Mid-month check in

I was feeling really confident when I made my budget this month. I was going to keep everything in check and even though my budget was tight, I figured I’d be able to stick to it. Well, I cracked open my hydro bill today and it pretty well blew away my budget. Last month’s bill: $219 and change. Argh. I absolute despise that bill. Of course, I only used just over $100 in electricity, and the rest of the bill is debt-retirement and delivery charges – and that’s the part of the bill that makes me see red. Those debt-retirement and delivery charges make me damn near irate. Some day I’m not seeing red, I’ll write a post about it.

So how does the budget look so far?

Budget Item Budgeted Amount Amount Spent Amount Remaining
Bank Fee  $                                   $                          $                                   
Business Services  $                                   $                          $                                   
Auto Insurance  $                     122.41  $           (122.41)  $                                   
Gas & Fuel  $                     225.00  $             (44.01)  $                       180.99
Service & Parts  $                        50.00  $                          $                          50.00
Home Decor  $                                   $             (50.79)  $                       (50.79)
Entertainment  $                        30.00  $                          $                          30.00
Coffee Shops  $                                   $                          $                                   
Fast Food  $                                   $                          $                                   
Snacks  $                                   $                          $                                   
Groceries  $                     150.00  $             (68.48)  $                          81.52
Restaurants  $                        45.00  $             (46.25)  $                          (1.25)
Gift  $                                   $                          $                                   
Dentist  $                                   $                          $                                   
Fitness Class  $                        90.00  $                          $                          90.00
Gym  $                        51.00  $             (50.29)  $                            0.71
Mortgage  $                     721.52  $           (360.76)
Books  $                                   $                          $                                   
Hobbies  $                                   $                          $                                   
Property Tax  $                     185.00  $                        
Travel Cost  $                                   $                          $                                   
Mobile Phone  $                        39.55  $             (40.45)  $                          (0.90)
Personal Care  $                        20.00  $                          $                          20.00
Home Insurance  $                        98.90  $             (98.90)
Pet Food & Supplies  $                        15.00  $             (21.03)  $                          (6.03)
Veterinary  $                     150.00  $           (180.08)  $                       (30.08)
Clothing  $                                   $                          $                                   
Electronics & Software  $                                   $                          $                                   
Shopping  $                        20.00  $             (18.08)  $                            1.92
Phone/Internet  $                        75.00  $                        
Hydro  $                     150.00  $           (219.51)  $                       (69.51)
Uncategorized  $                        20.00  $                          $                          20.00
Spending Subtotal  $                  2,258.38  $       (1,321.04)  


My big over-runs so far: hydro, vet bill (fun fact: it costs more for your cat to see the big animal vet, even if the small animal vet is off sick. Also, my cat somehow managed to get worms, which was super gross to discover), and home decor. I bought a storage cube-organizer-thing for my office and some other random house stuff like chalkboard paint, spray adhesive, bbq lighter for the woodstove, etc), which I never intended on buying at the beginning of the month.

I am ticked off with myself after looking at those numbers. I’m hoping to use my frustration as a motivator for the rest of the month though. I’m going to try and be super conscious about my electricity usage, and I might have to grab some CFLs and switch out some of my more often used lights. I think dialing back the baseboards and keeping the woodstove burning good and hot might help a bit too in cutting down the usage. As for any other spending, I’ll be very hesitant in pulling out the debit card. I want to be able to have a fair chunk of money left at the end of this month to put away into savings. Wish me luck.

How do you deal with budget frustrations? Has anything (like your cat barfing up a worm) caught you off guard this month?

Have a good ‘un

Country Girl

Categories: Budget | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Mid-month check in

  1. I can’t stand getting the hydro bill in the mail! Mine is terrible in the summer because I run window air conditioners (2 or 3 of them to help keep the animals cool). It triples my normal bill or more. I finally had enough and went to equal billing so I could budget better.

    Good luck with the rest of the month and the budget. Nothing like a few extra expenses to help you tighten the belt for a week or two.

  2. We got a nice big electric bill this month as well, we blame the Christmas lights. We are already on budget payments for Gas (same as equal billing) and we decided to make the electric and water into budget payments as well so at least we know whats coming!

    • I didn’t put up Christmas lights (call me Scrooge), but I was home a lot more during December and using more heat, so that’s likely why my bill was so high. You’re lucky you can go to budget billing – it’s so much easier to budget when you don’t have surprise bills.

  3. Jordann

    Home heating is uber expensive, I’m glad my utilities are bundled with my rent. If you are looking for a long term solution that would lower your costs significantly, I would suggest installing a geothermal heat pump, since you are using baseboards it’ll cut your heating costs by 75%. I’ve grown up with the system and that will be the first order of business when I buy a house, plus you get low cost air conditioning in the summer and free domestic hot water. Just a thought.

    I have a love/hate relationship with budgets. For one thing, at the beginning of the month there is always the possibility of a fresh start, of a great month. But then life usually happens. For me this month it was buying a block heater for my car, completely skewed my expenses. But it had to be done. Hopefully the next half of the month goes well for you!

    • I would love to get a geothermal system, but I’m a little short on land to have the horizontal type system, so I’d have to go for the vertical wells which cost $$$$$$ (as far as I know). It might be a good thing to investigate in the future though. In the short term, I’m hoping we might get natural gas in the area soon and I might consider putting in a natural gas furnace to replace the baseboards. Thanks for the great comment!

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