June seems, looking at my budget sheet, like it is the month of being in the red. We actually didn’t end up in the red for the month – we still spent less than we earned – but we have slightly less left at the end for debt reduction than I forecasted based on my snowflake earnings. Two columns in my budget are significantly in the red – the groceries and gasoline. The price of gasoline just keeps going up so I know why that is, but I was surprised by the groceries. it always seemed like I was coming in very close to budget every week so how could I have spent $124 more this month than I budgeted? When digging into the numbers, I figured it out – I did go spend $30 on a huge chicken sale, which was part of it, but the other culprits were my medical procedures, and in the case of my wisdom teeth, not planning well in advance. First I had my wisdom teeth out, and instead of planning ahead and buying myself soft foods for after, I sent my spouse out to get me things, and he spent a lot more than I bargained for. I’m not at all irritated by his doing so – I should have bought in advance and planned better. Then, for my colonoscopy, I had to buy several medications beforehand and I bought them out of my grocery budget because they were over the counter medicines (over the counter meds come out of my grocery budget usually). I also bought a number of clear fluids to entertain myself with since that was all I was going to be able to eat for a whole day. Usually I would just drink water for liquid, so that added some cost. I didn’t eat any solid food, but I bought a lot of white grape juice and popsicles and vegetable broth.
This doesn’t completely explain being so far over budget but it does explain a good portion of it. My son’s birthday was also in June and the ice cream and other party supplies for his little celebration also came from the grocery budget, so that’s another factor. Regardless, July is going to be the month I spend less than my budget on groceries. Or, failing that, I am going to keep a much tighter reign on the groceries and keep myself as close to budget as possible. I know the cost of groceries has gone up in general, but I haven’t really sat down and crunched all the numbers to see how much of that is the cause of my overspending last month versus just poor planning.
All in all – taking our June income and subtracting from it everything we spent or moved into savings, we have $533.37 left over as our initial surplus. Subtract from that $132.50 budgeted for irregular expenses that carries over into next month, and we have $400.87 left as our actual surplus. I forecasted we should have $439.93 left for snowflaking to the student loan, so I came close but I am disappointed we didn’t hit that mark. Even with going significantly over budget in groceries and gasoline, we did manage to come close to breaking even, and that is due to both some performance bonuses for me at work as well as our utilities bill being almost $100 under budget. I am going to take the extra $39 from our July utilities budget, which I also anticipate to be under budget this month, and still apply the full $439.93 to my spouse’s student loan along with our $437.59 budgeted minimum payment in a few weeks. Hopefully I will have some blog income and survey payouts to add to that and hit my $1000/month goal.
Our emergency savings account now stands at $1753.24. I have paid for the wisdom teeth removal but not yet for the colonoscopy. Hopefully our portion (which will be 30% of the negotiated cost from the insurance company) will be less than $750. Because everything medically checked out fine, I haven’t decided what we’re going to do about the emergency fund. $1000 will definitely stay put there, but whatever over that remains, I may put towards debt elimination, or I may just keep it in the emergency fund as an extra buffer. I’m not sure. For July’s snowflakes, I am shifting back to debt elimination mode, and all my snowflake earnings will go directly to debt versus split 50/50 with savings. This should help knock down the student loan significantly this month – it would be nice to get it to under $5000. And get our percentage of debt paid off to 50% would be amazing. We’d have to pay about $1800-$2000 to debt this month to do those things, which I think is not completely likely but definitely possible. Next week I’ll have gotten some earnings and maybe made some payments so we’ll see where things stand then.