April 2017 Budget Review
Here we are, the beginning of April 2017 and it’s time for the monthly budget review. My hope is that by publishing what went right (or went wrong), I can hold myself publicly accountable and remain transparent so that you might learn from me.
This month I found I was still orienting myself on what to expect each month. I’m still taking notes on certain expenses that I should be budgeting so they don’t keep taking me by surprise. Every month I have a new discovery; this month is was car maintenance.
And I’m not talking like uber-expensive transmission work or anything like that. I’m talking simple car washes and oil changes. REALLY regular things that I should have definitely budgeted for. Live and learn, amirite?
So, What Went Right?
1.) We were under budget for gas! HOLLER!!!
It is just sooooo satisfying to be under budget in a category. My goal is that we can continue to be under-budget in a few categories. That way, when I re-evaluate the budget (I do this every quarter to make sure it is still serving us), I can maybe allocate a few of those unspent dollars to something else. Woot!
2.) We were under budget for groceries too! WUT WUT!!!
Under budget in two categories?! I am SO pleased with myself. I’m just going to take a quick moment and pat myself on the back. *pat pat* Yep, that feels good.
*pat pat* Yep, that feels good.
Yep, that feels good.
3.) We enjoyed ourselves + our money (within budget)
We had a few date nights and dinners out with friends. It’s not something we do terribly often, but it still felt really good to connect with them. Not only that, but we did it without having to order cheap or worry about it not being budgeted. We’ve been doing great at sticking to the budget, so we were able to enjoy the extra, unbudgeted “fun money” we had leftover. I FEEL SO ALIVE!
4.) We prepped the lawn + garden area for a bountiful summer
I was really intentional about budgeting for a garden this year as it’s something I really want to get into. I just love the idea of spending a lot of time outdoors with my hands in the earth. Sounds therapeutic, right? Anyways, like any hobby or maintenance thing, it requires some dollar dedication, if you know what I mean.
For the past few months I’ve been setting aside monies for lawn + garden stuff. Once again, it was SO satisfying to pull from that special savings account to buy what we needed. It wasn’t “unbudgeted,” it didn’t go on a credit card, and we were able to continue with our plans painlessly. Bring on the plants! (Also say a prayer that I can actually grow things…).
(Also say a prayer that I can actually grow things…).
And what could have gone better?
1.) Control Freak or Learn to Let Go?
I’m struggling to recognize if this is a true bad thing, or I need to learn how to relax a bit. Tight budgeting has me wound, well, kind of tight lately. While we had a lot of fun and were able to enjoy our money this month, I had a nagging feeling that it still should have been planned or budgeted. Like, why don’t we have an entertainment fund?
Again, I’m trying to let that go. I’m also trying not to make *any* further adjustments to the budget until my quarterly review in July. Maybe in July I’ll find that we should maybe implement an entertainment budget? But in the meantime, I’m trying to give my financial control freak a chill pill.
So, is April 2017 a BUDGET or BUST: BUDGET!
Once again, we had so much fun. I’m feeling a little guilty about it, but ultimately, it was in the budget!