I am going to do my monthly budget recap posts slightly differently from now on. Starting this month I'll include what I've saved, not just what I spent.
Changing Personal Finance Focus
Before, I explained where I went over budget and such (always clothes and food) and then let you know how in the black or, more often, how in the red, I was each month. I'll continue to do that, but will also include how much I saved. I think that was missing in previous reports, so it looked like I either spent every last penny and then some or just finished out the month with a little bit. In reality, I was putting money away. I just didn't count that toward my total for the end of the month. Why? Because money I save is not for spending. So, for my own psyche, I counted it as gone, unavailable. But I think reporting it on the blog that way painted an unrealistic picture of what I was doing with my money.
My Report for March
Here's the breakdown of how I did in March:
End of the month: $161.74
Saved: $1,289 (21% of my monthly income)
Net Worth: $26,234 (I am excluding my "tithe" saving -- this is money I am saving expressly to give away, which I will explain in another post)
Where I Went Over Budget
Dining out and clothes. What else is new? Seriously, on March 30, I treated a buddy to dinner (it's a monthly thing we do. He treated me last month. But since I know this will happen every month, there's no reason I should have gone over here).
On March 31, I bought a pair of shoes. Each of those purchases alone put me over budget for each of the categories ($31 and $25 respectively). Boo! No excuses.
Even with me starting to buy organic groceries, I stayed under budget on groceries this month. Meal planning and taking lunch to work PAYS. I knew that already and I shouldn't need any more proof.
Entertainment. Went $56 over. Why? I just didn't plan well. I may also be in denial about how much I spend here and may need to readjust my budget (or stay my butt home... nah).
My Plans for the Black Money
Save it! I allow plenty of room in my budget for shopping, fun and dining out. The money I don't save by the end of the month should build assets for me (including training, education, experiences and travel), not help me accumulate more stuff.
How'd you do in March?