December is OVER. And so is 2018? I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure 2018 lasted about two decades.
Since December is over, you know what that means! December 2018 Spending Report– woo! This spending report is going to be a little bit different, and there are a few different reasons for this.
- December was a long month and I had pay periods that were technically January, but mostly December so I just decided to screw it and add three pay periods to this post. That means that the anticipated numbers and totals are a lot higher than usual, and it also means that I managed to squeeze rent in twice which is why my rent is double what my usual spending report post would have been.
- I decided to do it this way because my last budgeting period ended on 1/3/19. It seemed kind of dumb to add almost two weeks worth of December to my January budget, so I said screw it and went big for this post.
- During this time period, I managed to squeeze in Christmas shopping from Black Friday/Cyber Monday, a trip to Florida with my family, and even some extra shopping for things like pants and lipstick.
It’s the longest budgeting period that I’ve put into one post, and it also happened to be the first month that I have ended up being BELOW BUDGET.
Ok. I was only $26 UNDER budget, but come on! That’s a huge improvement from going hundreds of dollars over budget for the previous two months. I’m really freaking satisfied with this. That $26 is after taking out the extra $78 that didn’t go towards debt, simply because my payments on my student loans were less than expected this month.
But do you know why it’s a BFD?
Well for one it means I’m more accurately budgeting.
It also means that I’m being realistic about what I’m going to spend for certain situations.
And it means that I’m actually spending a little bit less than normal.
At first, I was worried that I was only under budget because I increased certain categories in my budget to make sure I was planning for the extra stuff that was coming up for December, but that didn’t end up being the case.
Because I planned for these things, I had a budget in mind for what I wanted to spend, and instead of just trying to squeeze the extra stuff into my standard budget, I was able to be way more mindful of sticking to the numbers that I had preplanned.
I think this was REALLY helpful because it stopped me from entering into that black and white/all or nothing thinking. In the past, I haven’t changed my budget to account for extras that I KNOW are coming up, and that would make me blow the budget and jump into the mindset of: “Fuck it– I already screwed up my budget so I should just buy all the things and eat out at all the places.”
Then, instead of just going over budget by $20, I’d go ham and spend $200 over budget because I’d just try the “whole budgeting thing” again when the period reset.
Increasing my budget actually led me to spend less.
Goes to show you how much of it, for me, is mental. Setting my budget according to my life works SO much better than trying to only set my life according to my budget.
Now, let’s take a look at the actual category numbers.
The Fuck-Ups Explained
My fuck-ups are pretty easy to explain this time too.
Clo Bare: I went over by $120 because I decided to upgrade to include a search engine in my website. A BIG new improvement, and I’m pumped about it. I did it because I saw that I had extra money leftover in other categories so I figured it would cancel out. Also, after upgrading my site, I realized that since I’m a Weebly affiliate, I actually got money back for purchasing the upgrade! So technically I only went over by $100. And actually, $69 of that was reimbursed because I bought Facebook ads for two of my clients, which got reimbursed SO that means I actually only went over by $31. Not bad, right?
Health Care/Medical: I went over by $50 because I bought comfort food, paid for my prescriptions, tried CBD edibles, and bought comfort food when I hurt my back so badly I couldn’t move for a few days.
Transportation/Car Insurance: I forgot I needed to get an oil change before I left for our road trip down to Florida, so I went over by $30 bucks (even though my oil change was $80 so this still feels like a win).
And that’s it! That’s not bad in terms of fuck-ups. I might even maybe be proud of myself.
Now onto the spending report!
December 2018 Spending Report
Total Debt: $65,498.82
Now if you were paying close attention to my November 2018 Spending Report you’ll notice that my “Total Debt” for December 2018 only went down by like $120. How does that work right? Especially because I still put down $1,172 on my debt this month?!
Interest is a bitch.
And also, I’ve put a freeze on putting extra money on my debt until I build up my savings by at least $4,000.
There’s a few reasons for this.
1. I found out recently that my two week trip to Italy will be unpaid leave because of my job’s PTO policy. It’s fine, but I need to make sure that I have rent, car payment and student loans covered in addition to the cash that I will need to cover my trip to Italy.
2. Since I’m making more money this year, I might need to pay more taxes this year. I’m not sure so I’m trying to save up for that just in case I need to put cash down for that.
3. I want to be sure that I have cash on hand for my trip to Italy in case of emergency.
So, it’s kind of a bummer to pause the “PAY DOWN ALL MY DEBT WITH ALL MY MONEY AND FORGET ABOUT SAVING” to actually save some cash for these scenarios, but at the same time it’s definitely the right move. I’m still on track to be debt free by thirty-three even if I pause my extra debt payments until April.
The good news? I brought in about $300 more than anticipated through some extra freelancing, and also saved a little over $1,500 this month!
I have tons of January goals not related to personal finance, but my MAIN goal is to save another $1,000 this month and to STAY within my budget again!
Thanks for reading, loves. What are some of your budgetary goals for January 2019? Drop them in the comments below or send me a message.