A preview of what August's budget should look like

August Budget Preview

A preview of what August's budget should look likeIt 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.

The numerical breakdown for my August Budget PreviewTransportation: 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!

Keeping perspective

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?

Erin M.

Erin is a personal finance writer and virtual assistant who loves talking about money and how to use it as a tool to get what you want out of life. When she's not obsessing over numbers or working (which is rare), she can be found messing around in Photoshop, laughing at her cat, watching YouTube videos, playing video games, chair dancing, or any random combination of the above.

38 thoughts on “August Budget Preview

  1. I’m super impressed with your detailed budget planning! I completely agree with you on preventative maintenance to stave off future, higher expenses (with car, house, dog, health, even relationships). That’s definitely the approach we take. Regarding tires, we actually get our tires used from a junkyard. We’re careful to buy tires that have good tread and are only lightly used; but, it saves a ton of money!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted: Frugal Hound Sniffs: The Barefoot BudgeterMy Profile

    1. That’s an interesting way of sourcing tires! I’d have to take my dad along with me as I wouldn’t trust myself to pick out decent tires, ha. My uncle’s car recently died and he had just replaced his two front tires. Luckily my grandma had the same car, so he donated them to her!

  2. I always love looking at my budget without the “unexpected expected expenses” (like cats and cars – you know they’re coming up, but not always when) and “debt repayment” because then I can see the “meat and potatoes” of the budget. If you took out your student loan payments and your cat stuff, you’re down to about $1,800… half of which is rent! I think that’s totally commendable.

    As for recent vet visits. We took one of the cats to the vet last month but it only cost $100, nothing major. As for gas… it’s $1.36/L ($5.15/US Gallon.. but in $CAN)

    Okay, I’ve used some weird expressions in this comment, but I think it’s silly, so I am keeping it.
    Alicia recently posted: Credit Card 2 is GONE!My Profile

    1. That totally makes sense, and I feel the same way. Without rent and student loans and irregular expenses, we are doing pretty well. I’d love to cut our rent even more in the future.

      $100 is not bad! So many places seem to charge $50 – $75 just to get in the door. Gas is insane in Canada!

    1. Woohoo, I don’t mind the fall weather at all =). Gas prices seem to be really stubborn where we are as well. For the most part, it’s fluctuated between $3.45 – $3.60 since we moved, but my parent’s have paid $3.17 – $3.40.

    1. Yikes. I did notice it was still fairly expensive when I went back there last month. I am jealous of the weather, though. Of course, after the awful winter we had, I was all gung-ho about moving, and now NY is having a better summer!

  3. I have to comment on the cats/vet/cat food issue, as this is has been my life for the past 3 weeks. We found out that my one cat has kidney failure because I was only feeding them dry food. My cats are old, and this is apparently really bad for them. Had I known, I would have kept feeding them canned food too. I stopped because they stopped eating it, but I’ve noticed that they go through phases with it. They too will go NUTS over it for about a week but then they don’t care anymore. We;ve had to resort to making them food ourselves because they don’t eat otherwise.

    Maybe try giving them canned food every 2-3 days?

    Wet food does cost more, making them food costs even more, but a trip to the vet with the tests and antibiotics cost us about $600. So… if I could go back, I’d splurge on the canned food.
    Amanda recently posted: How Much Would You Spend on a Sick Pet?My Profile

    1. Thanks for the comment and sharing your experience, Amanda. I sent you an email, but I definitely plan on getting them wet food and *trying* to get them to eat it as often as possible. My cats react the same way and it’s frustrating as I can’t tell if they’re getting sick of the flavor or what. I just try and buy a large variety of wet food.

  4. I hear ya on those big expense months! We’re in the middle of one right now as we’re going on vacation and also likely going to be getting our house painted in the next month. I hate spending the money on the latter, but it is saved for so that helps mitigate my feeling I guess. :) Gas for us, last I checked, is around $3.20 a gallon.
    John @Frugal Rules recently posted: How to Take Your Goals from Good to GreatMy Profile

    1. Our little vacation definitely bumped up our expenses, but I’m sure it will be worth it for both of us! I also hate saving for something and spending it..so silly, since you’re saving specifically for something, but parting with money is never easy. At least gas prices have been going down, making road trips a bit easier on the wallet.

