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DD’s Monthly Expenses – December 2008

by Debt Destroyer on January 7, 2009

I for one am glad the holidays are over.    I am having a very hard time getting back into the swing of things.   I think that is why it took me a week to tally up December’s expenses.  That, and I’m pretty sure we screwed up BIG TIME last month so I was in no rush to see the damage.

Here are the results:

  • $830.00 – Mortgage
  • $749.70 – Household Misc/Gifts
  • $looking-for-groceries639.00 – Daycare
  • $494.34 – Groceries
  • $207.88 – Electricity
  • $150.00 – Student Loan
  • $125.00 – Investing
  • $116.67 – Dog (food, vet, toy)
  • $115.75 – Phone & Internet
  • $90.70 – Vehicle  (non fuel)
  • $60.00 – Donations
  • $60.00 – Tennis
  • $53.78 – Dinning Out
  • $47.95 – Gas
  • $40.00 – Medical Bills
  • $39.44 – Park & Rec Classes
  • $29.95 – Magazine Subscription
  • $27.36 – B-Day party
  • $15.00 – Haircut
  • $11.00 – Movies

For a total of $3903.52…Ouch!

The sad thing is that I’m not sure that this is the true total.  I couldn’t find some of the receipts for gifts we bought.  I guessed at what we were missing so it’s close but not as exact as other months have been.

Biggest Budget Busters:

  1. $749.70 – Household Misc/Gifts –  Most of this was gifts.  Like my last post mentioned we spent close to $600 this year on presents.  At the time it didn’t feel so bad, but now that it’s January, I wish this was closer to $500.
  2. $494.34 – Groceries – So much for the envelope system keeping us on track.  This was a big surprise to me because on New Years Eve my wife went to the store and I gave her the $8 we had left in the envelope to shop with (just a few items so it was enough).  We even congratulated ourselves on being under budget.  I found the problem when checking the receipts (groceries purchased at Target using a credit card).
  3. $125.00 Investing –  Thanks to our horrible economy, my favorite stock dipped to a level it hasn’t been in many years.  So I grabbed 20 shares.  And while it has already gone up 15 %, I’m putting this here because I have no business playing the market right now.

Biggest Budget Breakthroughs:

  1. $53.78 – Dinning Out – I put $75 in this envelope and it’s nice to see that we still have some left.  I could’ve sworn that we’d go out more than we did.  Oh well…
  2. $27.36 – B-Day party – My daughter turned 4 last month and we threw her a fun little party. This amount represents the materials needed for the games and trinkets.  I’m putting it here because this past weekend we went to an 8 year old girl’s party and the parents spent $120 to go to a gymnastics place where the kids could jump around for an hour.  It was fun, but my daughter still talks about the games we played at her party and I think the gymnastics party is forgotten about already.
  3. $11.00 – Movies – I know this is higher than it normally is, but thanks to me earning some passes my wife & I were able to see Benjamin Button with a large popcorn & drink for $11. Before children we went to a ton of movies, it was one of our favorite things to do.  Even though we both thought it was a sad movie, we had a bunch of fun getting out of the house.

So there we have it.  Overall I’d say we took a couple steps back.  We had a few miscues with the envelope system, but I think we’ll be able to fix those as time goes on.  We’ll have to because starting this month we added what looks like will be our 2nd biggest monthly expense.

But I’ll write about that another time.

Until next time,

-DD

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Discover January 7, 2009 at 11:43 am

I am also glad the holidays are over, but I don’t think your budget looks that bad. The investing should not be included and take away the expenses for Christmas gift that were mostly paid for by the cash back credit cards and you are at the usual level.

Either it was a cold month or you decorate the entire house with lights for Christmas with an electric bill that went up by about 50%.

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Helen January 7, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Christmas is also usually a big spending month for me, but I was glad that the biggest expense, gifts, was already taken care of, as I had started saving up for it at the beginning of the year. In January ’08, I estimated how much I would spend on Christmas gifts, and divided by the no. of paychecks for the year. After that, I did an automatic deduction towards my Christmas sub-account. It was such a relief and load off my mind knowing that I didn’t have to worry about overspending on gifts and adding to cc debt. I actually underspent and had a little extra left over! Highly recommend this as no one needs the extra stress during the holidays.

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Debt Destroyer January 8, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Thanks for the comments.

@ Discover – You’re right, if I take gifts out, it’s a normal month. But it just felt sloppy. I think I should’ve picked a different month to start my envelope system.
And if you thought the electricity jumped that month wait until you see the next bill.

@Helen – I might have to switch to a plan like that. Now that I’m paying cash for a lot of things, my “cashback” system will not be as fruitful as it normally is.

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Jessica W January 11, 2009 at 10:02 am

Well, i think you had to go like this in last month because of the Christmas and gift spending. It is normal and something that everyone is facing at the end of the year.

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Cassy January 13, 2009 at 11:40 am

I am quite sure, that the majority of people suffer from big expenses during the Christmas holidays. That is why I usually start preparations to Christmas in advance. I try to buy Christmas gift during the year- a gift by gift. Thus, with the Christmas arrival I have the gifts for everyone, whom I want to make a present. Beside of, I have some free time and money to spend on other things. Believe me, getting Christmas gift in advance is the best option to spend your Christmas celebrations out of stress.

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Surviving A Recession January 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm

27.36 – B-Day party

My daughters birthday is the hardest thing for me not to spend every dime I have. I would spend it in a heart beat.

Actually, I am pretty good at not over doing it. Although i really want to. I just tell myself the money i don’t spend on the party I’ll put in a 529 for her college.

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Dennis January 17, 2009 at 10:05 am

Well, i think you had to go like this in last month because of the Christmas and gift spending. It is normal and something that everyone is facing at the end of the year.

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Debt Destroyer January 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Thanks again for the comments. I really appreciate them.

@ Jessica W, Cassy, & Dennis – I agree that it’s normal to overspend in December, but like I said earlier, it just didn’t feel right after the previous months of trying to save.

@ Surviving a Recession – That total didn’t include gifts. We bought her a ballerina bar for $25 (that is in the gift category).

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