July Budget Review

July Budget ReviewHi everyone! I hope your weekend went well. It’s August, which means it’s time for a review of how July’s budget went. I have to say, this is probably one of the better month’s we have had all year (or well, since moving at least). It’s quite a relief!

Except that it’s a little fleeting, because as you’ll see in my August budget preview, August has the potential of becoming a very expensive month! I suppose that’s better than being surprised by unknown expenses, but it hurts the wallet nonetheless. I’ll just have to hope for an uneventful autumn!


July Budget Review


Student Loans: Nothing too much out of the ordinary here. I paid a smidge extra last month, and R made his normal payment. He’s at the point where he’s kind of plugging along now, which can get tiring, but we’re committed!

Housing: Everything was pretty normal here. I was a little disappointed at the $88 we owed for electric, but I’m hoping that it will get lower and lower as we get closer to fall!

As for our cell phones, this is for both of our phones. R is with Virgin Mobile (and has a dumb phone) and pays more than I do at $38. I pay $31 with Republic Wireless (includes taxes). He’s thinking of making the switch at some point, but hasn’t wanted to pay the upfront cost yet.

July Budget ReviewFood: We did pretty well here, thanks in large part to my grandma. I had mentioned this a week or so ago, but while she was visiting with us, she took it upon herself to pay for some groceries. There’s really no use in trying to stop her as it will be an endless fight. I estimate she saved us about $40.

As for our restaurant budget, it mostly consisted of a few random things here and there, and the tip we insisted on helping my grandma with when we dined out with her.

Transportation: Yep, we went over in our gas budget, big time! Unfortunately, I had been planning on R not making the drive to my parent’s house, but in the end, he did. My grandma actually gave us $30 for gas (we tried to give that back unsuccessfully), but I didn’t account for it since we used our debit card for the purchase. I had wanted to use the $30 to take her out for dinner.

My car insurance payment was higher this month as I decided to pay off the premium. At such a small amount, it wasn’t worth it to pay the few dollars in fees for the next few months. Plus it’s nice not having to worry about it!

Misc: We once again got away with the cats, spending only $10 on litter at Target. That’s definitely going to change this month, though (I’ll be posting my August preview later this week). They haven’t been eating as much as they used to, which definitely helps, but I do wonder if something else is going on :/. The “kitten” hit her one year mark back in the Spring, and has stopped growing, so maybe that’s why.

Our stupid speeding ticket was paid for at the beginning of July. I hadn’t accounted for transaction fees, which is why we paid a little more than the original amount.

I gave cash as my wedding gift to my former coworker.

And no, R didn’t actually go through on buying his running shoes, so I’m sorry that the $15 is misleading! He had been eyeing a pull-up station that normally retails for $60 – $80, but while he was in the middle of deciding between the two, he actually found a used pull-up station for $15 at Habitat Restore! He emailed me asking if it was okay to buy it (I was still in NY), to which I said of course. For $15 you can’t really go wrong!

I didn’t actually go shopping on my trip either. I wanted to account for it JUST in case, but I ended up not going out with my mom and grandma the multiple times they went shopping. I decided it wasn’t worth it. There was nothing I truly needed out there, why be tempted?

Lastly, we didn’t need much in the area of personal care. What you see there was for a few travel size things I needed to purchase for the trip.

Overall, I think we did pretty well, but that’s also due to the fact our grocery bill wasn’t normal. Either way, I’m happy to save when we can save! You can look forward to my preview of what my budget for August is on Thursday.

How did your July go? Are you looking forward to August, or do you have some expenses coming up as well?

About Erin M.

Erin is a freelance blogger & virtual assistant who enjoys talking about frugality, debt, and saving for the future. While she's passionate about helping other millennials get their finances in order, she also loves reading, walking, and spending time with family (and her cats).
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53 Responses to July Budget Review

  1. Alicia says:

    Our cat supplies go in dribs and drabs. We stock up on litter, dry food, and wet food at Costco when I go back home, and then don’t pay anything for months, so it’s pretty deceiving if anyone ever looked at our $0 months. Yep, we have multiple cats, but we don’t pay anything for me ;)

    July was good. Kept on with the same sort of progress in net worth growth, but I got a lot of debt paid down. Just trying to hit a few milestones to keep me motivated… otherwise I’m close to burnout. :)
    Alicia recently posted: Sometimes Things Line Up…My Profile

    • E.M. says:

      Hmm, I will have to take a look at what Costco has; I’ll probably head up there with my mom at some point this week. I never thought to look there for cat supplies! And yes, my cats totally get spoiled, moreso than myself.

      I hear you on nearing burnout. It’s been tough trudging along, which is why I might put more than usual toward my loans if everything goes okay this month. I can’t stand seeing the numbers drop so slowly.

