Monday, April 25, 2011

Putting the Squeeze on the Budget

Last week I wrote about putting the You Back in Frugal.  I decided that I desperately needed to add an Entertainment line to my budget, plus I was trying to figure out how to cover my entertainment costs for the rest of April.

I sat down and figured out how much $$ I would need for upcoming social events - coffee with my brother and sister-in-law, dinner with my nephews, movies with Michael, wine to go with dinner at my brother's house yesterday and Easter goodies for Kazi. I budgeted $105 (using my credit card for points & to be repaid next month so I wouldn't have to withdraw money from savings) and I think I came in a bit under budget!!

Budgeted                                                  Actual
Coffee - $3.00                                            $3.25 (had a tea AND a coffee)
Two movies - $12.00                                   $16.75 (movies were $7 each &
                                                                 I bought a diet coke but I 
                                                                 snuck in my own popcorn!!)
Dinner - $50.00                                           $35.00 but then Kazi and I went
                                                                 to Yoyo's for frozen yogurt so
                                                                 that came to:
Wine - $20.00                                             $19.95
Easter Goodies - $20.00                               $7.76
Total                                                         Total
$105.00                                                     $88.17

I can live with that - I came in under budget and didn't break the bank. I'll pay that back next month (well, payday is Friday) and I've also managed to add an Entertainment line to my budget for $100.00 in addition to my usual Misc money.  It's not a lot but I'll see how it goes. 

The way I came up with the extra $100 was by estimating a few costs a bit closer to their actual costs instead of over-estimating. The amount I pay for interest on my line of credit has decreased but I hadn't adjusted the amount in my budget, also Union Gas and London Hydro have been about $30 less each month than what I had budgeted. 

In May I have a few extra expenses so I hope that doesn't rock the budget too much - I have to pay for my car sticker ($74) and we are going away TWO weekends - one for a wedding (so need to cover a gift and one night at a motel) and one weekend for my birthday. We'll see how it goes.                           


The Witch said...

This budget for entertainment seems very manageable until you come to P.E.I. and pass by the Frosty Treat Dairy Bar or any Dairy Bar. I've up the budget another $20.00 a month for this luxury which I know I'm really going to enjoy.
Weddings can be very expensive so you are wise to be budgeting for these happy occasions.

Sharon said...

This sounds like a really great plan, Jane. And spending only $88 for all that you wanted to do (and did!) was amazing. When I figure going out to eat I usually have to include my "tribe". I could never get away with only $35.00. I hope to have a "living more" budget line in May, thanks to this idea of yours! It's time to put a bit more fun in the budget!

Canadian Saver said...

birthday get-aways don't need to be accounted for in budgets ;-) (I WISH!!)

I need to tighten my budget too, thanks for the motivation to do so!!

Anonymous said...

Yay for coming in under budget!

jpkittie said...

I love seeing that you came in under budget! Woot woot - way to go love!

Jane said...

Witch: oh my yes! Michael and I stopped at the dairy bar nearest us and they had this icecream flavor we'd never tried before - almond toffee and it was sooooo good! Icecream is my biggest weakness when it comes to food!

Jane said...

Sharon - yes I was lucky in that Kazi paid for her own dinner & Michael was working so I only had to pay for myself. Makes a HUGE difference! Can't wait to see what FUN you put into your budget for May!

Jane said...

Canadian Saver - since it's MY birthday getaway it is above and beyond the regular budget - it'll be coming out of Michael's budget and he's prepaid pretty much everything already! He's learning how to better manage his money - aren't you dear? (Just in case he reads this:)

Jane said...

jpkittie and laura: thanks for cheering me on woot woot!!

Mark said...

I'm proud of you.
Sorry, I have no smart-ass comment today.
Your Friend, m.

~Carla~ said...

All you can do is keep track, see how you do and re-evaluate in a month... I bet you'll do great though! ;)

Jane said...

thanks Carla - I sure hope so!

Mark: are you ok? I miss your smartassiness!

SonyaAnn said...

You did really well. I love when I come in under budget. It doesn't happen often here though. 2 teenagers and gas prices are bound to sink anyone.
Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

Seems like you have everything budgeted. We are starting to plan our month of May many little money