I'm Saving for…

What paying bills is like for me…
And you'll notice that these aren't even American coins!

The last time I did a budget update (aside from the big new year's budget update) was May 2016.


Do you know how much has happened since May of 2016?

+ We went on a road trip from Charleston, SC to Asheville, NC.
+ Then, we celebrated July 4th in New York City!
+ I loved exploring Brittany, France for my birthday and being in Paris for July 14th!
+ August was filled with beaches: first at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina with family, then at Clearwater Beach in Florida with friends.
+ We loved the road trip concept so much that we decided to check out the small towns near Callaway Gardens before heading east toward Savannah for our nephew's birthday.
+ There were a few trips to Asheville, NC thrown in where we went to see the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway when it was at its peak in colorful leaves.
+ Finally, we went to Canada following Christmas and Hawai'i for Valentine's Day.

Busy 10 months, right?

Anyway, here's looking at how all of that affected us…


So, five out of six months we've done absolutely horrendous at sticking to a budget AND spending less than we did the year before (green = this year; yellow = last). I am a bit surprised to see that December spending wasn't quite as bad as I expected, but all of the other months we went on big trips, specifically July and February look awful. And with regards to February, that was WITH me trying to balance out the spending for Hawai'i in the months before.

With the categories, you can see where our money is going. The big one being food. This includes groceries, restaurants, food eaten while traveling, drinks from bars, etc, etc… The next big category being travel. Because travel. #I'mAddicted

Over the next year, we expect to see auto and transport expenses go down since we are no longer paying for insurance on one of our three cars … or any expenses brought on by that third car, which kept breaking down on us … (We sold it!)

…and we are expecting to see our 'bills and utilities' expenses go up since we have one new bill. Argh. (Donations will probably go up in expense as well.)

Maybe I can continue to keep shopping to a minimum? I don't wear half of what is in my closet anyway and given our current circumstances, it's not like we need anything extra for the home.…

Let me break down a few additional categories for you:
+ Financial = life insurance for Justin (mine is separate).
+ Personal care = hair cuts, nail salons, etc…
+ Fees and Charges = charges for owning a credit card, nothing additional (like interest being charged or fees for bounced checks)
+ Uncategorized = money we've taken out of ATMs; usually spent on things like food, tips, or other various small expenses

MONTHLY NET INCOME (Are we spending more than we are making?):

Compared to last year's net income monthly average, we are saving approximately $541 now than we did then. In fact, last year we were barely staying above "water" compared to this year. So yay for that! :) I'll take any little bit of financial improvement.


• Net worth: -$55,000 (So don't sue us.)
• Nov. 2017 credit card payoff date
• May 2021 student loan payoff date
• Jun 2019 car loan payoff date
• Emergency Fund: $9,342 of $12,000 goal
• Retirement: $20,000


While I know that absolutely none of my readers are interested in my finances, I appreciate you reading to the end (or skipping to the end). Seriously, it helps me to write posts like this so that I can stay accountable. (Because, you guys, I suck at finances. I think there is a reason I'm not a banker, an investor, or anything of that nature. I just spend and spend and spend…)

So, tips and tricks anyone? I know there is Dave Ramsey and the envelope method, but are there any apps out there to help conquer budgeting? Any mind tricks that encourage you to save more and spend less? Please share! Don't leave me in the dark! I really do need to get better at this! :)

* the reason for this post? #30lists. I mean dang it! I thought I had given up on being financially accountable. I was living the good life for a few months! Oh yeah, and in case it wasn't clear: we are saving for retirement, saving in an emergency fund, attempting to pay down debt, and … traveling when I see fit. :) Because #addiction.

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