April 2016 Budget Review

For a bit, I questioned if I would ever get around to writing this month’s budget review. This month has already been a bit of a whirlwind as we’re in the middle of buying a house. I never understood why people have 2 months between an accepted offer and close until now. The mortgage paperwork is one thing. But the process of getting a home inspection, radon testing, termite inspection, septic inspection, etc. then negotiating work to be done, then waiting for work to be completed, then RE-inspecting, then going back to the seller’s like engineers should never own a home because y’all think you’re professional electricians, plumbers, and carpenters when you’re NOT. Can you tell I’m frustrated? YouTube and HGTV has led everyone to believe they can do anything when really we should leave some things to the professionals. Respect the craft, y’all.

Everyone keep you fingers crossed that things work out with this home buying experience for us. We’re less than a week from our scheduled close! I am so ready for a backyard and a garage; I really want this to work! But since it’s our last Saturday night as renter’s, I’m gonna keep this post short and sweet. So onto the review!

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April 2016 Budget Review

Essentials (54% of budgeted 45%)

We only went over budget in a few essential expense categories, but we really went way over budget in those areas. I have been comfortable with our grocery bill coming in around $850, but we pushed it all the way to $1277 this month. YIKES! I made the mistake of buying some non-essential items at Sprouts and Whole Paycheck when I should have saved those purchases for Target. Sprinkle in a couple quick trips to Publix for snacks, and things got out of hand real quick. The pediatrician bill from Emma’s visit last March was $89, and I also purchased 9 new bandana bibs totaling $97 from Etsy to fill the gaps we had with our current stash. Who knew teething could be so expensive?!?!

Lifestyle (12% of budgeted 10%)

We continued the lifestyle expense allowance plan, but both Ryan and I went over budget. I forgot to factor in my mom’s birthday gift in my planning so that sent me over my $240 budget by $60. Although Ryan agreed to the allowance plan, he keeps forgetting to actually keep track of how much he is spending. So he ended up sending himself over budget by purchasing a bunch of books on Amazon ($119) and going to the gun range ($36). Our total dining out expenses were $209, about $50 than we normally spend.

Goals (34% of budgeted 45%)

Considering we sent a ton of extra income straight to savings last month, I don’t feel too awful about the fact that we didn’t save as much. The home down payment fund is basically now just a general savings fund. Once we get into the house, we’ll rework the our projected goals based on how our expenses change.

Shopping Ban Update

The last month of the shopping ban was a bit of a rollercoaster, as documented in my last post. I’m honestly pretty eager to get some luxury purchases completed so that I can begin another ban sooner rather than later.

This month’s shopping ban purchases were:

  • 1 month of unlimited barre classes
  • 1 movie rental via AppleTV
  • a birthday gift and card for my mom
  • 4 bamboo toothbrushes
  • cotton swabs and epsom salt
  • razor handle and razor blades

Like last month’s hair barrettes, the bamboo toothbrushes were easier and cheaper to purchase in bulk. I found a cute set of 4 bamboo toothbrushes with 3 months stamped on the handle to remind me when to change them out. At $12 for the set, it was much cheaper than buying a single brush for $4-5. And I’m a month in with one of the brushes, and it still looks close to brand new. Ryan and I made the switch to Dollar Shave Club this past month….why didn’t we do this sooner?!?! At $9/4 blades it is such a bargain. We even sprung for the super fancy 6-blade razor. One razor handle came for free with our first order so one extra handle was only $6. This service is going to save us at least $200/year so I’m pretty pumped. My one major luxury purchase out of all this was the bag of epsom salts. You know you’re on a shopping ban when treating yourself involves just 1 bag of epsom salt. I’ve never starting to feel pretty sore after barre class so once a week (usually after a Platform class), I do an epsom salt soak. The results aren’t drastic, but I do feel some reduction in muscle soreness versus just a regular hot bath. Epsom salt also doubles as a water softener so I throw some in with sheets and towels in the washer once a week.

May 2016 Budget Projections

I was a bit disappointed in our spending for April, especially because I know May is going to get expensive. We’ve been so eager to have a house so we can enjoy a nice outdoor space. But with that comes the initial cost of lawn maintenance supplies, outdoor furniture, and a grill. After running the numbers, we’re likely to spend an entire month’s budget on just these items alone. While I’ll still be carefully monitoring our expenses, I’m not going to beat myself up over all these additional costs, especially for the next couple of months. We’ve been so diligent in keeping our expenses low for years, I really want us to enjoy the fruits of our labor for a bit. Mind you, we won’t be going in debt to buy a fire pit. We just won’t be putting much of anything into savings for a couple of months.

Since ending the shopping ban, I’ve heard from a lot of people who are thinking about doing something similar. I would love to hear about your take on a shopping ban and what you would hope to achieve from completing the process. Thanks for reading!


xoxo Lauren


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