July 2018 has been my most expensive month of 2018.
I find it ironic that I am starting my financial independence journey in the same month that has seen the most expenses of 2018 so far. The blessing is that I budgeted for most of these expenses. However, the unfortunate part is that I won’t be able to apply the extra $350 to my debt as planned.
So, where did all of the extra spending go? Instead of writing it all here, I thought it would be nice to take you through my mid-month budget update in video form. I filmed a YouTube video in which I share a budget update, and also my new go-to budgeting tool.
One Big Happy Life Budget Spreadsheet
In the middle of July 2018, I started using a budgeting spreadsheet created by One Big Happy Life. Joseph and Tasha of One Big Happy Life have quickly become very popular in the world of personal finance. Since they launched their YouTube channel, they have become known for being very transparent about their finances, sharing their debt (they are both attorneys and have student loan debt), and their real, above average income numbers. They reject the idea of one-size-fits-all budgeting, instead emphasizing the importance of balance – not focusing on only on debt freedom, but also building wealth. Although my background and lifestyle is quite different from theirs, I still admire their openness and open-mindedness when it comes to personal finance.
I have been using the EveryDollar app for several years and, although I really like it, I was looking for something different. What I like about the spreadsheet is that I can see everything at a glance: what I’ve spent, what’s left, and how much I’ve gone over budget.
July 2018 Mid-Month Budget Check-In
Budget Check-In Takeaways
- Medical expenses dominated the budget. I budgeted $371.90 but ended up spending $565.59, taking me $193.69 over budget. I have a high deductible plan with HSA, and have to pay out of pocket until I meet that deductible. I’ve used all of the funds in my HSA to pay other bills, so I had to spend quite a bit of money on bills this month.
- My grocery budget is dangerously close to being maxed out after only two weeks into July. I spent quite a bit in groceries at the very beginning of July because I didn’t plan very well.
- During the second week of July, I started using my Inventory Meal Planning spreadsheet and have met my $25-$35 per week budget over the past two weeks. I’m going to give myself another month before I consider increasing the budget.
- I have exceeded my $50 ‘fun money’ budget by $28.87. At the beginning of July, I spent a bit more than I planned at Walmart and Ross. But, I got things I truly needed. Still, I need to be mindful of extra spending in this category.
How is your budget going so far? Any wins? Mishaps? Have you identified anything that you may need to adjust? Don’t be afraid to change something that is not working for you. Remember, everyday is an opportunity for a fresh start.