It’s done! Month 1! Woot woot. Yesterday, I tallied up all of my expenses for the month and compared it to my budget, and definitely learned a few things…
- I spend a lot of money on food. Like, almost as much as I spend on all of my housing costs. In January, I spent $562 on rent and utilities (yay for 3 roommates). I also spent $525 on food! How?! Even with my once-weekly(ish) takeout! I was really surprised by this, and my goal for February is to cut takeout costs by $50, because even though I only ordered once a week, it was still costing about $40 each time. That adds up real quick, fam. My second goal is to get back to Aldi for groceries, rather than using Cub. Tbh I don’t even go to the grocery store anymore (thanks, Mom’s Instacart account), so it’s really easy to make a list and stick to it. The issue is, we often shop from Cub because they have everything, but Aldi is so much cheaper and has almost everything. Time to get a lil more frugal in that department.
- I need to plan better for big costs. Now, I’ve already gone over this, but it cost over $500 to get our dog, Rudy, neutered. Jason and I went halfsies so my cost was just $250, but I really only budgeted $100 for that whole mess. Also, while Jason and I had been discussing a trip to Miami, I did not anticipate pulling the trigger on that yet and didn’t budget for it. It ended up being fairly spontaneous, because flights just happened to be ridiculously cheap and a bargain’s a bargain. Then I booked an airbnb and paid for half up front, so there went another $250. These big costs ate away at my budget, so the numbers looked pretty bleak by the end. My total budget for the month added up to $1,944. Total expenses? $2,763. Ouch.
- But wait, there’s good news, too! I put a full %20 of my net income into savings this month! That’s over $500! To give you some perspective here, I’ve never had more than $0.00 in my savings account at any given time. Ever. This is a big deal for me y’all. Also, I tracked every single expense by hand this month, which I’ve also never done before. The simple task of taking a minute to handwrite where my money was going was a mindful moment each day. AND I only bought the one clothing item I budgeted for! No clothes, makeup/nail stuff, no random crap from Target. So I’mma call this month a win and do a better job of budgeting in February!