Monday 143: September Recap and a Bright Idea

Bright Ideas

Monday, 10 October 2016

It is proving to be eye-opening, interesting, and scary to have discussions about money.  A lot of emotions are running around, and that is because we usually avoid talking about money.  But, before we continue there, let’s do a bit of a recap on September’s expenses.

The September Budget

This month, all the usual expenses were met, with additional costs of vehicle registration ($274) for the truck.  Food was over by $241 (we laid in a lot of meat from Costco), gasoline costs were up (filling the diesel truck, which has a huge tank) to $169.72, costs for two adult ed classes ($205) and professional license renewal ($164), and a birthday present cost $200.  Still, nothing was put on any credit card, and a $600 payment was made toward the next one to be paid off.  We knew about the costs for the professional license and the truck registration, as well as upcoming expenses for birthday and bulk meat purchases.  Next month, we will be increasing our food budget a bit, as we are eating a lot more fruit and vegetables than previously, but that is all for the better.

Looking At October

We are on track with most things, as we know that October is a birthday month.  The food bill is being watched, as are the itchy Amazon fingers.  Ten days into October has seen only one small purchase for about $10.  What we do see is being able to put $1000 into savings and, hopefully, close to $1000 toward the next credit card.  That may be a bit less, depending on a couple of other things, but so far, so good.  We have also spent $212 on Acura repairs.

A New Thought

One thing that came up after last week’s money talk is the fact that my income is variable every month.  Consequently, I started thinking about it and realized what I should do is divide my salary by 12 and then use that as an average income.  From there, I determined what we needed every month, and came up with a number to cover all expenses, put $1000 in both savings and toward credit card debt, and still have a comfortable bit of wiggle room for life.  That amount is pretty generous, really, but anything left over can be applied to the next month, or to ongoing debt reduction.

The most interesting point about deciding what I need to put in monthly from my wages was the realization that on flush months, money would go to savings, and on short months, money would come out of savings, or be met by the previous month’s leftovers.  I really like having a predictable amount of money every month, and I am very surprised this simple idea didn’t occur to me earlier . . . . But, truthfully, I think our beginning to open up about finances is opening up new ideas about what we need to do.

Next Weekend:  The First Joint Bill-Paying Session

Next weekend will be the first weekend we will review the budget together.  I have no idea how it will go, but I hope it will be good.  Touchy and tough, too, and potentially volatile . . . who knows!  New things are uncomfortable, so we will acknowledge it move forward.

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