Monthly Expense Recap: October 2009

Monthly Expense Recap: October 2009

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To be completely open and honest with you, I’ll go over my monthly expenses and budget with a post each month.

Introduction

Since this is the first breakdown of my monthly expenses. Let me explain my personal definitions of each category and how I estimate my spending.

Shopping
Shopping includes all non-food, tangible items. Gifts, clothing, video games, shoes, fabric, cleaning items, etc.

Gas
Anytime I fuel up my car within the month.

Cell
My monthly cell phone bill from AT&T.

Groceries
All non-prepared food items.

Bills & Utilities
I pay for gas/electricity, water, sewage, internet/cable/phone, and rent every month. All of these are split three ways among myself and my two roomates.

Restaurants
This includes all prepared food.

Entertainment
This refers to non-tangible, entertaining services. Going to the movies, bowling, mini golf, theater, etc.

Personal Care
All hygiene/beauty items and services. Shampoo, facial cleanser, highlights, toothpaste, etc.

Bars
Any alcoholic beverage.

How’d I do this month?

Shopping: $380/$300
Gas: $193/$100
Cell: $80/$75
Groceries: $157/$200
Bills & Utilities: $167/$200
Restaurants: $43/$75
Entertainment: $49/$50
Personal Care: $0/$40
Bars: $0/$20

The Good

Bars
It’s awesome that I didn’t spend anything at bars this month. You can look at my weekends and see that I had fun every single weekend without dropping money at a bar.

Personal Care
The lack of money spent on personal care was due to my laziness. I didn’t feel like going to the salon and getting my highlights re-toned for $25 this month.

The Bad

Cell Phone
Ugh! When i bought my iPhone, i dropped my text plan to the $5, 200 text plan. The first two months I sent/received 45 texts. This month I sent/received 300! Clearly I need to stop being lazy and go back to calling people and relying on email and aim. So unfortunately, the extra texts cost me about $5.

Gas
I was shocked to see how much I spent in gas! Especially since last month I only spent $75. This month however, I drove to see family in upstate NY so that was a full tank of gas just for the weekend. A tank of gas costs about $36 to fill up my Taurus.

Shopping
My boyfriend’s birthday was this month so while I probably shouldn’t have bought myself a pair of boots, I just couldn’t help myself! But $90 of the shopping were on his gifts. I did scale my Shopping category back to $300 since I am trying to pay my car off in January.

Adjustments

I will make some budget adjustments for November. I have one trip planned for November so I will increase my Gas budget to $115. I don’t see foresee needing any hygiene products or getting my hair done next month, so I will cut my Personal Care budget in half. I am trying very hard to have my car paid off by January, so any little bit extra I can throw towards that will really help. I will keep my cell phone budget the same and will make a concerted effort to text less because I cannot afford to increase my texting plan.

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