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November Expenses and my First Budget

November 28th, 2006 at 05:51 pm

I just examined November's expenses-- I think I did OK considering I stayed out of the red there were some irregular expenses, mainly:

** $85 for a cleaning lady to visit my mother's house (mom lives 250 miles from me and recently broke her arm).
** $331 for interest on undergrad school loans (currently in deference since I'm in school)

The extra money from hearing testing helped cover me this month. Due to Thanksgiving, I lost some income from my personal chef client who needed fewer meals.

I was particularly proud of the grocery expenses: $154.84 for the entire month for 2 adults (includes only taxable items). However, we did spent $76.99 eating out (again, for 2 people). The eating out expense seems to fluctuate. We've actually had some months with zero eating out expenses, but it's rare.

Armed with this knowledge, I used Quicken to create my first budget. I'm curious to see how it goes. December might not be the best month to start budgeting due to the Holidays and irregular expenditures, but if nothing else, it should help to keep my expenditures in check. I'm making an extra $200 /month this semester in return for doing extra grading, but come January that will be gone and I'll be back to $1350 / month. The time is ripe to tighten the purse strings!

I did budget in a monthly contribution to an IRA, but I still need to get something set up with Vanguard. Hopefully I can accomplish this by Friday.

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