shabby! We haven’t been perfect, but even still, it is encouraging to see that our efforts are working, even if it doesn’t always seem that way.

June Projections

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Based on the projections, June is looking like it should be a good month. We are taking our savings one step further this month and will actually plan to transfer our projected surplus to savings at the beginning of the month. Hopefully this will help us stay on track for our budget.We know that July is going to be a very expensive month, so hopefully this will help us get a leg up on some of those expenses. We don’t have any major expenses planned for June – just a trip up to PA to visit the in-laws, a couple low-key get togethers with friends and LOTs of time at the pool with the family. Really looking forward to some relaxation and QT with the people I love the most – and the best part is, that doesn’t have to cost us a dime. 

How did you do in May? What things do you do to keep yourself motivated and stay on track after a big spend month?

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