As I’m posting this more than a month after my last budgeting report, which was itself a month late, I think I need to give some sort of explanation. Basically, I got lazy. As explained in my last post I wasn’t doing well with my budget in March, which made me reluctant to write the report for that month. That immediately led into me pretty much ignoring how I was doing with April’s budget until nearly the end of the month. I managed to scrape it together before the month’s end, but that was mostly from transferring money out of the accounts put aside for big purchases for some time in the future, which is something I told myself I wouldn’t do and ideally will never do again.
Compared to last month it might start to look like I’ve cut down my spending in the Lifestyle budget, but the reality is that items which used to go fully into that group (like petrol and other travel costs) are now split between Lifestyle and Essentials. This should help me keep track of which problem areas I need to clamp down on. One thing I definitely need to improve on is cash withdrawals, as I’ve not been keeping track of where I’m spending my cash, and it’s difficult to remember how much I spent on what after the fact. Currently around 8% of my income seems to turn into cash, which quickly vanishes into thin air. That’s quite a hefty chunk to lose track of, and going forward I’ll be keeping a closer eye on where it’s going.
I started to get things back on track for May (which I’ll talk about next week), and this was mostly thanks to starting a free open university course recommended to me by my friend Drew. It helped get me back into the right mindset and taught me a few key tricks to avoid spending that I’ve heard several times before, but somehow manage to forget about after a few weeks later. It’s reminded me about what I’ve forgotten and is teaching me new things in the process. I highly recommend it for anyone who’s interested in learning how to manage their money. You can find the course here – Managing my Money.