Sunday, April 6, 2008

March Budget Update

I'm going to continue to share my monthly budgets as I get used to the budgeting process and learn about potential pitfalls or tips that might be of interest to others. Again - if you're interested in a budget template, I'm finding that this one works pretty well for me. Feel free to shoot me an email or leave a comment. At some point I may stop once it becomes routine and/or uninteresting or useful, but for now I'll keep going. It helps me, at any rate.

This month was a mixed bag for me. I had a sizable chunk of extra income on the positive side, but I ended up going over budget significantly in several categories.

I was able to save a good portion of my money (slightly higher than my normal budgeted amount of 25.15%) but I should have saved even more. My utility budget was almost spot on, being just $13.36 over (and thank God we are on the tail end of winter here! low electric bills for the next few months until the AC needs to be turned on...). Slightly over in my Grocery budget, by $20.73, but this included a relatively pricey meal I cooked for a friend. Personal/Health was fine - over by $16.55 but that included a haircut. What killed me was Dining Out and Entertainment/Luxury.

Now, on the one hand, I had a few special occasions that warranted some extra spending. Namely - my best friend in town from England for a weekend and four birthday celebrations, including my boss, my Mom, and a good friend and her fiancé's co-birthday. I ended up spending more on these than I should have, but I don't feel altogether that bad about it. I had fun spending time with important people and I was still able to manage an overall increase in my assets for the month.

So still a positive month for savings and retirement. I didn't save as much as I could have, but it was enjoyable, productive, and fulfilling in a lot of ways. I also learned an important lesson about snowflaking.

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