Monthly Financial Update: August 2019

In December, when reviewing my finances for 2018, I mentioned my desire to look at them on a monthly basis in 2019. Justin and I spent a little too much in 2018 and let our finances get the best of us. Maybe by looking at our finances monthly (and let you guys/gals keep me in check), we will do better this year.

That's the goal anyway.

Here's month #8:


green = this year, yellow = last year

Last Year:
• We spent more on everything except…
• we spent less on uncategorized expenses. (And I don't even know what they were!)

dotted line = last month, green line = this month

Last Month:
• We spent more on everything except…
• We spent less on fees (yearly fee for Capital One Venture).

Where We Spent Our Money:

Top 10 Merchants:
1. Electricity
2. Anthropologie (2 dresses)
3. Starbucks
4. Embassy Suites
5. RaceTrac (gas)
6. Kroger
7. City Farmer's Market
8. Free People (2 dresses)
9. Amazon (2 books for French class, champagne flutes, headphones)
10. Destin Ice Market (wine, meat, bread)

Top 10 Categories:
1. Food & Dining
2. Auto & Transport
3. Shopping (clothes, books, headphones, champagne flutes)
4. Bills & Utilities
5. Travel (hotel, Lyft)
6. Life Insurance
7. Fees & Charges (balance transfer fee)
8. Uncategorized (No idea what these were! 🤨)

9. Personal Care

Gas & Fuel – over
Groceries – under
✗ Restaurants – over
Hair Appointments – under
✗ Everything Else – over

Net Income:


credit cards

student loans

How Did I Do On My Financial Goals for August?
✓- Get Chase Slate set up. (Set up, but not showing on Mint)
Continue to use the correct credit cards for gas and restaurants.
Quit eating out when we aren't hungry for a meal. It's bad for weight gain and for our wallet.
Spend less than we did in July on something (groceries, restaurants, or other). It doesn't matter what.
Return top to Belk.
Pay for car tags.
Look for a used wine fridge.
– Be careful with spending during our short Florida getaway.

* Loan Payoff Date 11/1/22
* Emergency Funds: $11,035
• 401K $43,021.41
• Credit Scores: 768 (Justin), 804, 807 (me)

Overview of the Biggest Impacts This Month:
1. Opened Chase Slate.
2. Bills increased.
3. Traveled to 30A. (gas, meals)
4. Buying clothes. 😬
5. Breaking all of the champagne flutes! 😳

What went wrong this month?
1. Bills increased again.
2. I probably bought too many clothes. But I love most of them. ❤️
3. Getting a break from work. But it was good for my mental health.
4. Gas was really expensive this month because we drove my husband's truck to Florida. (Trucks use a lot of gas. Also, traveling meant we spent extra on gas this month anyway.)
5. Breaking things and then needing to replace them. Always feels like an unnecessary expense. 😕

What went right this month?
1. Going to see movies for free! It was fun and a great way to get to know my co-worker!
2. We spent less on groceries this month than we did last month! Yay!
3. Credit score increased!
4. Got a check from Target for a data breach! And a few surprising opportunities to make extra money.
5. Being told in advance what book we would need for our French class and being able to order a used copy online.

Financial plans/goals for September?
1. Continue to reduce grocery spending. (We have lots of wine! We don't need anymore!)
2. Start purchasing gifts for Christmas.
3. Go low-key when purchasing birthday gifts this month. 😳
4. Aim to only spend around half (or, ideally, less) of our takehome pay.
5. Buy tires for my car.
6. Look at the budget and make adjustments. (Some are needed!)
7. Return dress to Free People, leggings and dress to Belk (if I'm not going to wear it).

September is looking to be quite expensive. There are so many birthdays! And my car needs tires. Can I ever catch a break?

On the upside, I feel like we did pretty good at accomplishing many of our August goals. Spending less? Win! I don't know if it's sustainable, but I hope we can continue that into September even with our extra expenses we know we have coming up.

How do you plan for months where you know extra money will be spent? Is your budget generally low enough that it doesn't matter and the extra expenses don't affect you? Or do those weird months throw you off for a bit? Anything I should think about before September hits?

Financial Resolution Goals 2019

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