Monthly Expense Recap: November 2009

Monthly Expense Recap: November 2009


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

How’d I do this month?

Car Payment: $585/$300 (but this is good)
Groceries: $254/$200
Gas: $148/$115
Cell: $86/$75 (ugh)
Personal Care: $28/$20
Bars: $27/$20
Entertainment: $77/$50
Shopping: $65/$300 (yay!)
Bills & Utilities: $114/$200
Restaurants: $63/$75
Student Loan: $162
Discover Card Payment: $150

The Good

The only items I purchased this month was a sweater from Zara, a video game (split it with the bf) and my ear warming wrap. Very happy with my spending in this category.

Eating Out
It feels like I dined out quite often this month, but when I did, I went cheap. My friends and I frequent relatively affordable places anyway. I always order water, never alcoholic drinks (one of the places we ate at was byob!), and never appetizers. These habits keep my meals between $8-15. Also, my boyfriend and I tend to do take out on the weekends so this saves us from having to tip.

The Bad

Cell Phone
Again! I know, I know! I know! I’m working on it! Ugh!

Car Payment
This is actually a good thing! I just wanted to explain it a bit. My normal monthly car payment is $216/month. However, I have dwindled the balance down so much that I am just going to send in some big payments (as I did this month) in December and January and, hopefully, January should be my last car payment! So any spare $25 or $50 or $100 I’ve had throughout the month, after savings, I sent a payment over. I didn’t even realize how much I ended up sending until looking over these expenses earlier today.

I know what got me here. I had company over one weekend and I wanted to make a special meal for them, so I just bought the specific ingredients at full price. That definitely did me in.

Personal Care
I bought some Lush products when I brought my visiting family to the local mall. I wouldn’t have even gone to the mall at all if I were by myself.

Actually, this is fine. There was one dinner out that my boyfriend paid for and I just picked up beer to bring home, so that evened out. Since I was under for eating out, being over budget here is fine. Treating myself to Blue Moon pushed me over.

Well, $40 of this is from my unplanned Atlantic City trip. That includes club cover and food. I didn’t make any other purchases there (nope, no gambling!). $9 is for netflix and $28 was the indoor rock climbing.

Not quite sure what happened here since I didn’t travel much. I will increase this to $200 for December since I will be to visiting family for the holidays.


I am increasing my gas budget to accommodate holiday travels. Entertainment is going up to $150 because I will probably engage in family/friend festivities throughout the month of December. I will move personal care up to $40 but I shouldn’t need anything. However, I have a feeling that I might sneak in a new soap for myself while I’m gift shopping. I’m leaving the restaurants the same and pushing my alcohol budget to $25.

I know December will be a tricky month with all the shopping. I really hate shopping! So I’ve given myself a gift budget of $300. I don’t have too many people to buy for and probably won’t have to spend all that, but I just wanted to be safe. I am also decreasing my personal shopping limit to $100, since I really shouldn’t be buying any goodies for myself anyway!


3 Replies to “Monthly Expense Recap: November 2009”

  1. Why were your bills and utilites so low? Are you considering lowering the budget for that?

    Also, what made your cell phone bill higher than you expected? I hope you’re on a family plan, we pay under $100 for 4 phones including unlimited texting. What service do you have?

    1. I explained in October, that my utilities are split three-ways between myself and my two roomates. The cable bill is always $36 and the water bill is never more than $10. The heat fluctuates, which is why I am keeping my budget at $200 for the winter months.

      I also mentioned back in October that I am having texting issues. I am going to get a handle on it this month. When I first bought the iPhone, everything was fine with texting, then somehow I became involved in an influx of text conversations. So I just need to control that better. I just have an individual iPhone plan with 200 text messages from AT&T. I get a discount through the University I graduated from, so that helps the high cost of the required data plan.

  2. Have you tried one of the free texting applications like TextPlus? That way, you wouldn’t need to get a handle on it, and at 20 cents for overage charges, that can add up quickly.

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