Thursday, August 2, 2012

Actual Expenses: July 2012

The last month has been rough (even by typical grad student standards) and I've been feeling more than a little behind.  One of the things that helped clear my head was taking a look at where I am now in comparison to where I was a year ago and I must say, things are certainly much much better!  I've officially been tracking my spending for the last 18 months, which gives me a bit of data to look back on.  Instead of just looking at the past month's expenses, today I'm going to do a little bit of a comparison.  First, a look at where I was a year ago.
What's that? Where is the savings?  To tell the truth, the above was actually more than I earned in a given month.  I had to take out about $100 from savings a year ago to cover my expenses.  PF bloggers all like to say that the first step is to stop spending more than you earn.  While I agree that is a very important first step, I think tracking what you earn versus what you spend is a realistic action that can help you get to the point where you are spending less than you earn.  If you don't know you are spending more, or how much you are spending, or how much you are making, it's going to be very difficult to come up with any concrete plans to rein in said spending.

Bills(Apartment, Utilities, Phone):  I've reduced my expenses from 49% of my budget to 28% of my budget.  I can certainly be happy about freeing up 21% of my money! 

Food:  In the last year I've gotten way more consistent about bringing a lunch and not eating out as often and it shows. Saving an extra 5%! AND I'm even within my budget on this.

Health, Random & Transportation:  Nothing exciting.  I had a medical bill I wasn't anticipating (really? It takes the lab until now to bill me for tests done in February??)

Airline Tickets:  Apparently July is the time I plan out the rest of my years travel plans.  I'm visiting family much further away this time around and it shows.  At least, I've managed to cover the cost within a normal paycheck!

Emergency Fund:  Automatic savings is a good idea for me.

How was your month?  Have you compared your current spending and your past spending to see if your finances are improving?


  1. You’re doing really great Julia! It seems like you have been managing your finances very well because you were able to save some, even it’s something small. It’s nice that you have been your documenting your expenses and savings for quite a while now. Now you are able determine how much you can allot for each of your expenses.

    Valencia Paz

  2. I know the feeling of being in such a tight budget as a student and even now that I am working. I really have to monitor my expenses on a daily basis or else I would only be able to save a little amount every month.

    Era Kehoe

  3. I’ve been having a hard time in tracking my budget and I also have a lot of problems in making financial reports like this. Well, I’m glad that I’m not short on funds but I’m sad since I can’t see my savings growing. Anyway, I’m glad that you’re successful in monitoring your budget and I hope that I can also do that. Hehe! Keep on tracking your financial status since I know you’ll benefit a lot from that. That’s what my Mom advised me before and I’m trying hard to do it. :D

    + Ermentrude Glass +