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Thursday, December 2, 2010

november recap & december goals

November was a surprisingly good month for my budget but not such a great one for meeting goals.  I only overspent in two categories, and the money I saved in other areas more than made up for it.   I should note that my monthly budget does not include our Christmas budget, which we set up separately. 

Budget-wise, here is how I did for November (over budget categories are in red; under budget in green):

Groceries:  budgeted $350.00, spent $285.41
(I fully expected to go over in this category this month, considering that last November I think I spent close to$350 just buying my groceries for Thanksgiving dinner.)
Eating Out:  budgeted $150.00, spent $110.41
Gas & Automobile Expenses: budgeted $275.00, spent $266.49
(I finally managed to stay within budget on this category!)
Date Night/Entertainment:  budgeted $100.00, spent $156.51
(Honestly, I blew this category on the very last day of the month.  Knowing I had been very good all month, Husband and I splurged on a wonderful meal at a great restaurant.  It was worth every penny.)
Kids' Activities, Crafts, & Entertainment:  budgeted $75, spent $26.49
(I guess I wasn't a very fun mom this month.)
Home Decor & Organizing: budgeted $75, spent $24.27
Clothing: budgeted $100.00, spent $85.37
Gifts: budgeted $50.00, spent $34.62
Entertaining & Parties: budgeted $100.00, spent $56.86
(I finally managed to stay within budget on this category too!)
Babysitting: budgeted $150.00, spent $32.00
Blog Expenses: budgeted $150.00, spent $225.85
(Well I hope a few more of you start clicking those ads because right now I am definitely now in the hole as far as this little blog of mine is concerned!  The bulk of this was spent on accounting fees to set up Living Well, Spending Less, Inc. as a separate business.)
Misc.: budgeted $75.00, spent $46.99

That's a whole lotta green and I like it!

Total amount spent: $1,343.27
Total amount saved (from coupons, deals, & discounts): $1,548.53

Savings Goal: $175.00
Actual Money into Savings: $506.73

(Can I hear a woot woot?)

Goal-wise, I didn't even come close.  I'm starting to wonder why I even bother?  Here is how I did:

November Goals:

-get at least 60% of my Christmas shopping done
I don't know, this one could be close, but I still have a way to go.

-start working on creating a coupon class (both in-person and online)
My first coupon class has been scheduled for January and I haven't done a thing to start preparing for it.
  Guess I better get on that soon.

-clear out the armoire in the living room

-organize kitchen cabinets

-organize craft supplies
Not even a little bit.

-fill 10 Operation Christmas Child boxes
Yay!  As you all know, we did complete this one and I am SO glad we did.  

-have a fun, cozy, & relaxed Thanksgiving
It was perfect in every way.

And I thought it was a small list.  Sigh.  Well, for December I'm really paring it down. 

Here are my goals for this month:

-Make the big switch from blogspot to self-hosted (more on this later!)
-empty armoire & organize craft supplies
-finish christmas shopping
-mail gifts
-mail christmas cards
-throw a rockin’ christmas party
-have a fun & relaxing joy-filled christmas

What are your goals this month?

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  1. Wow... That was excellent!! How do you create your budget and break it off into so many different categories. budgeting is one BIG area I need help and a BIG goal for 2010. People often ask me how much I save on a monthly basis couponing and I can't give an answer. Great Job!!!

  2. To track my spending I created a budget spreadsheet for myself using Microsoft Excel. I first sat down with a piece of paper and listed all categories I could think of that I spend money on, then put them into place on the spreadsheet. When I buy something, I keep my receipt and put it in a special pile next to my desk. About once a week, I sit down with my receipts and log-in to my online checking and go through & add my expenses to my list for the month on the spreadsheet. I then use some simple excel formulas to add them up. It probably sounds more complicated than it is, and it is probably overkill, but it helps me stay on track & be aware of what I am spending, even for little things.

    I was thinking of doing some posts on budgeting in January, so let me know what other questions you have and I will see what I can come up with!

  3. Wow, you are really brave to post actual budget numbers! Good job staying under budget this month!

    -- Laura from Frugal Follies

  4. My goals...just to make it through December on what is left of my grocery budget. I somehow only have $99 left and it's the second. I overdid it in November! I think I have it under control though.

    Congrats to you and all you accomplished!

  5. CarliAlice--Hopefully if you overdid it in November you have a good stockpile to get you through the month! You may have to be a little stricter than usual on sticking to ONLY the best sale/coupon match-ups, but $99 is doable with a little creativity. Look for the money-maker deals especially to help you stretch your budget a little further. I don't know where you live, but there is a pretty good money maker on vitamins at Publix this week that shaved about $7 off my total! I just posted my shopping results with the coupon info. Good luck!

  6. I understand you use excel to keep track of your buget, do you find this easier than using a program like Microsoft Money or Mint? I am wondering because I am having the hardest time keeping track of everything and I am currently trying to use Mint!

  7. I find Excel easier than anything else, but that might just be because I am very familiar with it, having used it a lot for work in the past.

    I signed up for Mint because it seemed like a very cool program in theory, but in practice I found it very difficult and confusing to use. I use Excel but I have to do all my budgeting on my husband's computer (which is a pain) because I don't have Microsoft Office on my Mac, and I haven't figured out how to maneuver Numbers (the Mac equivalent of Excel.)

    I think to stick with it, you have to use what is easiest and makes the most sense for you (because everyone is different!)


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