Saturday, September 4, 2010

Budget Totals for August

The "uber-savers" out there won't be impressed with my budgeting; so they can stop reading now. However, this is my first year to truly keep track of every penny spent and keep within a budget that's right for our family of five.

My monthly budget of $800 includes all groceries, farmer's markets, u-pick farms, clothing, craft stores, dollar stores, office supplies, dining out, pharmacies, and big box stores. I aim for $500 of that to be in groceries and $300 for everything else. Unfortunately for June and July I went over budget a total of $280. So my goal became to get out of debt by 9/30 by reducing my budget by $140 a month.

Here are the August totals:
Grocery: (3 Kroger, 1 Earthfare, 1 farmer's market, 1 Weigels for milk, and 1 trip to pick blueberries) $325.68 Saved $221.00 (40%)
Clothing: $110.31 Saved $94.02 (46%)
Office Supplies: $31.05 Saved $17.40 (36%)
Pharmacies: $45.10 Saved $197.97 (81%)
Target: $17.79 Saved $12.45 (41%)
Dining Out: $16.16 Saved $7.62 (32%)
Totals Spent: $546.09 Saved $550.46 (50%)
Rebates received: $14.96
Carryover Debt: $280
Amount Over Budget: $11.13

The good news is I almost got out of debt in half the time expected. And I had my highest percentage of savings yet: 50% overall. That gives me some more wiggle room for September because I'll be spending on two birthdays and our 12 year anniversary. Even that dinner I'll be using a coupon because a few days ago, Groupon had a deal for Baker Peters: spend $20, get $50 credit. We've never been there and I'm looking forward to it.

What tips do you have staying on budget? Do you have software that you use to track your spending / savings?

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