July 2016 Update

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:

IMG_3870

 

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.

 

 Budget

 July

Original Savings         700        700
 Rent         900        900
 Electricity         120          27
 Gas           35            7
 Cable         120          36
 Car Insurance         125        122
 Parking DTLA            0          0
 Gas & Fuel           85          0
 Other Auto           155          307
 Entertainment           50          16
 Groceries         130          102
 Restaurants         110        375
 Misc Expenses           75          74
 Pets         175         82
 Shopping           50          65
 Additional Savings         550          573
     3,380     3,380

 

 

 

Original Savings

Budget July
700 700

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.

 

Rent

Budget July
900 900

Fixed expense, don’t anticipate much movement in the rent price, but should it change, the budget will update accordingly.

 

Utilities

Utility Budget July
Electricity 120 28
Gas 35 6
Cable 120 25

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!

Car Insurance

Budget July
125 122

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

Budget July
0 0

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.

 

Gas (Auto)

Budget July
85 0

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

 

Other Auto

Budget July
155 302

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:

Car Registration 165
FastTrack 40
Uber Home after Work (7 times) 47
Uber to the Airport 24
Uber to the Beach 26

 

 

Entertainment

Budget July
50 16

 

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.)

 

Groceries

Budget July
130 102

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…

 

Restaurants

Budget July
110 375

 

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.

 

Misc Expenses

Budget July
75 74

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.

 

Pets

Budget July
175 82

 

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.

 

Shopping

Budget July
50 64

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!

 

Additional Savings

Budget July
550 573

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!

 

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