The following is another update post from Some Art Teacher (aka Dee) from Losing Stuff Gaining Freedom. You can check out the original post about creating the $2000/month budget. It’s $2000 in expenses along with $1000 for savings and $200 savings for her car fund. She’s aiming to save $1000 per month as a public school teacher so she can afford to buy her own trailer in cash and have an emergency fund by August 2014.
Good morning, everyone!
This is Dee again reporting for your one month check in, budget paper in hand. If you remember, Crystal helped me create a budget. If I stick to it, I should be able to live off about $2000 a month and save the rest. I have been tracking, and I even sent in an update about half way through the last 30 days in hope of letting her know how great it was going, and as a thank you for helping me set all the numbers in place to reach my goals.
Well, here’s how the month turned out:
Budget Breakdown for the Month
I spent over what I budgeted in two areas – my miscellaneous account and my car insurance account. But the car insurance was only because I paid 6 months in advance to get a larger discount. My miscellaneous account is my pet peeve though. This month, I had to buy more medication than I was expecting, but there always seems to be something. It’s like my kryptonite. What accounts do you struggle with? What do y’all do when have surprise expenses? In my case, I used past money I had already earned but am hoping in the future to avoid that.
I was off on some of my budgeted amounts, which means that although I was okay for this month, future months could have issues. Like my electricity was over, so I can expect that to be much higher in the warmer months next year. But for this month, I was lucky enough to have some spare cash sitting around.
I also struggled with how often I should track my budget. How often do you financially savvy people track your actual budgets? Is that something that you choose to do daily or do you start to get a feel for it over time? I am using a tracking program on the phone that I enjoy, but not enough to use it daily. Is there ever a point where you reach that sense of knowing where you are at financially or do you all balance your books to find out?
Well, wish me luck as I enter month two. I intend to keep this budget up!
Crystal’s Note: Given the issues that Dee mentioned, here is what changes I would suggest as she enters month two…
What do you think? Have any answers for her questions? What accounts do you struggle with? What do you do when have surprise expenses? How often do you track your actual budgets – daily, monthly, etc.?