Exercising my muscles with the FrugalMaster is hard work especially when you go on vacation. We headed to the beach in August and only ate out every other day. This kept us within the budget I had set (and saved for). There are some changes this month so let's see if I came out ahead.
Income was below normal
This is the change I was talking about above. My company makes you wait six months before you can put money into their 401k. Even after that they won't even do a company match until you have been there a year. Initially I was not going to put anything in until next year but then I would miss out on any tax savings by reducing my income.
With that said half way through August it kicked in and sure enough my income is greatly reduced. Greatly because I am trying to max it out (20%) with the remaining paychecks this year. I put on hold my emergency fund savings and all vacations are done so I am not saving for vacation until next year.
I am also doing this because my previous model of see what I have left over each month to invest just wasn't working. The switch to a pay yourself first model does work. You can't spend or budget for money you never see. So with the reduced income the term budgeting will take on more meaning as there will be no money to pay bills if I overspend.
Needs were within budget
eSurance once again gave me more money back. To the tune of $89.27 for adjustments after they came and looked at my house. I guess to rebuild my house doesn't cost as much as it used to. We did go over in food again by $20. I attribute that to the week of groceries I bought while on vacation. The cost of living in a tourist trap town is way more than my lovely suburb in Ohio. I will say the Kroger grocery store we went to was kind enough to let us use their savings card without having to sign up for it. That did save us a good chunk of change so it all worked out.
I think I about lost it with the water bill for August and the subsequent sewer bill in September. The cost of water for a family of 7 is now running me a grand WTF of $267 a month. I remind my family daily to take 10 minute showers and don't just let the water run while your day dreaming. We had switched to a HE top load washer late last year with little effect on the water bill. In fact I think my wife does more loads than last year. Either she is doing smaller loads or the kids are dirtying their clothes at a faster rate. That leaves the old toilets. They probably use 3-5 gallons a flush. I know I need to swap them out. However with the baby and young kids it is hard to get time to do it.
In the end we were $500 under budget and our needs as a percentage of our income improved YOY to 74%. I need to drop that to about 25% by dropping my expensive house. Still working on my lovely wife on that one.
Guilt Free Spending Money (Wants) was under budget
GFSP was supper low this month at $55. Mostly because my savings for vacation took care of that expense. I look forward to the day when it is $0 knowing I will have attained enlightenment and a good mustache.
Even with the beach vacation my savings rate still remained positive at 13%
The lower income and vacation expenses didn't stop me from saving. I will take it as a good chunk went into my 401k and I still had 13% left over. I continue to sweep all savings into a cash account. My eye is on the hunt for a large enough home for the family and meets approval from my wife. The big thing for me is we have to pay for it with cash. No longer will I bow down to debt. My soul craves to be free and our mortgage is the last thing tying me down.
Hopefully you have the same feeling and that is what keeps you going.
Dividend Family Guy