January in Review...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Given that I've never actually followed a budget for an entire month before, I think I did pretty well. This was the budget that I laid out:

  • Savings: $1,400 (Done!)
  • Emergency Fund: $150 (Done!)
  • Food: $250 (My total ended up being $374. Ouch.)
  • Transporation: $100 (This went over budget slightly at $125, but the extra money I spent will save me $75 a month until April.)
  • Cell Phone: $45 (Just under at $40 even).
  • Clothing: $150 ($146.98 - this would've been over if I hadn't had a gift certificate.)
  • Entertainment: $50 (Shorted out at only $10 - apparently i'm not entertained!)
  • Books + Mags: $50 (A big fat nothing!)
  • Technology: $100 (This was waaaaay over budget at $358.49 - although most of that was the purchase of a new Wii, which I am selling to a friend...)
  • Toiletries: $50 (Another big fat zero! I'm actually impressed with this. I am a huge toiletry/bath product nerd.)
  • Misc: $150 (This was also over budget at $226.40 - this was due to some remnant xmas gifts and a couple special-people birthdays.)

I'm amazed at how having a budget really makes you think about what you are spending your money on. Yikes!

Overall, I'm pleased. I did some good work and didn't shop nearly as often as I wanted/usually do. I really only make a couple big-ticket purchases (that i'm keeping), and only made them after much deliberation.

Okay, onto the next item...

So, since January 1st, I have contributed $2,400 to my savings account ($1,000 of that was made on the first before said budget was created) and another $400 to my Emergency Fund (which right now, I am using as my plane-ticket-to-london fund.)

I have contributed $990 to my "London Fund". My savings account is my practical London-Fund, to spend on things like rent and food and such, while this "London Fund" is more, ahem, "Fun Money". Things like tickets to fly home to visit people, or take mini-trips when people come to see me, as, right now, I really don't know what kind of money I'm going to be making over there.

I just realized I'm also going to have to save for my Working Holiday Maker VISA. Bah, there's another $470 I'm going to have to work in. Hmmmm.

I have tweaked the budget a little bit for February, allowing a little more in food-spending and taking away some other areas, such as transportation and such.

So, my goals for February:

Contribute as much as possible to savings.

  1. Start a new fund for my VISA
  2. Get the London-Fun-Fund to $2,000
  3. Keep up with my laundry. (Not everything is $$$ related!)
  4. Get at least 7 hours of sleep. (My New Year's Resolution was to get at least 6, but I have readily found out that 6 is not nearly enough. Let's try 7!).

Hope everyone's January's were as promising as mine!