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Budgeting score – May

23 Jun

Again, this one’s going up late, although not as late as the March and April ones.  If things go well then I’ll able to stay on track now, and post the remaining months within a week or so of the month actually ending.  So here’s how things went in May.

Essentials Lifestyle Savings
Target score: 50% 30% 20%
Actual score: 63.7% 25.8% 10.5%
Still not brilliant considering my targets, but not bad when you consider how the past couple of months have gone.  I’m impressed that I managed to keep my lifestyle budget a good 4% under my target and it’s reassuring to know that my efforts to cut down on games, takeaways and other non-essentials is working well.  One problem that cropped up was a number of vet bills which ending up being paid for out of the holiday piggybank, which meant missing the holiday we’d planned for later in the month.  There was enough to cover them, but it’s not really an ideal situation.  If the operations had happened just a few weeks later, then we wouldn’t have had the money to pay for them on hand, which tells me that I really need to start putting money aside for an emergency fund.  Speaking of putting money aside, this month I re-evaluated the amounts I was putting into the separate budgets/piggybanks, and realised I could cut most of them in half. Takeaways and going out is nice and all, but I was shooting over my planned budget by so much each month that the only thing that made sense was to restrict it them to an even lower amount.  At least that way if I do go over budget the amount spent will still be lower than it might be.

This month I also made keeping track of my budgeting a little easier by writing a small program to turn my bank statements into data I can copy & paste into Excel in bulk.  It’s nothing fancy, but instead of copying out the name, date and amount of each transaction separately (and getting a bunch of other junk data wrapped up with it) I can just do the entire statement in one go, whether it’s a single week’s worth of data, or a whole month.  Work one of my hobbies into this made this a bit more enjoyable, so I’m going to tidy it up a bit, make it more useful to people who aren’t me and then post it online.  If I can I make keeping track of my budget actually fun then things will become far easier.

In other news I realised that I might just be able to stay out of my overdraft entirely this month.  It’ll be a pretty tight week, but if I manage it this’ll be the first month where I’ve stayed out of the red since I started working.  The budgeting course is due to finish in the first few days of July too, so I should have a better idea of what to do with my savings now that they’re not just paying off debt.  It’ll be pretty damn close, but I think I can make it.  Scratch that, another last-minute visit to the emergency vet means this won’t happen.  What I will make sure happens though is me re-evaluating all my budgets again and setting up an emergency fund.

May’s final score:

5/10 – Starting to recover

Past scores: January – 7/10 February – 5/10 March – 3/10 April – 3/10

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3 Comments

Posted by on June 23, 2014 in Budgeting, Self-Improvement

 

3 responses to “Budgeting score – May

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