Ok, so it’s been a month of tracking our expenses and I have learned a great deal. Like I said in my mid-month review, my biggest takeaway from this experiment is that my budget was too simplistic and I didn’t have enough categories in it. Any unexpected expenses came out of any surplus available.
But the biggest realization is that maybe I am not so frugal after all? Our food expenses totaled almost $500 for three people. I am choosing to count my toddler son as a third person because I do buy food items specifically for him, so he creates expenses. This food amount also includes $115 for eating out. In itself, I don’t think that’s an outrageous amount and we did spend a weekend away from home. In addition, I spent money stocking up on a few food and toiletry items. But personally, I don’t think that should be an issue because items I stocked up on this month won’t get restocked next month but others will. So, it’s a revolving cycle. Even if it seems excessive to some (I am no $35-a-week grocery budget person obviously), I am comfortable with how much we spend on food. I know that I do my best to save on food and my husband and I agree that this is the level of frugalness we would like to keep. There are certain things we are not willing to give up to cutback on how much we spend on food.
Also, considering that my husband works 15 minutes from home, one might consider our gas expenses a bit high. I do add to that as well. I have an activity scheduled for either myself or our son every morning. So we drive somewhere everyday. However, our gas expense also includes any amount spent on gas for my husband’s business trips. Like I said in my mid-month update we do not reimburse ourselves for any amount spent and instead we use any mileage reimbursement he gets from work to fund our son’s 529 plan. This month that translates into $250.
If you scroll down to the embedded table below you will see my new budget with the added categories. I am going to keep tracking our expenses for the month of November. This time I will also keep my grocery receipts to maybe identify any budget busters I can work on. Just because there are some things we are not willing to give up doesn’t mean I can’t work on others I might have overlooked. I also intend to use a combination of the budget/envelope system where I will be putting aside amounts I don’t use fully in the budgeted month. I hope that works better for us.
What do you guys think? are my food expenses too much? Do you think there’s something I might have overlooked?