April 2012 Spending Plan: Conclusion

At the end of March (holy cow was that awhile ago!), I shared my April spending plan with you guys. Vicky has also shared the results of her April spending plan.

You know what? April was a pretty boring month, spending wise. Well, other than the fact that I paid four months of electricity, what with that whole moving thing. There were no travel expenses, no infrequent expenses.

All of the monthly expenses came and went. My Comcast bill was a bit under than the budgeted amount since I returned my modem, so I adjusted my May budget down to even that out.

I finally paid my winter electricity bill, which added up to quite a bit, but I had it mostly covered.

I bought a new pair of skinny jeans! I absolutely love them. They don’t stretch at all :D

I also ended up buying those brown Naturalizer flats and I really like them. If in another few weeks, I feel like I’ve broken them in and they’re awesome, I will consider buying another pair so I have three pairs of flats.

My entertainment spending came in at $238.36, almost perfectly under the planned amount of $250 for the first time in months! That felt good.

My food spending was actually not bad either:

  • Dining Out: $32.79
  • Groceries: $130.30
  • Lunches: $165.03

If you look at my food spending for the last few months, my groceries spending went up a lot. My eating out with friends (included in entertainment) has gone down significantly. I don’t remember the last month that I spent that little on dining out either :) Honestly, I doubt my food spending went down by more than $50-100, but I felt a lot happier about it this month. Perhaps that was also related to having fewer commitments and making more time for myself though…

I feel like the direct deposit experiment was a good idea. $3,800 was direct deposited into my checking account to cover my full spending plan for May. The rest of my paycheck after my 401(k) contributions went to my down payment savings account. That definitely makes me feel more like the rest of my paycheck *has* to be saved, since I now have to go to the online thing to change that number if I want to spend more money.

There actually was no “extra” money left in my checking account at the end of the month, so I didn’t save any more than what came from my paycheck. I think I might actually use the “extra” month each month to pull the travel budget in closer from the end of the year.

Below are some screenshots from my spreadsheet of the final spending plan with the amounts I spent filled in. You can click on the images to see their full versions.

 

Anyway, I hope that my spending plan provided some insight for y’all readers. I don’t think that I will do this publicly again, but I do privately journal about my spending at the end of each month.

Readers, how was your April?

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7 thoughts on “April 2012 Spending Plan: Conclusion

    • You might call this cheating, but I have several categories of eating out:
      1) Dining Out = by myself because I’m too lazy to cook
      2) Lunches = work lunches out with coworkers/friends/by myself/whatever
      3) Social eating falls into the Entertainment category. This is generally the highest line item in the Entertainment category, but it’s a bit fuzzy since sometimes cash is used for social eating too. That line item was $144.43 in April, so my total eating out was really $144.43 + $32.79 + $165.03 = $342.25, but that’s not how I see it in my head.

    • But the food line item that I want to get the lowest is Dining Out since the other ones are generally far more enjoyable :)

        • I started splitting it up because I made a conscious decision to eat out for lunch, but eating out for dinner doesn’t make me happier. Plus, budgeting for lunches out is pretty easy. Social eating on the other hand, is super variable… It does make up the majority of my Entertainment category many months.

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