Well here we are a few days into December and after fully analyzing November, I have some great highlights I want to share.
- In October, we spent a whopping $808 on food. Our goal for November was $400, and we ended up spending $447. A lot of this improvement was simply not allowing ourselves to eat out as much which we were able to do by grocery shopping more often. We could drop this spending down further, but Heather and I enjoy going out occasionally so as long as we keep it as close to $400 as possible we’re OK right now.
- We were able to put away $2,200 into savings in November which is fantastic. It was $100 under our goal, but we’re still incredibly pleased. Right now, we’re aiming to hit around the $9,500 mark in savings to have 3 months worth of expenses before cutting back on our emergency fund and funneling more into our student loans. In the end, we’re looking to have 4 months worth of expenses covered in our emergency fund for a total of a little over $13,000. The amount in the below screenshot is a little different because of our lower winter utility expenses.
- In anticipation of a smaller paycheck for Heather in December, we paid our credit card bills off with some extra money we had in November, hence the $0 balance for both in the “Month to Month” column.
So what does my budget for December look like?
We have 11 different people we are needing to buy some sort of holiday gift for this year, including one another. We have been able to use inexpensive DIY gifts, in addition to giving our time (Ex. taking family pictures) as ways to save money and we are hoping to come in under the $400 gift budget.
As far as goals go:
- We want to continue to keep our food budget as close to $400 as possible; however it appears like $450 may be a more realistic target.
- Add $1,200 more to our savings. With Heather taking a trip for work in January that will give us a large increase in income for the month, we are hoping that after that we will be able to more aggressively put money into our student loans outside of the $302 we are doing now.
As we move into the holidays, I invite you to check out some ways to save or make money during the holiday season, in addition to how you can start a budget if you haven’t yet.
Planning, DIY gifts and finding free holiday activities are great ways to give your budget some flexibility this December.
Happy holidays everyone!