Update: July 2013 Budget & Goals

July 31, 2013

July 2013 Actual Budget

Hello, friends. Sorry about the disappearing act there… As you can probably imagine, there’s a lot of stuff happening in my life right now. For starters, it’s been a week since my car accident. I would love to say that I’m feeling better but… well, let’s just say you should avoid me when my painkillers are wearing off!

I’ve spent the majority of the last week holed up on my couch. Any attempts I make at going out (even just to an appointment) only seem to further agitate whatever is happening in my lower back right now, so the couch has become my best friend. (We nap together daily.)

I’ll probably chat a little more about the accident in the future but, for now, I just wanted to say thank you for all of your comments, tweets, emails and texts. And if you haven’t stopped following me on Twitter, thank you for putting up with my constant string of complaints. (I’ll try to stop.)

Now, let’s talk about money, shall we? :)

This month, I finally put some money into savings again. In fact, 9% of this budget is cash I put into my Emergency Fund. Another 9% was put into my Weddings account, which should be the last of what I’ll need before the two big days next month (so exciting!).

My trip to Victoria mid-month was a little more expensive than I expected it to be. And – my bad – I think I blew through $40 or $60 in cash without tracking it (hence the estimate). But then I came just sliiightly under budget for my trip to San Francisco, which is awesome.

As for my expenses… I need to ask you all for a favour. The next time I say I’m going to do something like “avoid Starbucks like the plague” can you tell me that I’m lying to myself? Please, just tell me! Clearly, I didn’t spend that entire Restaurant budget on takeout coffee, but I’m ashamed to admit how much of it is…

What kills me though is how much my Groceries + Restaurant budgets add up to. To be fair, I did start buying a lot of gluten-free products. But then I also indulged. Oh gosh, have I indulged – especially since my accident. I can barely stand for more than a few minutes, right now. Cooking just doesn’t feel like an option.

Where I went under budget is both obvious and confusing. The obvious one is Gas; I haven’t driven much, since the accident. But I’m genuinely confused about why my Internet bill was so low. Not that I’m complaining! I just don’t know why it wasn’t the usual $56-something.

Goals for this month:

  • Brown bag all lunches – FAIL! Although, I actually did a pretty good job of this before my trip to SF.
  • No takeout coffee – MAJOR FAIL! So major I’m now considering investing in an espresso machine.
  • Read 2 books – PASS! I read Adulting and MoneySense’s Beginner’s Guide to Personal Finance.
  • Track my spending – PASS! Oh, other than that $40-60 I lost track of in Victoria…
  • Workout at least 10x – PASS! I managed to squeeze in 5 workouts before my trip to SF, and I consider everyday of that trip a workout (easily walked 5-10K up and down those hills everyday).

How did your month finish up?

  • canadianbudgetbinder July 31, 2013 at 4:14 am

    Sorry to hear you are still feeling pain Cait. I hope you continue on the road to a speedy recovery. Going gluten-free will be super costly. One of my fans who plays my Grocery Game Challenge every week went gluten-free and although it was a challenge for her has well surpassed her goals. She did a full pantry clear-out, lots of research and found some great places to shop (independently owned shops) where she finds some great deals on products she has come to love without breaking the budget. Enjoy your week Cait. :)

    • Cait July 31, 2013 at 7:10 am

      I’ve watched my parents slowly go GF over the last year and, while I know it can be costly at first, they’ve shown me that it can be fairly cheap (depending on what you eat, of course). So, I’m working towards that!

      Thanks for the kind thoughts, Mr. CBB! :)

  • Rob July 31, 2013 at 5:31 am

    Hi Cait!
    Hopefully, you’re soon back home this week and on the road to full recovery. I know that you’re not ready to discuss the details of recent events (and neither should you have to at all if you rather not as we all understand your situation) so let’s leave it at that for now.

    Regarding your budget vs actuals for this July and your concern regarding your over spending on groceries (for example). As I’ve mentioned here previously, some months actuals are over budget while other months they are under budget. That is ok. What I tend to monitor is the quarterly budget picture. I checked your previous two month end stats on groceries and, while in July you were over by about $60, the previous two months you were consistently under budget by about $40 each month so on a rolling 3-month basis you were doing fine in this category. This is how I track my budget vs expenses over the year. It tends to better smooth out the month-to-month anomalies – just like tracking one’s stock performance, with its ups and downs.

