Tuesday, May 1, 2007

April Results

With April officially over, I closed out my budget. It looked like this:
Category Budget Actual Difference
food $350.00 $385.97 ($35.97)
housing $550.00 $450.00 $100.00
entertainment $200.00 $102.69 $97.31
transport $200.00 $144.03 $55.97
clothing $100.00 $6.50 $93.50
travel $1,000.00 $797.47 $202.53
health $300.00 $5.18 $294.82
beauty $50.00 $4.42 $45.58
education $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
misc $300.00 $211.36 $88.64
total $3,050.00 $2,107.62 $942.38

I did rather poorly on food. There are a number of reasons for this, visiting the boyfriend for his birthday, taking a friend out to dinner for her birthday, spending a weekend at Penn State, etc, but those are just really excuses. I should be better about this in the future, but I also need to work out some way to merge food and entertainment. Sometimes dinner isn't just dinner. Aside from being bad with food, I did go ahead and buy both a plane ticket to Hawaii for the July wedding and a ticket to Boston for graduation, which made the travel category high. There was also a donation back to my college's alumni gift contributing to the miscellaneous category, but my charitable giving is just going to get worse before it gets better.

At least I did manage to put some more money into my grad school savings this month.

A general note on my budget: I set my budget at the beginning of the month based on what I think I will spend, not my net pay. Everything is then tracked and entered as soon as possible after purchase. All purchases are recorded on a cash basis, meaning that if I paid for it in a given month, it's in my budget for that month, hence the plane tickets. I do try to be frugal, but I also try to budget for things I know I'm going to do.

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