January 2009 budget – Part II

February 3, 2009 at 4:45 pm (budget) (, , , )

Before I get into how badly I’ve done this month, I will start by stating that this is the first month I have tried to bring lunch on a regular basis. I’m also still trying to work out splitting expenses with my bf, and there are constant struggles with *that*. I’m still making this budget thing work, and I’ve still got some tinkering to do.

 

So how did I do? Well, I’m over on my restaurant spending! A few things about this. I did go out to lunch a few times at work when I should have been bringing food instead. I worked mega-overtime, which put a huge crimp on having time to cook, or make leftovers for lunch, or even shop as often as I should have; instead I shopped when I desperately need food and bought higher-priced items more often than one scheduled and planned big weekly shopping trip. I also had a nice expensive (budgetarily speaking) sushi dinner. I got sake and beer and ate my fill ($36 tab). Yum. I had needed a nice meal. Overall, $20 over isn’t too bad.

 

I do feel like my food spending was a little out of control. I had originally set it at $350 and the next month tried to do $300 but failed. I still think that’s quite high for a single person’s food intake, and it’s something I struggle with every week. Part of the issue is constantly shopping more for food than my bf, and not getting reimbursed for his half of the food. We’ve sortof made up for that by having him buy other things (like pet food for most of the month, and he bought a bottle of my favorite liquor). The other contributor to my large food spending was the frequent purchasing of wine – I drank a bit more than usual. What is it about working too much, being tired and stressed, and wanting to drink more to relax?

 

I’m going to try to slow down on buying wine – I definitely drink less than half of what we purchase, and often buy it when requested. Either the bf should buy more of the wine, or we should do a run to Trader Joes and buy a case of the really cheap $3.50/bottle instead of the $6-7 bottles we typically get. It’s amazing what you can get used to over time. Cheap wine goes down more easily than you’d expect, once you pick the better $3-4 bottles. It’s not 92 wine spectator point wine, but it’s definitely drinkable. And if it’s a choice between none or a cheap bottle, which would you choose?

 

I do have to say I really really really need to keep on top of tracking our split expenses (ie, food!) for when one or the other of us buy things solo. We have a chalkboard I painted in our apartment, and we’ve discussed keeping track of everything and settling up weekly on the weekend. We’ll see how it goes for February; this should help alleviate the stress of me overspending, and my budget should then be a lot more accurate.

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2 Comments

  1. Miss M said,

    Mr M and I just split the grocery costs 50-50, I used to break down the receipt by mine, his and ours…ugh. After doing that for years I soon realized that he usually put more stuff in the basket but my items each cost more. I pay for the groceries and add half to his tab for rent and bills. We have separate finances obviously, some day we’ll combine. Some day.

    For work lunches I often bring a frozen meal from Trader Joes or something like a Marie Callendars or Stouffers frozen entree. Not as frugal as bringing in leftovers but cheaper (and healthier) than eating out. A lot of people knock them as being too expensive, well I think they fit in just fine with a frugal working girl lifestyle. Not all of us are SAHM. One other thing I do is make the big meal/dish for leftovers on Sunday when I have some time. Freeze it for later dinners or work lunches.

  2. Chuck said,

    Eating out has been my budgets achilles’ heel. I have the same problem where I want to avoid it… but then my wife and I work late so neither of us feel like cooking. Old habits die hard I guess.

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