It feels like August just started, and there’s already seven days down! I took a snapshot of how our August budget already looked a few days ago. I paid all the important bills that were due on the first already, and that’s reflected here.
Remember, I’m now updating the spreadsheet every time we make a purchase! It has been working really well so far, keeping me on track with odds and ends like the occasional food treat, or things like Target, where I need to look through the receipt and divide up what was actually purchased. I like to do things this way as it gives me a clearer picture of which categories we’re spending in. I know some people don’t like to take the time to do this – it can be tedious, but I personally find it worthwhile. Maybe it’s also because we’re only buying for two people?
August Budget Preview
As I hinted in my last post, August is likely going to be an expensive month for us, mostly in part because of our two “liabilities” – our cats, and my car.
So if you’re looking at the budget and wondering what the heck is going on, both are going in for check-ups.
My car normally gets inspected every April, but since we moved that month, it didn’t make sense to pay the $40. We’re also exempt from having to get an inspection here for a year. However, I now have no clue how my car is doing, and for peace of mind, I’d like to get a tune-up if necessary.
I might also need new tires, which will probably push me over the budgeted amount, but I’m really hoping everything works out.
Housing: As you can see, everything is pretty normal here. I’m really excited to see that our water and electric went down for last month’s usage! Something we’re doing is working. We’ve had the temperature set at 78 most of the month, and we’ll be gone for 5 days this month, so hopefully next month will be less.
Food: I’m going for our normal $300 amount, but due to our little vacation, we won’t need to spend money on groceries for a week. The benefits of staying with family =). I might take this opportunity to stock up on some stuff. Our pantry and freezer have been running low more frequently.
Transportation: I pushed our gas budget up slightly since we’ll be making this trip to my parent’s house, plus a possible second trip later in the month if a family member visits. While R is technically going down for work, he’s not sure if they’ll reimburse him since he’s taking a day off. We did put $25 total in the car before we left for our trip.
At least prices have been going down. As a bonus, I can use my mom’s Kroger points (grocery store), and pay less than $3!
I mentioned in my July Budget Review that I paid off my insurance premium, so I no longer have to worry about it!
Misc: And here is where it gets expensive. I’m still not sure if R will purchase running shoes this month. He has a few extra pairs that he’s trying to alternate through, but he knows the last thing I want is him getting injured. Since it is a larger expense, I’m figuring it in just in case. If he can find a cheaper pair, I’ll be thrilled, but he has been sticking to one type for a while and really loves them.
Vacation: Most things are going to be free here, but in case we do decide to go on a dolphin jet-ski tour, I wanted to count it in. We also might go out to eat with my parent’s, as we’d really like to enjoy our time. We’re trying to get into a vacation mindset over “just another weekend visiting my parents.” We haven’t gone away in quite a while, so I’m setting the goal of making memories versus acting like a complete tourist.
Personal Care: We have a few items we need to purchase in this category, and I’m still on the fence about getting a haircut. I’d like to try it myself, but we’ll see!
Cats: We finally ran out of food and had to purchase a new bag. Thankfully it was on sale. I also picked up some cans of wet food for them to try out. There’s a lot of conflicting information on what to feed cats, so I go back and forth on this. Wet food is certainly a great deal more expensive, especially when both my cats gobble it down like they’ve been starving for days. They’re spoiled, really.
The other part of the budget is to account for a vet visit. I’m hoping I’ll just have to pay an exam fee, and that both of them are healthy!
I really hate to see the total amount budgeted as nearly $3,000, but I have to remember that this is far from a “normal month” for us. There’s a few expenses that might not happen at all (which I am hoping is the case), but even if everything happens, we’ll still be okay.
I like saving just as much as the next person, but preventative care (both for the cats and the car!) will help in catching anything that might have otherwise been an unexpected expense. It’s not worth it to neglect things for the sake of saving. I saw my parents do this with their house. Year after year, something broke down and needed replacing, and they were never prepared for it.
It’s better to be prepared and have extra expenses for ONE month, than to neglect things and potentially pay for it for years (with interest).
How does August look for you? Have you had any trips to the vet for your pets recently? What’s the price of gas near you?