May was a wake up call for us. Ok wait, that was April. May was a big learning month. It showed me how important it is to plan ahead for unusual expenses.
Even before we committed to following a budget, I had always loosely followed a budget of $600 for myself. I know how our family eats, what our needs are, and generally how much food I need to get every week. In May, Kevin took his vacation and was home for an extra week. When we were planning out our budget for groceries, I didn’t even think to add more to our grocery budget to compensate for him being home. Adding a week’s worth of food for a grown man makes a big difference to how much is spent on groceries! Especially since when he’s not here, I eat my meals a little bit differently. I find that I don’t cook as big of meals, we will usually eat something simple like meatballs and veggies.
We went over budget on shopping and eating out, too. Shopping included buying clothes for me and also buying stuff for Eleanor’s birthday and party. After years of buying whatever I want, when I want, it’s a little harder than I thought it would be to stop doing that. I think that is because in the back of my mind I know that we have enough to cover extra spending. Ten years ago I was more disciplined in how I spent my money, but with a little practice I know I can get back to not spending as frivolously.
We went over our eating out budget by $32. Part of this was due to the fact that after a very busy weekend, our dishwasher broke! And after spending all day doing a whole lot of work to see if we could fix it, we had to go buy a new one. So, I meal plan, right? Well if I’m not home to actually prep and cook the meals, then I don’t stick to the plan. And that’s okay. Sometimes our life is a little chaotic and we choose to eat out.
So also, our dishwasher broke! I have felt like this has been coming on for a while now, so I wasn’t shocked. And really, it could not have broken at a more convenient time as far as sales go. We got a really nice dishwasher for over $100 less than its original full price. Which is great because sales, and I really love love my new dishwasher! It has a half-load setting which is perfect for me since I run our dishwasher every night.
Although we were able to pay cash for the dishwasher, we don’t have an emergency fund set up. That is something we want to have and will probably get started with funding it in June. Right now we just want the basic emergency fund of $1000. I don’t think it will be hard for us to do this. I think we have never made any progress with a significant savings amount because we have never set a savings goal which allowed us to spend as much money as we please. And then we would be disappointed when we didn’t have enough left over for savings. What a shocker, right? lol!
I’m learning that it is true that I can’t just set my budget and then never look at it again. Every month is not the same so the budget for every month can’t be the same. With our first month of budgeting completed, I am so happy with all that we have learned and can do better with our future monthly budgets!