May 2016 Update

It’s time for another monthly update! My spending was a bit higher than I wanted, but overall it was a good month. I still saved more than I had been before, even if it wasn’t as high as I would like. Take a look below to see how I did compared to my budget. Here’s to June (my birthday month!!!) being more frugal than May was!

 Budget  May
 Roth 401(k)         245        245
 Roth IRA         455        455
 Rent         900        900
 Electricity         120          23
 Gas           35            7
 Cable         120          51
 Car Insurance         125        122
 Parking DTLA         130        160
 Gas & Fuel           85        103
 Other Auto           75          57
 Entertainment           50          42
 Groceries         130          165
 Restaurants         110        173
 Misc Expenses           75      154
 Pets         125        419
 Shopping           50          0
 Additional Savings         550        303
     3,380     3,380

 

 

Roth 401(k) Contributions

Budget May
245 245

This is an auto deduction from my paycheck, it’s going to happen every month, rain or shine.

 

Roth IRA Contributions

Budget May
455 455

This is another auto savings device, it gets transferred from my direct deposit account to my IRA right after the first payday of the month.

 

Rent

Budget May
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 May
Electricity 120 23
Gas 35 7
Cable 120 51

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.

Nothing really changed for this month. Next month I’m expecting to see some additional savings from TWC though!

Car Insurance

Budget May
125 122

Doesn’t typically change from month to month. There’s a lot of advantages to being 23 that can help me keep my expenses low, but unfortunately when it comes to car insurance, being 23 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 May
130 160

So they raised my monthly parking amount L its now $160 per month. Time to update my budget. Although, hopefully not for long! I may have figured out how to get to and from DTLA using public transportation. I’m still ironing out the wrinkles, but when I’ve got my process implemented I’ll write a post on it!

 

Gas (Auto)

Budget May
85 103

I drove a little bit more this month causing me to have to fill up 3 times. I had 2 drives to visit family that used up the bulk of the extra tank. If I get my commute nailed down though I’m hoping this number drops!

 

Other Auto

Budget May
75 57

This includes the Fasttrack, Ubers, other parking, maintenance, oil changes, ect. Hoping to get this line item down from changing up my commute as well

 

Entertainment

Budget May
50 42

May was good, got some free entertainment on a hike in Palos Verdes, saw Captain America Civil War, rented the Martian from PSN. I cancelled Sirius, so next month I should start seeing the benefit from that!

Groceries

Budget May
130 165

We had a bunch of different people visit this month, driving our grocery bill up. My mom, and my girlfriends family (parents and brother) visited during May. The parentals will pay for dinner when we go out, but when we’re eating home cooked meals it comes from our grocery shopping. For 35 extra bucks a month though, its worth it to have the family come by J.

 

Restaurants

Budget May
110 172

 

Spent a bit more here than I would have liked, I was pretty good about bringing lunches to work, but could have been better with dinners. There were 3 bigger meal items here that really caused the overage. 2 of them were picking up meals from fast-food restaurants for dinner for me and my girlfriend. $20 to Chick-fil-a is good, but ain’t worth busting the budget. The last one though, totally worth it. I mentioned my mom was visiting this month, so I took her out to dinner to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Misc Expenses

Budget May
75 154

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:

 

May – about $100 to sign up for this site! Between buying the domain and setting up hosting, it wasn’t cheap! But its honestly already paid for itself since its been holding me accountable and making me think twice about my spending. The other $50 was for a birthday gift for my dad and a Mother’s Day gift for my mom.

 

Pets

Budget May
125 419

 

May was another crazy expensive dog month. Part of it ($100) came from boarding the dogs when we were at Stagecoach at the end of April. We didn’t get billed for it until May 1. $80 was food/treats for the 2 dogs, but that should last us for a while. We’re trying out the big 40 lb bag to see how it works. If the food stays fresh for the length of time it takes the dogs to eat it, we’re thinking about getting a Costco membership to cut the food costs per bag from $50 to $25.

The rest of it ($250) came from getting a dog walker this month. Normally the dogs are at my apartment, where they have access to a doggy door and can go outside during the day. However this month we’ve had a ton of construction going in/around my apartment, so the dogs have been at my girlfriend’s apartment where there is no doggy door. We can’t leave the pups all day so we’ve got a walker come to let them out every day. Once the construction is done (hoping for sometime soon!) we’ll move the dogs back to my apartment. It’s expensive for sure, but we can afford the extra cost to make sure our dogs are safe and happy.

 

Shopping

Budget May
50 0

May – No shopping for me! I’ve got to start saving up for the new Madden though, in May they announced the new cover athlete (Gronk Spike!) and the new features. It comes out in August and will cost $60!

 

Additional Savings

Budget May
550 303

My initial goal was to save $550 a month more than I had previously been saving. In May I didn’t quite hit my goal, but I still put $303 more towards savings than I would have last year. There were a few different reasons for it, mainly the dog walker, but I feel like I’m on the right track. I’ve made some changes this month (lowering my cable bill, cancelling XM, possibly finding a free way to work, and signing up for a library card) that didn’t show up yet, but should start making a noticeable impact in June/July.

 

How did you do this month? Were you able to make any changes to better your financial life? Let me know, I’d love to hear about them!

 

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