Wow! Where is the time going?? Another month gone…only 1 more left for the year 2012! Tomorrow is the 1st of the month so that means it’s time to put together the monthly budget. There are a few changes I had to make to include Christmas expenses. This month I’m going to start saving a little more for my financial planning courses that start March 5th. Also, my take home pay is decreasing a little because my job is going to start taking out my insurance premiums. I started a new job and I’ve just hit the 90 day mark.
I’ve been thinking about my budget for this upcoming month for the past few days because of the additional Christmas expense and saving to pay for classes. My biggest challenge was balancing everything! It was tough but I finally ironed out my financial plan for the month.
- 72%- household expenses
- 10%- paying for financial planning courses
- 5%- giving
- 13%- Christmas/additional spending
If you compare my November budget and this month’s you’ll see I took out retirement (5%) and debt payoff (5%). I decided to put a hold on both categories for the next 3 months so that I can pay for the courses in cash. I hate not contributing to my IRA, but for 3 months I guess it’ll be fine.
One of my goals for November was to find ways to decrease my household expenses by 4%. I honestly didn’t think it would be that difficult to find areas I could reduce or eliminate, but I was wrong! I did manage to decrease my car insurance by roughly $30/month. I also shaved off some excess spending in fuel cost and groceries. In the end I was able to decrease my household expenses by 2% this month. I didn’t hit my goal, but I’m happy I decreased and didn’t increase!
My additional spending went up 2% over last month to take care of my Christmas expenses. This year I really want a tree, so that’s something I kept in mind.
For December I would like to see if I can decrease my household expenses by at least 1%. Last month I was pretty ambitious with my goal. I’m hoping with such a low goal number I can be a bit more successful at achieving it.
It’s Christmas time! I know there are some people who budget for Christmas throughout the year (smart!). How do you budget for Christmas?