      • Alicia says:

        I don’t know if it’s different in US vs Canada, but we have 50 lb boxes of cat litter for $8. And their Kirkland dry food is really good quality (no corn meal)… A 20 lb bag for $20!
        Alicia recently posted: Sometimes Things Line Up…My Profile

        • E.M. says:

          Wow, that sounds like a steal on the litter! We normally try and get a 40lb box on sale for $13-$15. I will definitely have to go and check that out. I hope it’s as cheap here!

  2. Nice job coming in under budget! I think the critters may eat less in the summer months due to the heat–I’ve noticed Frugal Hound not chowing down with as much vigor. Hopefully there’s nothing seriously wrong with your kitties!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted: July 2014 ExpendituresMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      That’s probably it, considering it is a bit hotter here than they are used to. They eat with lots of vigor when it comes to treats, of course!

  3. liz says:

    Nice work on the budget! Looks like you guys had a great month. July would have been an okay month but we had a bunch of unexpected vet bills for Ruby. Sometimes those things are just out of your control I guess! On the bright side, we managed to spend less than budgeted on groceries so that was great. Hope August is great for you!
    liz recently posted: Our Student Loan StoryMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      Spending less on groceries is always a good thing! I’m sorry about the unexpected vet bills; very true that some things are just out of our control.

  4. Good luck with August! Your July looks to have turned out pretty well, thanks in part to your awesome grandma! I’m lucky that my dad pays for things for me from time to time (like a meal out or a movie when the whole family goes).
    Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore recently posted: Guest Post: Why I’m Saving for my Wedding BEFORE I Have a RingMy Profile

  5. Michelle says:

    Good job with your budget! I think August will be fairly cheap for us. June and July were our budget killers.
    Michelle recently posted: $14,937 in July – My Highest Income MonthMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      Thanks! I’m sure everything is calming down for you guys now that the wedding/honeymoon has passed =). I’m sure it’s a relief to get spending back to normal.

  6. Kassandra says:

    When I had cats, I found that they ate a bit less during the summer as well and drank more water. You had a really good month. Our July was less pricey than June’s but still way over the amounts I would like to see. I am monitoring our spending more closely in August to see if we can bring some categories more in line with the budget, mainly eating out and home/car expenses.
    Kassandra recently posted: Music To My EarsMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      It’s probably a little warmer here than they are used to. They’ve been doing lots of laying around lately, so I guess they don’t have a chance to work up an appetite =). Good luck in August!

  7. Andrew says:

    wow, $31 for your phone bill is pretty good. My contract is up, and I’ll have to look into my options. I’m paying $55 with an iPhone on a family plan. We’ll have some extra expenses coming up in Aug/Sept…we’ll be moving…
    Andrew recently posted: Our “Throw it Away” SocietyMy Profile

  8. anna says:

    I’m still so impressed with how little you spend on groceries – I have a hard time getting under $400, let alone below $200 like you’ve done. That’s ridiculous you had to pay transaction fees for the ticket – hopefully there won’t be anymore of that to deal with ever!
    anna recently posted: Pregnancy Notes: The Good, The Bad, and The FunnyMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      July was really atypical because I was gone for 10 days, and my boyfriend is less picky than I am, so making meals for himself was pretty easy. Then my grandma also purchased about $40 worth of groceries for us while she was here. Normally we’re around $300ish.

      I hope we don’t have to deal with anything ticket-related again!

  9. As long as you have money left over at the end of the month you’re doing pretty well. Stupid speeding ticket. I don’t have any unexpected expenses this month, but I have to lay extremely low due to may lack of work last month and slow work this month, and go figure, I’m getting invitations to things left and right, even to so-called frugal things, but I’m having to say no. :(

    • E.M. says:

      Of course, that’s the way things work, right? I hope some work comes your way! Try entering some giveaways – who knows, maybe you’ll win a gift card =).

  10. Good job in July! I’ve had Republic Wireless in the back of my mind, but probably won’t really consider switching until our current contract is close to up. That is pretty awesome savings.
    Brandy @ Busted Budget recently posted: We found $5 and spent it on beerMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      Thanks! Republic Wireless is great. When I found out about it, my contract had already expired and I was month-to-month, so it was a no-brainer. Early termination fees are annoying!

  11. Food costs always trip me up. I went to the grocery store the other day and I ended up spending $50 and I don’t even know what I bought. It can get pretty crazy.
    Debt and the Girl recently posted: Would You Change Your Career?My Profile

  12. Really impressed by your food, grocery budget management. This is the one really weak part of my budget. Well done. I definitely have some work to do!
    Sam @ Frugaling.org recently posted: How To Use Dividends To Reduce Taxes And Protect IncomeMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      Last month was a little unusual due to me being away and my grandma visiting (and buying a week’s worth of groceries for us). I think it’s a category just about everyone struggles with!

