Sunday, August 31, 2008

August budget report: YAAY!!!

We passed the August budget test with flying colors. *Screams loudly* YAAAY!!!

Yep! We finally made it to the end of the month significantly under our targeted budget, and there were very few categories where we actually surpassed our allocated budget and quite a few, where we were below it substantially. After adding all the expenses, we're still $200 under our targeted monthly budget. Now thats what I call a phenomenal success.

So now it seems possible that we can live on less than the targeted budget and I don't need to bump it up to meet it. That sounds like good news to my ears.

Highlights of the month:

1) A few calls saved us almost 400$ yearly. I still can't believe we were paying so much for the insurance.

2) I finally started seeing some substantial money from my online money making efforts. This month I got about 50$ through various survey sites, I had been working on. It may be an exceptional month, or it could be such that these efforts have really gained momentum now. We shall see.

3) We have finally decided to take renter's insurance and a gym membership. In fact, we have already taken renter's insurance and we're trying a gym right now for a week where we want to enroll if it works out well. I am just amazed at how much effort it takes to cut down expenses and how easily the new expenses add themselves into our life. Well, this was a bullet I had to bite, I'll write another post about why I found it necessary to take a gym membership.

4) We looked into buying a house once again, we came across some decent homes, but so far it looks like they are not really within our budget. I think the right time hasn't come yet. We'll have to wait for a while, it seems. The good thing is that we're very close to 10% down payment for our housing budget. I would like to bring it to 20%, but it is not going to happen for a couple more months.

5) We again lapsed into the habit of coming home from office during the break. Our gas expenses took a serious hit because of that. We need to drop that habit.

6) I have also written into many carnivals and even organized make it from scratch carnival here at Learning the ropes. This blog has really become a big part of my life now.

Goals for the coming month:

1) Reduce waste: I feel that we could reduce our grocery bill significantly if I can reach that sweet spot where my refrigerator is properly stocked with the staples, but nothing gets wasted.
I've worked towards that in August but have more to do in coming months.

2) Find a way to maintain the leather furniture we have. We have off white Italian leather sofa, but I don't know what cleaners to use that can clean it without harming its texture.

3) Need to simplify my life a bit. I am now feeling that I have a lot more going on that I can comfortably handle. One big thing towards that is to plan a menu that I can get going easily during those crazy weekdays. Sometimes just getting the food on the table becomes such a big hassle.

So with a pat on our back, we look forward to September.

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