Thursday, May 8, 2008

April Budget Report

April was the first month since I've been budgeting that I blew my budget by a significant margin. Because of this I didn't save nearly as much as I should have, despite the numbers in the Saving column. I only saved $250 of my normal income, with an additional $400 coming from my aunt expressly for my trip in June. While this certainly helps with the Travel Fund, I was hoping to put more money in there and more money in my IRA as well.

I could offer up excuses, but mainly I just chose to spend more than I should've, and dipped into money that I had earmarked as untouchable. One positive is that our electric bill was very low, so I actually ended up with a small surplus in the Rent/Utilities budget. I couldn't resist Dining Out more than I should have. Miscellaneous was a big overexpenditure, but I don't mind having spent more there because it included a $75 passport renewal fee, nearly $100 in gifts for very important people, and a $27.80 registration fee for a race at the end of June. What really killed me was the Entertainment/Luxury category. I dropped almost $200 on my first Red Sox game of the season (including pre- and post-game bar tabs). But I took my brother and it was my first game of the season. Need to get my Sox fix! Add to that more going out and casual booze spending and I ended up almost $350 over budget.

So on the one hand, not a good month. Not at all - especially contrasted with the previous three. However, I was able to contribute $200 to my IRA for 2007 before 4/15 as well as my automatic $50 savings in my TD Ameritrade account.

A bit of a wake-up call. I was conscious of some of this overspending, but I think I got lulled into a bit of security by my improving financial status since January and fell back into old habits. This month I plan on being far more disciplined, helped in part by a lack of temptations. A large part of my second paycheck will be shoved into my Travel Fund, and I should be in good shape to tackle Ireland & England next month.

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