July went by so fast! I can’t believe we’re in August! My busy season is really starting to pick up at work, but I did get to take a vacation with my parents and girlfriend this month. It was an awesome trip and my parents picked up the tab, so it didn’t trip my budget! Photo below is from the vacation:
I barely met my goal of saving $550 more a month than I was before I started this blog, but I did! That’s two months in a row I’ve hit it. I really want August to make it three strikes in a row! My savings rate is starting to normalize around 35%, which is pretty good, but I want to be hitting 50% each month by the end of the year.
| Car Insurance
| Parking DTLA
| Gas & Fuel
| Other Auto
| Misc Expenses
| Additional Savings
Last month, I said I was going to throw my additional savings into my 401(k) contributions. I did make the switch at work to increase contributions, but now it’s difficult for me to really break down what portion of my savings is actually due to my decreased spending. So now I’m going to break my savings down into 2 categories, Original and Additional. In this bucket, my Original savings, contains the amounts that I would have saved before I started this blog. It was an auto transfer of $245 a month to my 401(k) and $455 a month to my IRA, for a total of $700. This is what you’ll see here every month.
Fixed expense, don’t anticipate much movement in the rent price, but should it change, the budget will update accordingly.
This is one of the budget items I’m anticipating will have a large variance from budget to actual every month. The three reasons why though are good ones! Check out my March and April 2016 Update for more information.
Not much difference for this in July compared to June. This should stay relatively constant until football starts in September. Then the TV’s and AC are running pretty much all day Saturday and Sunday!
Doesn’t typically change from month to month. There’s a lot of advantages to being 24 that can help me keep my expenses low, but unfortunately when it comes to car insurance, being 24 sucks! I’ve tried plugging my info and desired coverage levels into every insurance provider I can think of, and this was the lowest I could find! Most other providers were somewhere around 150-210. I guess they really don’t want to insure young people!
Parking in downtown
Woooohoooo, no more parking! Deleting this line item next month! I just had to show a big fat ZERO at least once! Check out my commuting plan here, a 1 month update post is coming soon.
So I didn’t fill up my tank once this month. That was craaaazy. With my daily commute to the bus stop now only 2 miles, I really don’t drive that much. On the flip-side though, my Uber expenses went through the roof! See below
Wowzzaa. Even though my parking and gas went to 0, this category sure spiked. More than half of this was my yearly car registration, so that’s not too bad, but still. My FastTrack bill was for rides in the fast lanes during June, I don’t think we’ll have this that often going forward. I Uber’ed home 7 times this month, and took a trip to the airport and to the beach. Overall, this is more than I would like to see each month. But with the car registration and the FastTrack expenses hitting this month, I think it should be cheaper in the future. Check out the full breakdown below:
|Uber Home after Work (7 times)
|Uber to the Airport
|Uber to the Beach
July was a another cheap entertainment month (cheap in that our awesome concert tickets were purchased in June, and our vacation was curtosey of the Bank of Mom and Dad!) The only items this month were the monthly Netlfix membership for $10 and a movie from PlayStation network (Brooklyn, the girlfriend read the book and wanted to watch the movie.)
Didn’t get away with another 0 month like June, but 102 is well within budget. Unfortunately it was so cheap because my restaurant expenses skyrocketed…
Womp womp womp L This month was a KILLER for restaurants. I had a few special events, and went back to some old habits and paid the price in over TRIPLING my budgeted expenses! The three biggest ticket items are broken out below:
- Special Event #1 – So you remember how last month I said I bought concert tickets for my girlfriend’s birthday? Well this month we got to go! Which also meant dinner and drinks at the venue. That added up fast! Total Cost = $123
- Special Event #2 – My younger cousin came and stayed with me for the weekend. He’s going off to college next month and I wanted to spend some time with him before he goes. It’s crazy its already been 6 years since I was in his shoes. Anyways, as much as I try to live off cheap meals, I wanted to show him a good time so we ate out some of meals (Buffalo Wild Wings – our FAVORITE restaurant and some Krispy Kreme donuts). Total Cost = $71 (what can I say, we like wings and donuts)
- With my cousin vising for the weekend, I didn’t have time to run to the grocery store and prepare meals for the next week. Since I’m working late most nights I didn’t have time after work either, so for 1 week I ate pretty much every meal, lunch and dinner anyways, out. This was going back to some old habits, and it was really costly! Total Cost = $120.
I typically don’t like a “catch-all” budget like Miscellaneous, since its easy to just shove things there and not worry about them. So even though I have this line item, I’m going to list out each transaction to help hold myself accountable:
July – the $74 came in 2 transactions. The first – $49, was a parking ticket. Totally forgot it was a street sweeping day. The second, $25, was our checked bag fee on our vacation.
We had a few dog related expenses this month, but nothing too major. We had a bag of food, some flea medication and a consultation for teeth cleaning for one of the pups. We haven’t gotten his teeth cleaned yet, but when we do its gonna be an expensive trip to the vet! Next month we’ll have our dog boarding fees from the vacation hit, so that will push up our expenses next month too.
I bought two new swimsuits this month for our vacation! I got them on sale at TJ Maxx for about 40% off retail. At $64 though, they’re still expensive!
My initial goal was to save $550 a month more than I had previously been saving. In July I did it! It feels great after having 2 months in a row of hitting my number! I’m looking forward to keeping this momentum going into a strong August! Please go check out how much I’ve save so far this year, and how that corresponds to my savings rate!
P.S. – If you’re wondering “Hey, this dude said he spent $1,440 on Rams tickets, where is that in his spending??,” you’d have a valid point. I didn’t include them here because I am planning on selling off some of the tickets to fund the games I can go to. So far I’ve recouped a decent amount of money for them (check out my tracker!) but if I don’t get back the money I spent by the end of the season, I’ll include an expense for the amount of my loss then. Hopefully that won’t happen though!