December 2009 budget

January 17, 2010 at 8:37 am (budget)

December was a bit of a mess. Lots of bills came due, including that November car breakdown and my ballooned first rent payment with half my deposit and half my last month’s rent. Plus, it was christmas, so I had a lot of payments that came due. The real reason it was a mess was that much of my money was spent as cash. I don’t have a system set up to handle recording cash payments, since I never use them!

So I’m going to wash my hands of December, since a lot of payments were unrecorded, and there was a lot of activity of “borrowing” from my emergency fund to pay for basic bills, then paying it back when I got paid later on by J, my little bonus, and my second paycheck. This problem won’t exist anymore now that I’ve opened up my multiple savings accounts on BECU – I’ll be able to withdraw electronically and easily, and track it all at the same time.

I won’t be publishing the full budget, but I’ll give some highlights below:

My food spending was a little out of control. This was attributable to buying a little bit more for xmas – I bought an expensive ham with some fixin’s for one big meal. I also spent a good chunk on some wine, had to buy quite a few bottles to get the case discounts, and I overindulged during most of the month on wine everytime I went to the supermarket, so my $411 supermarket spending actually included about $75-100 in wine, I’m guessing. My restaurant spending on the other hand, was excellent, $40 under. I’ve been getting much better about not going out to eat since moving into my new place (which I enjoy staying in at!).

I’ve also been extremely good with my coffee spending habits. I did purchase a $20 pre-paid card at the local coffee hacienda by work (since I hate going there and having him put my drip coffee through the credit machine – I know that’s expensive to a small business, so I thought I’d buy a bunch “all at once” and save him some fees). But I’m still under my coffee spending, which means I did exceptionally well in December! January looks like a continuation of this trend. I don’t know why, but I have been diligent about making coffee at home before going to work, and when I’m out, I rarely get a second coffee anymore, nor have an urge for an extremely large overdone coffee concoction at Starbucks (yummy as they are). I haven’t been denying myself or stopping myself, I just haven’t been buying any!

My liquor spending (in which wine is not included, since I buy that with my other groceries) was a little over, and I’ll have a big jump in January, since I bought a bunch of cocktail fixings in December which I put on my credit card, so they’ll be showing up a month late.

My gifts category is the biggest mess – I bought some online and paid with my credit card (always fully paid off as usual), and quite a bit I paid in cash, since I had my xmas fund savings at home. I didn’t include that spending, again, since a lot of it was in cash. Bad, debtmaven, bad! I promise I’ll set a better example next year!!!

And this is the month that I splurged $304 on a pair of ceramic figures from my absolute favorite artist in the entire world (my biggest downfall). I also bought something I’ve wanted for a few years now, a 5.5 quart le creuset enamaled pot that was $75 off any other available price (they *never* go on sale, EVER!), for $155+tax. I do not regret this purchase – it has made french onion soup, marmalade, and onion confit already. This is an absolute requirement for anyone that likes to cook!!!!!!

I received a small honorary $300 bonus at work (since we didn’t meet our targets for the year, our larger/real bonus did not materialize), and I managed to pay $553 extra on debt, beyond the minimum payments.

Overall: I cleaned out a lot of my cash mini-savings this month due to car spending and gift giving. I dipped into my EF a bit to cover some big bills, then paid a bunch of it back, but some of it was used up for unexpected bills like my car and big security deposits. I indulged quite a bit on myself, but am reining this in quite a bit in January. It was a crazy month, but it’s getting back to normal now that it’s January and the holidays and the frenzy is over. Time to switch over completely to BECU with my checking account next week. I’ll also be building up my EF back to $1000 and being diligent about saving in my mini-funds.


1 Comment

  1. jpkittie said,

    You are not alone at all with December — it was a tough one for us as well – this is a new month & new year… hope you are on track so far with January!

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