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Friday, April 4, 2008

March Budget Review

My apologizes for the lack of regular posting this week. I've been in training most days at work and by the time I get home, my brain is so numb that I can't come up with anything intelligent to post.

March was not so good for my budget. The goal was to finish the month with enough money in my YNAB buffer that I could live off of that money for April and start the policy of living off of last month's income.

I'm just about there. I overspent in March, so April's going to be tight, and may have a few overages by the time it's all said and done, but I can make up for that in May.

During March, I was over budget by just over $153. Some of it was preventable, some of it less so. I forgot that my virus protection came up for renewal in March, for example. I also was not aware that I was on auto-renewal, so when I was prompted to renew, I did. And then I got auto-renewed. Meaning that I paid twice. Sure, I'm now covered until March 2010, but that was a chunk of money that I wasn't planning to spend quite that quickly. Additionally, I went overboard on groceries. Some of that has to do with products that I buy in bulk, some of it was just general grocery prices. Looking at April, I think I'll be over this month as well, without any extravagant purchases. Prices have gone up and I prefer to spend the extra money to buy healthy foods. Fresh fruits and veggies are expensive at the supermarket right now. I'm crossing my fingers that the farmer's market sellers will be a bit cheaper.

(Of course, even though I work to save money and live frugally, even if the farmer's market turns out to be more expensive, I will still buy my produce there. Not only is it better quality, but I like the idea of buying locally and supporting the smaller farms rather than paying money to the big conglomerates.)

I did travel for a wedding this past month, but those expenses weren't as bad as I thought. I'm pretty pleased with how well I managed to stick to my budget on that trip. I only purchased a bottle of water and some coffee in the airport, an unusual thing for me as I'm usually drawn in by the magazine racks and bookstores while I'm waiting for my flight.

I am not so hopeful for April's budget, as I'm working from less than I wanted to. I'm going to try to stay as tight to the budget as possible, and then make it up in May. I've got another wedding to travel to in May, as well as a family vacation. My family is actually paying for the vacation so I can attend, for which I am incredibly thankful. I know there is at least one night when it will just be me and my parents for dinner before the rest of the family flies in, so I'm going to try to pick up the tab that night. It's not much, but I think it's a nice gesture and a tiny way I can try to show how much I appreciate their paying for the trip so that I can attend.

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