  13. Nicola says:

    I think you’ve had a great July! Awesome low spending on food :) here’s to August being just as good!
    Nicola recently posted: Why Teamwork Is Important: Running A Successful Household.My Profile

  14. July always looks REALLY good on paper for us because our employee stock purchase program runs in six-month periods. That means I essentially get a check from the 10% of my income that went out of my paycheck the prior six months PLUS a bonus because the stock is purchased at a discount of at least 15%…plus I made over $1,000 from giveaways….so yeah it was pretty good haha. But in all seriousness our spending was in-line with what it typically is.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted: 4 (More) Reasons NOT to Quit your Job to Start a BusinessMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      Nice! That all definitely sounds great on paper. I really need to start entering giveaways. Clearly they work as a little side hustle =).

  15. Melissa says:

    Hey, you did a great job this month! I can’t believe your kitties are so cheap, although like you said, it ebbs and flows! Last month personal expenses were really low (we didn’t need any shampoo or cleaning supplies, for example), but this month… I already see what’s coming and I’m so worried, haha. Ebb and flow! :)
    Melissa recently posted: Joined the Yakezie Challenge!My Profile

    • E.M. says:

      Yes, exactly! That’s what happened to us, too. My boyfriend ran out of body wash and shampoo, so he’s just been using mine. But this month we’ll need to stock up a little!

  16. That’s one sexy budget you got there! I’m so impressed by the food spending, too! Ugh, I hate speeding tickets or anything related to cars! I don’t have a car, but my bf does and he has a heavy foot! July was good for me. I’m really interested in how August turns out though as this will be my first full month being freelance.
    Melanie@Dear Debt recently posted: Unthinkable: I Quit My JobMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      Thanks Melanie! I’m sure August will go well for you =). My boyfriend had a heavy foot, too, but he’s been keeping in line with the speed limit ever since we got the ticket. We saw a few cops on our trip down to my parents last night, and each time we had nothing to worry about!

  17. Lauren says:

    We overspent in July in some categories, so I hope that things calm down in the fall, too. $15 for exercise equipment is great! I’m thinking of trying to find a stationary bike on Craigslist for a price like that.
    Lauren recently posted: What Would You Do for $50,000?My Profile

    • E.M. says:

      I hope you find one! Habitat Restore was the last place R thought he’d find something – he was tagging along with a coworker. I didn’t want to shell out $60, so I’m happy =).

  18. That’s good budgeting for July! Spending less on groceries is always a good thing. My July is not as good as yours though, will also try to spend less on food and groceries :(
    Thea @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted: 6 Tips for reading through contracts and the fine printMy Profile

  19. Will L says:

    Lookin’ snazzy! It’s cool you spent nearly as much on gifts as on yourselves (not including living expenses, of course).
    Will L recently posted: How I Spend $75 Per Month on (Healthy!) GroceriesMy Profile

  20. Way to go EM! We went way over budget in July, mostly the first half of the month, so we’ll be laying low in August. My folks are coming to town, and despite our protests, usually take us out to a nice meal or two, so maybe we can save some on our food budget. Great job!
    Ryan @ Impersonal Finance recently posted: truly passive incomeMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      Thanks! It does seem like family does tend to save us money, especially where food costs are concerned. We protest, too, but sometimes it’s useless to argue!

  21. Great month, E.M. That’s a great looking budget regardless of whether Grandma helped or not. Speeding tickets are the worst! I think I’ve finally gone over a year without receiving one. Keep up the good work!
    Addison @ Cashville Skyline recently posted: Is Monetizing a Blog Selling Out?My Profile

    • E.M. says:

      Thanks Addison! That’s great you’ve gone a year without getting a ticket. That was our first, so it was a little scary, but it seems to have been a good thing as R is taking it easier on the road =).

  22. Wow, coming in under budget has to feel great. That’s a pretty significant chunk of change. June and July were really expensive for us, but I think we’ll finally get back on track in August. Fingers crossed that we don’t have anything unexpected pop up!

  23. I HATE speeding tickets. HATE THEM.

    Sorry about that one =(
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted: Club Thrifty August Budget BreakdownMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      I do, too, but thankfully R is no longer speeding so maybe it was actually a good thing after the fact! Now we don’t have to worry about the cops on the road.

  24. Debt Hater says:

    Looks like your budget actually went pretty well for July! My budget was also over in the gas spending category as well as for making an up-front payment on insurance but those were both planned expenses especially after traveling in July.

    Looks like you were able to save in the grocery category thanks to your grandma, and I must say my grandmas are the same way. One of my grandma’s will even leave the cash somewhere you’ll find it later if you refuse to take it while going out to eat, etc.
    Debt Hater recently posted: Liebster Award NominationMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      It’s great when planned expenses simply go as planned! It’s nice to have a budget with no surprises.

      I’ve totally tried putting money back in my grandma’s wallet before, but she will find out somehow. I at least plan on trying to spoil her for Christmas!

  25. debs says:

    That’s really good, E.M. Now I need to go look at your August budget. ;-0
    debs recently posted: Sticky Business: A busy bee ‘s work is never doneMy Profile

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