Saturday, June 5, 2010

May Budget Totals are In

I realize I'm a bit late with this post. Part of me wants to slink away from the responsibility of keeping track of my finances. An even bigger part of me wonders if anyone else even cares. I'm not an uber-saver; nor am I an uber-spender. I think I'm right in the middle and for that, I hope there's some value to sharing with you.

My monthly "discretionary" budget is $800. Usually $500 goes to groceries and $300 to all other spending at big box stores, specialty stores, and pharmacies. This amount includes clothing, gifts, dining out, even berry picking. One line item I've kept separate is entertainment. I'll probably work that in at some point.

With the way the weeks worked out, I am putting some spending at the end of month towards my June budget, like my swimsuit purchase. We were also fortunate to get a few meals paid for my grandparents which are not included in these totals. Since I went over budget by about $100 last month, I decided to challenge myself this month to spend just $700. Here's the May breakdown:

Grocery (Kroger, Ingles, Sam's Club): $500.09 (saved $165.16; note: no way to know what I "saved" at Sam's Club)
Local Farms (two farmers' markets and two trips to pick strawberris): $71.25 (worth every penny)
Pharmacies (Walgreen's, CVS): $57.12 (saved $150.07--pretty proud of that!)
Dining Out: $18.94
Crafts / Gifts: $41.88 (saved $9.60)
Clothing: $36 (uniforms bought on consignment)

Total Spent: $725.28
Total Saved: $324.83 (31%)

Since I received a check for the recalled medicine for $93, I'm going to take $25.28 out of that credit and use the rest towards my June budget. So June's budget will be $867.72. I'm hoping to come well under that, but maybe finally I can stop beating myself up.

Where I saved the most were the pharmacies: 72%! A lot of these items I will be donating to our Couponing for Charity mission. I have $125 worth of products to donate so far. Our MOMS Club chapter will be taking our first collection to the Volunteer Ministry Center, which serves the poor and homeless of Knoxville. I'll also be presenting a program to teach some of their clients how to get these great deals themselves.

This month's savings isn't as high as in month's past, but that's primarily due to a shift in where I've spent some of my money: local farmers, a consignment sale, and Sam's Club which do not document "savings." For me, it's not about the percentages of what I saved, but did I spend my money wisely? I think this month, I can answer a resounding, "Yes."

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