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October 8th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

September was another overspend month in Checkbook Number One. We had a problem with this in Checkbook Number One for several years, and I finally got it under control about two years ago. To keep it under control I have to work diligently, and it got away from me in May. Weíve been a little bit over every month since then. Itís time to get it back in line.

Checkbook Number One has four budget categories Ė Groceries, Gas, Church Contributions and Everything Else. (Bills such as Mortgage, Utilities, schooling expenses, and also Christmas are paid out of a different account). Gas was about right, and Church Contributions were accurate. The overspending occurred in Groceries Ė about 115% of the budgeted amount and Everything Else Ė about 125% of the budgeted amount.

I reviewed our Grocery and Everything Else purchases for September in detail. As usual it wasnít one big thing that sunk the budget but an accumulation of little stuff. In Groceries, we spent a little too much in the treat category and I also stocked up on some household staples without decreasing spending in other areas of the grocery budget. In Everything Else. . . a few too many trips to Starbucks. There were some unanticipated cash withdrawls by Mr H. I donít begrudge him that, but if I donít know about it until later Iíve spent the money elsewhere by the time I find out. Due to overspending in August this category also had less money in it.

For October, inspired by Denise (Thrift-O-Rama) and Laura (Love the Life You Live) I went through and figured out how much grocery money Iíd have to spend each week. Then I allocated how much I thought I would spend where (we get some food items on a schedule, direct from a farm). In the Everything Else category I tried to anticipate expenses for the month (ie, peopleís birthdays, Halloween costumes, etc) and write them down.

One week into October this is already putting us on the right path for the month. Iíve already had to consciously choose to spend Grocery money on some items and not others. We are on budget as of October 7th. Only three more weeks to go!

2 Responses to “Overspent”

  1. Jerry Says:

    We are tracking our spending this month very closely and it is amazing how much cash life leads us through even when we are trying to be frugal! Still, we feel blessed and we are trying to have some insurance that we can prevent that dreaded overspending that you mentioned. Good luck!

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    It really is the little expenditures that add up. I know when I look at my groceries category, it isn't the weekly grocery trips that trip me up -- it's that "quick" stop for lunch at McDonalds (even if it is a fruit and walnut salad!) or stopping in the gas station for a Coke and candy bar (on an S day of course!). Those are the things that add up.

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