Wednesday, October 1, 2008

September budget report: It wasn't that bad really

So I'm back with my results for September. This month was a month of some extra expenses which I should have planned beforehand, but didn't, and that resulted in our going above budget. Also we decided that we wanted to spend some money on our fitness and paid a substantial amount upfront, which was also unaccounted for so that led us to go over-budget this month.

So our major budget breakers this month were: Personal grooming ( this included gym membership fees) and gifts for friends and family. Besides these, we relapsed into our habit of coming home from our offices for lunch+tea and that combined with some picnics, so we paid almost 2X for gas this month. Apart from this we did really well in all other categories.

After all is said and done we ended up going 64.13$ above our targeted budget. I also expect to get $57 back in mail in rebates, so it is actually $7 deficit. So I think it is not so bad after all and I just need to be more careful about irregular expenses next time.

So that was the lowlight for the month, and now about the highlights:

1) I am pretty excited about the new fitness regimen that we have been following. Recently BEB and I completed 50 days of uninterrupted daily exercise. Now that's a first and I hope we'll have many more such milestones.

2) My efforts to generate alternate income have been gathering momentum, slowly but surely. I have gotten really good at handling coupons, snagging deals. I have had many freebies and gift cards coming through various survey and test-drive opportunities. BEB was initially ho-hum about the whole idea but now he has become open towards it. This blog has also seen some progress in terms of new opportunities, although I haven't been able to devote the kind of time I would have liked.

3) I've also become much better at taking care of my appearance. I have been updating my nail-polish frequently, paying more attention to my clothes and trying to look better in general. And you know what, it shows...I got many complements from my colleagues about my clothes :)

4) I've paid more attention to the upkeep of our home as well. Now I try to clean it more frequently so that I have to spend less time on the weekends in cleaning. I think this is working out well but we'll see...

5) We have made great progress towards saving for the down payment of our house, but we still have a long way to go before we reach that "No PMI" mark, i.e. 20%.

By the way, I celebrated my birthday in September. In a way it felt like all those freebies, new opportunities and rewards were some sort of birthday gift for me because I have been working on them for such a long time with little returns and suddenly this month it all started falling into place. I just hope this wave of good events continues and with that, I look forward to October.

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