With all the excitement around here I hadn’t gotten to talking about how we did with our finances in December. We did very well actually, we had a *lot* of snowflakes (including my spouse’s windfall early in the month, some money for Christmas, and an unexpected property tax refund) and we managed to stay within our overall budget. The actual “income” and “expenses” figures don’t really make much sense because they are both artificially inflated by the unexpected money we received, but the relevant numbers are here:
- “Income” minus “Expenses” leaves: $317.88 (all of this will be applied to our car repair)
- Amount snowflaked to debt: $2769.03
- Total amount paid to debt: $3579.44
We again spent less than we earned – hurrah! Those debt numbers will probably not be repeated anytime soon unless something unexpected happens (which seems to happen a lot here – in both directions) but they felt great to achieve for a month anyway. I include any money coming in as “income” and any money going out as “expenses” for simplicity sake, but sometimes the money comes in from or goes into savings which isn’t really income or an expense. I have to keep things simple or my head explodes.
Usually I carry over a portion of last month’s surplus to cover irregular expenses in the next month and then snowflake the remainder to debt. But this month we have the huge car repair and I am trying to make as little of that car repair become “debt” as possible, so everything will be paid to the repair. I’ve created a new improved budget for 2008 and I’ll start carrying over money in irregular categories at the end of January.
The monthly wrapups starting in January will also include an emergency fund status report – we’ve had to empty out our emergency fund to pay for the car repair, so I want to monitor it until it returns to $1000 as well as monitoring debt payoff. Most of the snowflaking in the future will go to either the car repair debt or the emergency fund until the status quo is restored.
On to 2008! It has got to get better than it started.