March 2014 Update: Dinner is Done

Well, I finally did it yall.  I beat the Food budget.  In February, including all drinks, meals, groceries, snacks, everything I ingested the entire month, I only spent $518.  That’s a whopping $82 under my budget of $600.  I’ve had some people comment on here in the past saying my $600 budget seems really easy to stick to.  If this is true for you, I’d really like to see your numbers, cause I’ve got a thing or two to learn from you.  I suppose the big difference for me is I travel a lot so getting groceries (which is a much cheaper and most likely healthier way to eat) is not an option.  I have to eat out a lot, so that kicks up the costs.  How much do you spend per month on all ingested items?  I say “all ingested items” cause I’ve noticed some people categorize eating out as an “Entertainment” expense rather than a “Food” expense.

I have a new budget plan, but first, here’s the numbers:


The Good

IMG_8523Kicking up the Emergency Fund faster than ever.  I need to get that sucker done and stop worrying about it.  Real estate account is up from last month, but that’s mostly because of many late payments finally getting in this month.  Still a lot more to go.  Most likely, I will be evicting a tenant which leaves me out $1600.  :(  I guess that goes under bad news.

The overall worth of my properties went up, the Muffin House going up significantly.  I put in my $5,500 donation into my ROTH IRA, so that’s up significantly.  I also took the rest that was in the Investment account, and moved it over to pay off a student loan, woot!  Three more to go!

Overall, a good month for net worth growth.

The Bad

IMG_8367Checking went down last month.  As well as I did on the food budget, still went over the overall budget by $650.  Investment Fund is obviously down but that’s not all bad since it went to all good things: contributing to the ROTH IRA and paying of a student loan.  Even though the overall worth of my props has gone up, the Rainbow house value went way down.  This is discouraging to me because that is the house where I’m having all the late payment issues.

The other bad news is my weight gain.  It was mardi gras this last weekend and some friends and I went to Galveston and then to New Orleans!  Fun trips but ate waaay too much, especially on those long drives.  So I gained 7 pounds and some extra body fat.

The New Budget

IMG_8418I’ve been using a new spreadsheet I created to help people work up a simple budget on their own.  Here is the Easy Budgeting Spreadsheet.  Let me know what you think of it and if you have questions.  People have said they’ve found it very quick and helpful.

I devised this simple sheet when putting my own budget together and came up with some new numbers, particularly having to do with my monthly auto drafts into my three savings accounts.  Instead of only contributing 25% of my monthly income to savings, I’m going for 30% but not an even distribution.  Here’s my monthly contributions now:

Emergency Fund:  15%  $515  need this to be better faster
Investment Fund:  9%   $310
Fun Fund:                6%   $200 been going on too many trips lately, need to tone it down

So that’s my leveling up process going forward.  I am also starting a cleanse today which will help with the weight issues.  As much fun as it sounds like I’m having, I’ve been a little in the dumps lately because of other worries, so hopefully March will prove to be a better month.  Plus, need to do my tax return!

Comment below if you want to help pick up my spirits.  Just answering a question makes me feel better. :)





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