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January 2016 Results

February 8, 2016

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New year, new budget! My January 2016 budget results - check out how I did this month!

We are already over a month into the new year and I can’t believe it! I’m actually sitting in New Jersey right now writing this post and enjoying a little time away from the norm at home.

While tallying up my spending from January might not sound like a fun use of my time, I actually enjoy analyzing my budget and spending each month.

I honestly thought I did a better job keeping my spending under control in January, and while I did spend less overall than I did in December, the “unbudgeted” spending was actually higher than it was in December. 🙁

Something else I’m bringing away from this trip to New Jersey  is a bit of a re-fresher about how to be more frugal. I’ve spent the last few days visiting with Cat and her family and seeing their budgeting team work in action. I’m really hoping that Cat’s resolve to not go over budget will help me to do better about staying on track too.

Here’s how my budget ended up in January.

CategoryBudgeted AmountActualDifference
Saving$20.00$25.25-$5.25
Mortgage$852.13$850.63$1.50
City Bill$115.00$96.53$18.47
Gas Bill$44.31$44.31-
Cable$24.63$24.63-
Internet$49.95$49.95-
Phone$36.94$36.94-
Fuel$50.00$23.56$26.44
Auto Insurance$101.61$101.61-
Cleaning$90.00$90.00-
Cash Spending$310.00$275.73$34.27
Contacts$116.00$116.00-
Donations$83.00$83.00
Misc-$1,010.60-$1,010.60
Debt$779.50$969.50-$190.00
TOTAL$2,673.07$3,798.24-$1,125.17

I have been putting an extra $190 toward one of my credit cards every month in order to get it paid off before the 0% interest promo runs out in a few months. Even though I had a ton of unbudgeted spending in January, I’m glad that I at least made that milestone so I can avoid paying more interest on that debt balance.

How was your January?

New year, new budget! My January 2016 budget results - check out how I did this month!

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12 responses to “January 2016 Results

  1. I too enjoy sitting down once a month to check out my finances and set my budget up for the next month. It gives me a sense of security. I know what I will be spending so I don’t worry all month if I’ll be over the budget. I think everyone’s problem with budgets is that it takes too much time to figure out, but a few minutes each month is really all it takes.

    1. I totally agree! If nothing else, having a budget helps me to at least kind of know what I’ll be spending in the next month.

  2. $190 extra a month is a big deal. Every little bit counts! Life definitely can throw a wrench in everyone’s plans, but I think you’re doing well. And constantly learning is part of life right? 😉

  3. I must confess that I go through periods when I’m on my budget like it’s Donkey Kong and other times I get a little lax. Some days it just feels like it’s not worth the effort, until I take a closer look at the numbers and see that I’m spending much more than I thought. And getting more mindless about my spending. I am 100% for enjoying your money, but I’m becoming more and more aware that you can never really stop paying attention. Or that if you do stop, you might not end up with enough to do things you really wanted because you spent it on dumb stuff. Glad you’re having a good time in New Jersey!

    1. Hey Tanya, I totally get what you mean. I have been a little lax with my spending, thus why I went over budget so much. I guess I just don’t realize how those purchases add up. I’m really trying to do better about it this month.

  4. Hi Kayla – I’ve worked my way through your blog, thanks so much for sharing, and congratulations on the massive changes you’ve achieved. I’ve just begun budgeting again after about 10 years or so of relaxing. As a natural saver, I have to say that January was a big shock for me. We are spending a lot more than I thought we were! But… that’s why you budget and record, because those beautiful digits take the tough love approach for your own good. As much as I’d like to jump on the frugality bandwagon, it’s not the right approach for us at this point. I’m going to keep recording for a couple of months, and then see where we can begin to cut back.

    1. That’s a great strategy! I tracked my spending for about 3 months before I made my first budget, but even then it was difficult to get used to more limited spending with my budget. It’s more of a struggle some months than others.

  5. I get paid mid-month, so we’re still waiting to see exactly how things shook down.

    It seems like unbudgeted expenses *always* exceed expectations. Not in a good way. Good for you for still putting extra against your cards!

    1. Thanks Kalie! It is nice that I’m making enough extra to cover those expenses, but I know I really need to be putting the “extra” toward debt and savings.

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