    • Cait July 31, 2013 at 7:40 am

      Rob, it never ceases to amaze me that you are willing to look at all of my budgets and tell me if I’m doing a good or bad job. And I say that in a good way! I need reminders like that, sometimes. It’s more important to see the bigger picture than to focus on what 31 days looked like. So, thank you. :)

  • Sara Hamil @ They Call it Gumption July 31, 2013 at 6:04 am

    I’m ALWAYS amazed at how quickly restaurants add up. I know I shouldn’t be but… I am anyway lol.

    Are you back home yet? Sending lots of virtual hugs your way!

    • Cait July 31, 2013 at 7:41 am

      Haha, yea… I also should just know myself well enough now to know that abstaining from something is not my style. Starbucks in moderation? Ok, that I can do.

      I am home now, thanks Sara. :)

  • E.M. July 31, 2013 at 7:31 am

    I hope you recover quickly! It’s not fun to be bed/couch-ridden all day. I think I’d be eating a lot more if I were, too. I always tend to eat when I’m bored – not a good thing. Congrats on the goals accomplished! That sounds like a lot of walking.

    That’s awesome your internet bill was lower than usual, I love little surprises like that. I went over in groceries this month, too. I’d love to hear more about going gluten-free. It is one of my goals, but you’re right that it can get pricey.

    • Cait July 31, 2013 at 7:43 am

      I *have* noticed that I’m eating more… and worse foods. Your comment reminded me to be more conscious of that, so thanks E.M. :)

      I’d be happy to talk about going GF next month. I can’t say I’m going 100% GF but switching out most of my options has made me feel sooo much better.

  • Girl Meets Debt July 31, 2013 at 9:39 am

    The last week of July was kind of a gong show for both of us eh? Here’s to a better August Cait. Feel better soon! xo

    • Cait July 31, 2013 at 10:21 am

      You got that right. Same to you, hun. xo

  • Amanda July 31, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I *ALWAYS* overspend on restaurants and take-out, but this month was particularly bad.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    • Cait July 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      What’s up with July being an expensive month!? Summer. Jeez.

      Thanks, Amanda!

  • A July 31, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Howdy! July was a pretty darn good month for us. We came in right on budget (of course, some categories were over, but some were under). I think we “overspent” something like $3.17. We managed to save 31% of our income as well. So that’s good! We are at 85% of our emergency fund goal.

    Hope you’re feeling better and enjoying time with your family.

    xoxo – A

    • Cait August 1, 2013 at 8:10 am

      Great month for you + J! That is so awesome :)

  • Ashley July 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Going GF doesn’t have to be expensive! It definitely can be if you’re buying all the premade processed food, but if you focus on real/whole food, you might be surprised. I went GF about a year or so ago, and while I buy the junk sometimes to indulge, my grocery budget is still the same, maybe only slightly higher. I just buy more fresh items and buy things like bread infrequently. Good luck!

    • Cait August 1, 2013 at 8:12 am

      Oh, I know. I do like bread though, so I tried a few different kinds, etc. That stuff is expensive!

  • Ati Aziz August 1, 2013 at 12:50 am

    Hi Cait,

    I saw that we are spending almost equal amount for groceries & restaurants. Mine is in Malaysian ringgit, of course. :)

    I’m also always surprised how my groceries & restaurants expenses can never go down. When I cook at home, my groceries spending will shoot up the roof, and when I have eat out at work, it still works out the same – maybe only 10-20% less.

    Perhaps when it comes to food, we have to contend that the amount we are spending is actually NORMAL?

    • Cait August 1, 2013 at 8:16 am

      I guess as long as we are eating healthy food and not wasting any then you’re probably right! Thanks, Ati :)

  • Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies August 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Oh dear! I hope you are feeling better now!

    Well done on being able to save so much, I cannot wait for the day when I start saving too! :)

    • Cait August 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks, Eva. I’m looking forward to the months where I can save as much as I was once putting on debt. Hopefully soon…

  • Gillian August 2, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Aw Cait, I am so sorry to hear about the accident/residual pain! That really stinks. I hope all works out well with it, legally and financially! Great work with the savings in July. Feel better soon!! xo

    • Cait August 3, 2013 at 8:40 am

      Thanks, Gillian! xo

  • SarahN August 7, 2013 at 3:06 am

    Oh my – I hear you on the groceries + restaurant being high! A month off the buying food out was nice, though I didn’t know about the budget seeing it (cause then I moved house and that be PRICEY). So sorry about your accident – those sorts of things really knock you for six, that’s for sure. Touch wood it’s all easy healing from here on in!