December was a crazy busy month for us, and honestly, the craziness has extended well into January. Between preparing for the holidays, office parties, school holiday concerts, college graduations, doctor’s appointments, visiting family, and family visiting us… the month sure kept us busy. All in all, we were able to stash a little more aside as savings to use as a buffer for the changes that are occurring to our finances. More details about that on Friday. Until then, here’s how our December 2016 budget & debt repayment went.
Cell Phone: $47.42
Home Phone / Internet:
The majority of our bill is for internet service, and I would love to reduce it. However, after some research and calling around to other local providers, based on our location there are no other service providers for our area. I could pay for dish internet, and while the speeds would theoretically increase, the connectivity is much more unreliable than what we currently have.
Credit Card 1: $106.93
The payments on this are reoccurring bills whose payments are made online that we don’t feel safe enough leaving our bank information in their account records.
Credit Card 2**: $850
Because of when due dates and paychecks lined up this month, I split this payment into two. One payment to reach the minimum by the due date, and the remainder after the remaining paychecks for the month were deposited and we zeroed out the budget. This is the sole reason one of my goals for 2017 is to save up a month of income before we start paying on our student loans. The due date on the student loan is at the beginning of the month, sometimes on the day of our first paycheck of the month.
Student Loans**: $165
Cooler weather has arrived, and it’s showing in our electric bill! It’s on the decline, and it’ll continue to do so as we fire up the wood stove for the winter.
Our insurance payment includes our car, house, and life insurance policies.
Piano Lessons: $0
Bookworm’s piano lessons are a generous gift from my mother-in-law.
Newspaper Subscription: $13.45
Our monthly, weekend only subscription.
You can read more about what we ate over the course of the month here.
This month we got a few items that were necessary for the house, but wound up costing us a lot of money. Batteries and light bulbs are the bane of my existence. Hubs and I have thought about how we could reduce our expenses on light bulbs since every time we buy bulbs to replace the lights in our kitchen, it ends up costing us at least $15 for a pack of 3 bulbs, and are leading towards a retrofit.
Between school holiday concerts, travelling to see my sister’s graduation, as well as some travel for the holidays, our fuel bill was a little higher than normal.
When we attended the Christmas party hosted by Hubs’ company, we were limited on where we could park based on the building location. We ended up paying for parking until the city ended their designated parking hours.
Hubs bought some fuel for his chainsaw so he could cut and stack more firewood for us for next winter.
Bookworm wanted to buy lunch this month ($10), while Monkey contributed some items to the gingerbread build and to an SPCA donation ($8.98).
Eat Out: $73.05
Since one of my goals for the upcoming year was to stay on top of things, I bought two planners for me this month. One for personal use, and the other to use as a blog and social media planner.
Home Repair/Upgrades: $1.58
This month we started a redo on the lights in the master bedroom. When we moved in, we had an office style of rectangle fluorescent light. It was something that was going to be on our repair list anyways, but when the bulbs blew earlier in the month we quickly realized it was cheaper for us to go through and replace the light than buy new bulbs. This cost is to replace the crossbeam so we could inlay the extra tiles that were in the ceiling.
Office Party: $42.94
Hubs’ office had two potluck style holiday office parties this month. One a more informal “fish fry” for office employees only, and the other was a mix of catered and potluck open to all employees.
Each month I put an allotted amount of money into our savings accounts to pay for expenses that vary throughout the year. Here, you’ll find a break down of what we put away in the account throughout the month, as well as any expenses through the month that came from that account.
Annual Savings Account: $1,500
Every week I put money aside into this account, and on months with an extra paycheck, I put even more into this account. Some months we don’t use anything that I put aside, other months we use a lot. To read more on how much we try to put aside and what we use it for, you can check out this post.
Bookworm had his annual allergist checkup in November. This is our portion of the bill, after insurance payment.
Our trash is picked up every other week, and billed quarterly on how many bags we had out during that time period. This was our September – November bill.
Our clothing purchases this month included some new jeans and flannel shirts for Hubs, some concert attire for Bookworm, and business casual attire for me.
Prescriptions necessary for Bookworm’s strep, as well as some OTC medicine me.
Gifting Savings: $1,100
I also add money to our gifting account each week. It helps us to stay on budget each month and still have funds available for when birthdays and holidays come up. This month we added a little more than normal to help offset any holiday shopping and birthday shopping we would incur between December and February.
This month this was spent on Christmas Ornaments, gifts for family members, as well as presents each of my kids got their siblings.
After paying off some debts earlier in the year, we are down to our mortgage, two student loans, and one credit card. Since we started getting serious about our repayment at the beginning of 2014, we have paid off 3 credit cards, a small student loan, and our car. We have also ended our payment plan on Bookworm’s orthodontic work, as well as our lease on his trumpet. While we have come a long way since we started two years ago, we still have a long way to go.
Credit Card 2**: $850
This is our current snowball. After increasing our emergency fund a bit, this is currently in repayment.
Student Loans**: $165
Hub’s student loans were suppose to adjust to the new IBR repayment amount, but since his due date has been advanced so far ahead, his amount due still says $0. I do keep paying on it each month though because I want to keep the interest that capitalizes down.