April 2015 Budget

Staying on budget is easy I am finding when nothing breaks down with your house or your body.  All house systems kept on going and the family resisted all sorts of bacteria and viruses remaining healthy for the month.  I am very pleased to say we came under budget for the month.  How much did we save?  Let's take a look.

Income
There was nothing out of the ordinary in the income department.  2 paychecks and I did get a small tax refund from the state.  That money went into my house repair fund as we are using that and our federal tax refund to replace our 20 year old HVAC (furnace/AC unit).  We found this great guy who does scratch and dent new units so the price he gave us was half the estimates of other companies.  The warranty is still good for 10 years.  He just said there may be a scratch in the paint job or a small dent on the sheet metal.

Other income was from my lovely friend the dividend.  I wrote about that earlier this month.  The only change in that department was changing my taxed dividends to not reinvest automatically.  There are too many bad stocks in that account and I don't want any more of them purchased.  Instead I will build up and purchase stocks with little likelihood of a dividend cut.  These stocks will also grow there dividend at a rate that makes it worthwhile to be a dividend growth investor.


Needs
Category
Comments
Under K or Over J
Auto
No repairs and fuel was slightly over budget.  Money to the car fund!
K
Home/Personal Expenses
$383 under budget!
Only categories over budget were childcare and personal care.  We are still working on potty training the youngest with the goal of having her out of training pants before the baby is born.  Wish us luck as she is stubborn like her parents.  Also I am learning that haircuts for a family my size gets expensive.  When they were smaller we would just shave the boys heads with our home kit.  Now they want style and my wife and daughters won't let me shave their heads :-)
K
Utilities
I dropped Time Warner like a bad habit and am getting a better picture with Direct TV.  We will give this a go for 2 years and rethink getting rid of TV altogether.  For now I am saving $75/mo.  That combined with no water/sewer this month let me save $271.
K
Loans
2 Mortgage loans and 1 kid in braces.  Other than that debt free.
Fixed
Food
Saved $204 vs. my budget.  The food costs seem to have stabilized around $700/month for a family of 6 (for now).  I will most likely adjust the budget to reflect this mid-year.
K

Wants
We spent the whole budget here.  Hey what is life without a little chocolate and rocks.  I did not eat any rocks but we did buy several bags of them.  In an effort to reduce a reoccurring gardening expense I am slowly replacing mulch with rocks around my house.  First rocks last forever.  Second having rocks around your house deters ants from invading it every spring.  The other plus side is when it rains your house doesn't get splashed with mud.  All in all they look really nice and I will be adding more in the future.

Category
Percent
Comments
Dining Out
30%
Yearly visit to the Olive Garden.  We had some gift cards to use from my mom which helped.  Still expensive though when you add in dessert.
Gardening
22%
Fertilizer and Rocks
Misc.
34%
My wife still prints out photos for the kids photo albums.  When the apocalypse happens and there is no more electricity we will be able to look at our memories (that is what I tell myself to justify the cost.)
Candy
14%
My wife's monthly fix (yes I do eat some of it as well!)

Savings & Summary
February was my best month ever in my life.  I am proud to say it isn't anymore.  The DFG savings rate climbed to 20% this month.  That money was all socked away into the emergency fund and a new fund for the birth of the baby.  My healthcare kind of stinks and is a high deductible plan.  With that said the birth of a kid will max out the deductible so we are saving now to cover it all.  I am estimating at least $4000 to bring this child into the world.  Boy that would be sweet if healthcare was free and I could instead buy some dividend aristocrats instead to fund the baby's college.



I love pictures so above is a graph of my savings rates for each month since I started tracking things back in 2013.  It is not a pretty sight but I am definitely please so far this year.  The creation of a budget in Quicken has been a godsend to me.  Seeing how I am tracking against the month whenever I want has helped me make some good purchase decisions.  I hope your budget is doing the same for you.

Happy saving,

DFG

Comments

  1. Hi DFG,

    Congrats - that looks like the best month yet! Good job on getting cheaper cable service; we haven't broken the link entirely yet but we saved approx. $40 a month by switching companies last year.

    The best thing that your chart shows is that the green (2013) columns have the largest negatives, the blues (2014) are improving, and the yellows (2015) have yet to go into any significant negative value so far this year.

    Best wishes,
    -DL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every year keeps getting better and better. Support from the community helps a lot I think.

      Delete
  2. Hi Dividend Family Guy

    Nice to see you segregate out the needs and the wants.

    Just curious, why do you set 30% for the dining on the wants. Does that really costs that much?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was just 30% of my "wants" budget of $250/month. It is not fixed at that. Thanks for stopping by.
      DFG

      Delete
  3. That is one heck of an offer! It’s great that you found a deal like that, rather than having to pay almost double the price from the other estimates. That being said, it’s great that you can finally retire your old HVAC unit. While it is quite a feat that it lasted for 20 years, it’s simply too old, and any repairs may end up costing more than actually buying the new unit. Anyway, thanks for sharing your process for planning your budgets and such. Cheers!

    Andy Jones @ AQS Comfort

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The next few things that hadn't been replaced yet were going to be the most expensive (so my repair man told me). 20 years is longer than any car I have ever owned so I think it was a good run.
      Later,
      DFG

      Delete

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