The first month of my new budget plan and spend tracking is complete and I think I did ok overall. I did lose track of about $50 somehow, but I still did much better at tracking my overall spending (including my “extra” income) than I ever did in 2014. Tracking my total spending and having an accountability partner with at least a weekly check-in helped me to put extra to my debt above my budgeted amount and successfully pay off one of my credit cards about 2 months ahead of schedule.
- Increase emergency fund savings account to $1,500. – Pass – I increased my emergency fund by $36.17 in January. This is less than my monthly target of $83.33, but I am confident I’ll be able to make this up in future months with extra income.
- Demolish $5,000 worth of debt (principal). This works out to $416.67/month. ($5,000 goal includes mortgage debt pay down.) – Pass – I paid down $554.79 (including my mortgage), which puts me $138.12 ahead of schedule. (I paid off even more than this since I paid off my CC, but it wasn’t reflected on my 1/31/2015 debt balances yet, so this will show up in February’s results.)
- This also includes paying off my 0% interest promotion for my computer by October 2015.
- Paint and prep home office by April 13. (My birthday!) MUST BE USABLE BY THIS TIME! – Pass – It’s not complete, but I did a lot of work to my home office in January. I still have to get a new computer chair, order a blind for the window, and order a glass to put on the top of my desk (to prevent scratches). I’ve made more progress since this last post, so I hope to give you a final look at my office soon!
- Attend FinCon15 and pay for everything in cash! – Pass – I continued to save money for my trip to FinCon15 and I just bought my ticket when they went on sale Monday!
- Quit my full-time job by December 31,2015 to freelance full-time. (I may pick up some additional hours at my part-time job to help make ends meet for a while.) – Pass – I guess this is a pass since I’m still working hard on freelancing and putting money toward debt and savings.
- Limit spending on clothing, shoes, and accessories to $500 for the whole year! – Pass – I spent only $25.99 on clothes in January (some undergarments and socks). I still have $474.01 remaining for clothes, shoes, and accessories in 2015.
- Get rid of more books throughout the year than I get. – Pass? – I didn’t get rid of any books in January, but when I was putting things away in my home office I filled an entire box with books that I’m going to be getting rid of soon. I didn’t get any new books in January either. 🙂
12/31/2014 – $133,806.54 (including mortgage)
$17,560.79 (w/o mortgage)
1/31/2015 – $133,251.75 (including mortgage)
$17,219.51 (w/o mortgage)
Difference – -$554.79 including mortgage
-$341.28 w/o mortgage
12/31/2014 – $473.85
1/31/2015 – $510.02
Difference – $36.17 Increase
|Category||Budgeted Amount||Actual||Difference||Carry Over Cash|
|Clothes and Hair||$80.00||$120.99||$-40.99||$0.00|
|BFF Trip-->Office Project||$150.00||$174.04||$-24.04||$0.00|
|Money I Owed Brother||$0.00||$70.07||$-70.07||$0.00|
|I LOST THIS MONEY||$0.00||$55.66||$-55.66||$0.00|
One thing I wanted to do this year is cancel my TV subscription. I called to make this happen in January and was informed that I’d have to pay a $150 early termination fee to cancel before June. Instead, they lowered my rate from about $60/month to about $35-40/month. My cable category has a surplus because this change went into effect mid-billing period and was pro-rated on my January bill. I’m not exactly sure what my figure for cable will be for February-June yet since it was pro-rated and the price they quoted me on the phone didn’t include taxes, thus I left my February budget at $86 though it will probably be at least $20 lower than this. I will still be cancelling my TV subscription after my contract is up in June.
I was able to only fill up once in January which essentially cut my gas bill in half. I still budgeted $60 for February because I anticipate driving a bit more this month.
I did go over budget on my clothes and hair category. $25.99 of this is the purchase of undergarments and socks I made and the remaining $95 was spent getting my hair cut and colored. I hadn’t gotten my hair done since Thanksgiving and it was desperately needing it. I am working on changing my hair color back to something very close to my natural color so I can go longer between colorings so save a little money. Currently my hair is MUCH darker than my natural color, so it will take a couple more appointments before that color is all grown out and cut off.
My worst category in January was my “personal” money. I spent $168.50 on eating out and entertainment. I went to the movies once and the rest of it is pretty much going out to eat. 🙁 I did increase my budget to $50 in February and I’m trying to keep this area under better control. We’ll see what happens.
I put an extra $100 toward debt in January (not counting my final small payment to pay off CC#6, this will be reflected on February’s report since it didn’t go through my account until Monday).
One day I got notification that my Amazon order had shipped and I couldn’t think of what I had ordered. Turns out the pre-order I placed almost a year ago for a video game for my brother was finally complete. I totally forgot about this purchase in my original budget.
Despite my best efforts, I lost track of about $55 in January. I will try to do better in February.
On the income side of things, I brought in an extra $223.29 above my budget projections at the beginning of January! I’ll tell you more about this in my January Online Income Report next week.
How did your January 2015 results turn out?