Monthly Financial Update: July 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 #7:


green = this year, yellow = last year

Compared to Last Year:
• We spent more on auto & transport (paid for a year of car insurance), and entertainment (signed up to take French, went to see a movie, got ice skates sharpened).
• We spent less on food & dining, travel, shopping, bills & utilities, personal care, and fees & charges.

green line = this month; dotted line = last month
Compared to Last Month:
• We spent more on auto & transport (paid for a year of car insurance), food & dining, travel (to LA), entertainment (movies, travel, ice skating), and bills & utilities.
• We spent less on shopping and personal care.

Where We Spent Our Money:

Top 10 Merchants:
1. Car insurance
2. Waldorf LaQuinta (hotel, food)
3. Institute of Language (French class)
4. Hyatt (2 hotels, food, valet parking)
5. Electricity
6. Costco (groceries, car oil)
7. Kroger
8. Lorimar Winery
9. Free People (dress)
10. Alamo (rental car)

Top 10 Categories:
1. Auto & Transport (car insurance)
2. Food & Dining
3. Travel (hotels, rental car, Lyft)
4. Entertainment (seeing a movie, get ice skates sharpened, tourist attractions)
5. Shopping (waiting on a return to go through)
6. Bills/Utilities
7. Personal Care
8. Uncategorized (ATM withdrawals, I don't know what hubby used the money for)

9. Life Insurance
10. Fees & Charges (ATM fee, should be returned)

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

Net Income:

credit cards

student loans

How Did I Do On My Financial Goals for July?
✗ Find a new dry cleaner.
Write Chase so that I don't lose my right to sue them!
Return clothing if I'm not going to wear it. 🙄
✗ Watch the grocery budget. Don't buy anything unnecessary.
– Use the correct credit cards for 5% cashback. (Freedom for gas, Discover for restaurants)
* Loan Payoff Date 11/1/22
* Emergency Funds: $9043
* Credit Scores: 767 (Justin), 802, 806 (me)

Overview of the Biggest Impacts This Month:
1. Car insurance.
2. Travel to LA (purchasing wine, staying at hotels, eating out, rental car, rental camera)
3. Deciding to take French.
4. An additional bill was added into the mix (garbage).
5. We opened up a credit card with 0% interest that we're going to use to juggle funds and hopefully pay our credit cards down with.

What went wrong this month?
1. Didn't budget for groceries correctly after purchasing wine at the beginning of the month.
2. Citi is getting rid of its price adjustment option. :(
3. The dog had fleas.
4. Both of our camera bags died. I bought a used one and hubby bought a new one. (He runs with his bag, so he needed more of a guarantee that his bag would last than I needed.)
5. While we were out of town, a fridge died, so we ended up having to get rid of perfectly good food. That was frustrating.

What went right this month?
1. Finding car insurance for a cheaper price than what our current company quoted. Being able to pay for the full year in advance.
2. Returned two things and received money back. Citi price adjusted something – more money back.
3. We spent less on travel this year than last!
4. We also spent less on food & dining this month than we did last year in July.
5. We found an $18 bag for putting our ice skates in. We bought it while traveling because we needed another suitcase to store our souvenirs in. We're so glad that the cheap bag has found yet another use in our lives.

Financial plans/goals for August?
1. Get Chase Slate set up.

2. Continue to use the correct credit cards for gas and restaurants.
3. Quit eating out when we aren't hungry for a meal. It's bad for weight gain and for our wallet.
4. Spend less than we did in July on something (groceries, restaurants, or other). It doesn't matter what.
5. Return top to Belk.
6. Pay for car tags.
7. Look for a used wine fridge.
8. Be careful with spending during our short Florida getaway.

This month our biggest downfalls were related to food and shopping. Hopefully, having replaced and fixed things that were broken will keep spending in that area down in August. As for the food? I just need to watch it better. Eating out for meals when I'm not hungry is silly and a waste of money. Buying groceries I'm not able to use? Also a waste of money. We just need to be proactive about what we are buying, making sure we don't have duplicates at home, and making an effort to keep the food we have from going bad before we use it.

I will be glad that some major expenses, like car insurance, for example, won't come around again until next year. And the need to replace laptop bags? I got a good 5 years out of my last bag and my husband got two, so maybe we will be able to hold off on those for another couple of years?

As always, my hope is that I will be going into August with my eyes wide open knowing what is on the horizon and accounting for that. I feel like I frequently find myself exhausted with trying to keep up with our budget, expenses, debt to income ratio, etc, etc and I put things on the backburner. I avoid looking at mint until absolutely necessary. Well, it's August now. With the year more than halfway through, I think I can focus on my goal at hand. Or, at the very least, I'm going to keep trying until I get it right.

Am I the only one that gets exhausted when thinking about budgets? Do you ever get overwhelmed with money?

Financial Resolution Goals 2019

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