September 2016 Budget Review

Hey, y’all! It has been WAYYY too long since I’ve sat down to curate my little corner of the internet. And I have to admit, I really miss it. I had three friends mention to me last week that it has been awhile since I’ve posted. And it has. And I have no excuse other than just letting life get in the way. I can’t make any promises that I won’t continue to post sporadically, but I’m here now so let’s get down to business… defeat, the Huns 😉


Essential (59% of income)
I’m pretty proud of our essential spending for the month. We came in under budget on groceries at $886 and most of our usual essential spending was either at or under budget. The only reason this percentage is relatively high is because we had almost $2000 in medical bills from Ryan’s appendectomy in August. We also did a bit more spending than usual for the kids. Toddlerdom meant it was time to upgrade the car seats as well as get a training potty for each child so we could begin the long road towards potty training!

Lifestyle (13% of income)
While we kept grocery costs low, we balanced it out with some much higher than average restaurant costs. $325 total in prepared foods. $149 of that dining out is a mix of Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, McDonalds, and a few meals out with friends. The other $176 is PF Chang’s… you now where our (aka Ryan’s) weakness lies. I’m honestly a bit perturbed by these high costs. We also had some high costs in the personal care department…..that’s allll me. I got a hair cut for the first time in over a year, and I bought a new styling tool. Since I only wash my hair once a week, it tends to look a bit blah a couple days in. Adding a 2″ curling iron into the mix has been really fun. There was also my monthly Beautycounter order which totaled $125. If BC would just start making toothpaste & deodorant, I wouldn’t have to purchase consumable beauty products from anyone else #thedream

Goal (28% of income)
We were able to save a bit more this month despite the additional medical costs and new car seats thanks to it being a 3-paycheck month. Don’t you just love those! This percentage is nowhere near where I want it to be, but I’m glad to finally have a month where something is going into short term savings.

Next Month Projections
Seeing as that we are more than halfway through the month already, these “projections” are pretty accurate. And I’m “projecting” we are going to go over budget. We’ve actually already exceeded our budget for the month. And it’s due to a variety of purchases – vehicle tools & parts, cable TV that was way more expensive than expected, bedding for the twins, items for the fireplace (grate, screen, and tools), and a new winter jacket (for me). But we also sold Ryan’s truck! Which I’m excited about, but it still doesn’t make me feel better about going over budget. So with 14 days left in the month, I’m capping our remaining spending at $500.

Any cheap and healthy dinner recipes you wanna share to help me meet my goals? Any areas of your budget you need help with? Let me know! Thanks for reading!

xoxo Lauren


4 thoughts on “September 2016 Budget Review

  1. IT HAS BEEN WAYYYY TOO LONG. Reading your monthly budget reviews is one of the things I look forward to every month 🙂 I hope I am one of the 3 friends that peer pressured you into posting, hehehe. What is a 3-paycheck month? It sounds umm AWESOME. We go over our food budget every month, and the number would seriously disgust you. But the alternative is me cooking… and that is more disgusting 🙂 I would love to do a challenge with Brandon for a month where ONLY eat out on weekends. Do you have a blog post on how you meal prep for the week? Hope you’re having a great week, love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are definitely one of the friends who pressured me into posting. So I think I owe you a “thank you” 😘. I can’t imagine being disgusted by your budget! South Koreans, on average, spend almost three times as much on food, as Americans. Your food is (a) more expensive than ours and (b) you and Brandon often make eating out an experience so I think the cost is worth it. I haven’t done a meal prep post, but I really want to. Most of my prepping happens sporadically and at night which makes for bad photographs. Hopefully I can set a full morning/afternoon aside in the future to meal prep! I like your challenge idea! 8 usually add 1 take-out night to the weekly meal plan so we’re not tempting to randomly eat out. And itMs normally a weeknight – weekends are my fav times to cook because I have someone else to watch the kids while I’m in the kitchen.


  2. Cutting down on meat definitely helps us with the food budget. We do this by replacing meat with beans. Our favorite recipes are veggie chili and roasted eggplant pitas. I usually just search Pinterest for easy recipe ideas. Good luck! With the holiday season coming up it seems it will be especially hard to stay within budget for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true about the holiday season! We’re hosting 5 family members for a couple days around Thanksgiving so I’m sure that will reflect on our budget. And great tip about making more meals without meat! I actually embarked on month of veganism this month, but my husband and kids are meat lovers so we’re finding the balance 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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