    1. Boring is quite awesome! A little bit of summer recreation is nice. That’s certainly less than what most people pay in a year for a gym membership.

    1. Yes! As sad as it is to think about things breaking down, or pets not being healthy, it’s usually in everyone’s best interests to plan ahead. This way, you hopefully don’t have to touch the emergency fund as much!

  5. I’m really impressed with your budgeting skills. You’re motivating me to take a closer look at our numbers! We have car insurance premiums due at the end of the month so it will be an expensive month here! Can’t wait for the spending to slow down one of these days!
    Liz recently posted: Our Student Loan StoryMy Profile

    1. Our former car insurance premiums were nowhere near as good as they are now. Moving really helped out with that, but if you haven’t shopped around lately, it might be worth it!

  6. You’re so right on preventative and maintenance care. I’ve recently spend thousands of dollars on our kitties, both who were diagnosed with kidney failure. There wasn’t really much we could have done differently, but I have been told by both our vet and our specialist that if cats will eat wet food it’s better for them (higher water content). Cats are like little camels and they don’t drink as much as they need to which can lead to UTI’s-particularly in male cats and renal failure.

    I’m hoping this month won’t be as expensive for us as last. We just found out we don’t have to go back to the vet for 3 weeks (we’ve been going weekly). We also found several online sources for our cat’s meds which has been a huge money saver for us.
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor recently posted: Money bought me happiness…sort ofMy Profile

    1. I’ve definitely heard of that, and along with Amanda’s post, I think I’ll be trying to switch them over. I’ve been mixing their dry and wet food together for the last week or so and they don’t seem to mind that. They *have* been drinking a lot, though, which I thought was weird and a little cause for concern. I’m hoping it’s simply because it’s hot out.

      I’m glad you found med solutions online, and that you no longer have to go to the vet weekly! I hope things continue going well.

  7. Good for you on planning ahead when it comes to the cats. I agree with you making the effort to relax and be in vacation mode even if you are visiting with your parents. I try to do this whenever I am in Montreal, either by trying a new restaurant in a different part of the city or visiting a place I had never been to. I lived there for over 30 years and still there is so much I never experienced.
    Kassandra recently posted: Investing In YourselfMy Profile

    1. I’ve been on vacation here a few times as well, but lately we’ve just stuck to following my parents’ routine. It helps that they still haven’t explored much here, so we’d all like to try some new restaurants and areas.

    1. I never thought about trying to get the kids version. I’m not sure if that would work for my boyfriend’s size, but he always purchases last year’s model. It works out well!

  8. I’d have to agree with you on August, it seems like Summer quickly going away :( Both July and August have been and will be expensive months for me with going on trips, but I guess that’s exactly why I save money in other areas and it’s totally been worth it!

    Gas prices have actually been going down so far this month near me, which I’m happy to see. Of course this happens right after I come back from my trip! I think I even saw prices around $3.30 a gal this week but obviously that varies state by state.
    Debt Hater recently posted: Liebster Award NominationMy Profile

    1. That’s awesome, glad you’ve enjoyed summer! We’re still hopefully planning on taking one trip in the fall. Travel is definitely one of the reasons why I’d like to save more.

      Ha, that’s just how life works, right? $3.30 isn’t bad at all! I’m hoping our prices get a little lower, but I am glad I can fill-up near my parents for so little.

    1. I suppose I have a penchant for getting a little worried about our budget! But yes, that’s definitely right. R would probably get very cranky if he couldn’t run. Knowing him, if it wasn’t that painful, he would go anyway. He’s can be stubborn!

    1. I hope you had fun on your vacation! I’d like to try and keep everything down in the fall, but there are birthdays every month, which will make things a bit harder.

  9. Hello! so glad I found your site, im new to money stuff and your columns of “budgeted” and “actual” is so damn obvious I have no idea why I haven’t been already doing that. so important, thanks for sharing that picture. it will totally change how I budget :) anyway, glad I found you, hope you come visit my site too!
    Toby @ One Six Zeros recently posted: That current total and Social CalloutMy Profile

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