entertainment

February 2016 – Budgeted vs Actual

Finally I get to post my February results. Even though February was only two days ago, I’ve actually closed off February because I get my paycheck on the 25th. It just complicates things if I don’t close off the month before I get new money in because who’s to say what expense belongs to the previous budget and which expense belongs to the new budget.

I had to steal time from work to get this done. My time away from work is dominated by school and my wife, so my finances get neglected. I hope my boss doesn’t find out.

I am not going to go into too much detail here, just give a short summary. I am going to create a page for each month and you can find it under the menu item “Finances”. A link will be posted.

February 2016 Budget vs Actual results

February 2016 Budget vs Actual results

Summary:

Overspent categories

Entertainment:  These two expense items took a major hit. My entertainment budget was blown on the same day I received my paycheck. It’s been so long that I didn’t have money in the bank, so as soon as I got it, I went out for beers with my mates. Totally worth it.

Food:  The food is higher than I thought it would be. About 70% of the food budget was snacks. There are two outliers, the time my sister, my wife and I went for frozen yogurt and the other time I bought biltong (aka beef jerky). Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of that, but I’ve adjusted my new budget.

Underspent categories

Transport: I didn’t use the cab as much as I thought I would. My wife uses the car cause she needs it for work to run a couple of company errands, but she drops me off at work in the mornings. In the evenings I take a cab to school and then back home. I budgeted a little extra if I have to catch a cab to anywhere else beside school and home. I lowered this budget in the new month.

Donations: I feel bad that this category is underspent. My wife and I didn’t go to church in February, well we did, to another church, but not to our church. Therefore I didn’t spend what I set out to. I’m definitely going to church this Sunday.

Personal: This one is a bit of strange. I usually spend a lot on myself. I guess I didn’t as much this month. Whoop whoop.

Savings: I can’t remember when I posted about the Bank Your Change, a savings initiative from my bank whereby every time I use my debit card to purchase something at a store, the bank deducts an extra amount over and about the purchase price and then puts that money into my savings account. I didn’t reach my budgeted savings for this initiative because I forgot one crucial detail, I don’t do the grocery shopping anymore, my wife does. So I’m not saving as much as I would. I could’ve just transferred the money I didn’t save by using my debit card, but it’s easier to save when you know you aren’t saving.

Well that’s it for February. Not a bad month after all. The Volleyball Tournament my friends and I played was a huge success. No categories have been grossly overspent and my net value is moving in a positive direction. More on that soon and I’ll post my March budget as well.

Until next time. Thanks for reading.

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Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

Mo’ money, mo’ problems

Dear readers

It’s been awhile since I posted anything on my blog. I just started the new job and it has been insane to say the least. I have to do the job of 3 people. My boss is fully aware of this and is trying to hire someone to assist me. They didn’t think that two people were needed for my job, but in the past, before the company bought over, there were two people doing this job. I just can’t understand why they decided to only recruit one.
Also with the new takeover, the company installed new computer software that the old workers don’t understand and weren’t trained to use. Why would anyone install new software and not train their employees is beyond me. Everyday I am either reporting an issue or trying to fix it. I already have so much to do, now I still have to fix errors.
So I have had a rough time at work over the past month and a half. When I get home I go straight to bed and pray tomorrow will go better, but no matter how hard I work, the work load doesn’t seem to get any less. It just gets more with each passing day. The new guy needs to start soon so I just have some breathing room and time to relax.
As for my finances. I’ve managed it well. I spend much less on food nowadays. I only have take out on Fridays but take lunch to work on Mondays to Thursdays. It’s usually a sandwich. Sometimes it would be leftovers from the night before. I have cereal in the mornings and take a fruit with me. I use to take two fruit, a banana and an orange. I noticed that most times I didn’t eat the orange and the oranges would just go off. So now I am just sticking to bananas. I also bought a big bag of chips (50x 20g packets). I took a packet of chips along each day, but now I’ve switched to yogurt.
I still can’t bring my entertainment budget under control. I just don’t have the discipline to say no to my friends when they go out and have a couple of beers at a bar. I also buy myself a beer now and then when I’ve had a rough day at work which seems to be a lot lately. I have a TV and an Xbox at home. I’ve tried to invest in games so that I don’t go out so often. I just need to try that more often.
So a big plus on the food side but a big negative with the entertainment. Overall I am happy with my finances. I think recording every single transaction is a habit now. I never thought I could do it, its four months now and I haven’t missed one transaction. New habits can be learned. Habits I am working on now is taking lunch to work everyday and making sure everything is in order at night for the next day. I hate going to work in rush because I did not prepare for the day properly.
I also want to start jogging. See how that goes. I am slowing starting to become overweight. My belly is way too big for my liking. But I will start slow. I read an article of not having zero days. So even if I just go for a walk or do a couple of push-ups, I shouldn’t skip a day of exercise. If I can keep it going for 90 days, I’m sure it will be a new habit as well.
Well, thanks for reading. I have to catch up on some reading myself. I’m hoping next month will be better than the last.

June 2014 Goals

stock-investing-goals

I haven’t set up my budget yet, but I have a clear idea of what I need to be spending my money. I reviewed my expenses last month I spent a lot of my money on beer and entertainment. So I’m trying to lower that expense. I also spend a lot of money on take-out during lunch times with my girlfriend. Sometimes she pays, sometimes I pay.

I’ve planned to cut out the take outs and make something at home and bring it along but that hardly ever pans out like I planned. The easy stuff that I could prepare at home are usually the things I don’t really like to eat like cheese and salami (or ham) on bread. I want something cooked, like sausages. But cooking sausages in the morning is a no go. I already get up so early already.

Still trying to find a way to cut expenses but I have also been looking into increasing income. I am in the process of selling my Xbox. It’s just lying around at home and I could make some cash from it. I was going to buy myself a cellphone with the money but thought that I would rather just get a DSTV Walka and pay my credit card with the rest of my money.

Also thought of getting back to playing poker again. But I keep failing at keeping track of my results and going to all the way. It’s worth a try though. I need some extra money. I’ve even started betting on the World Cup games and made some good money. More than double than what I started with. I’m trying to not get carried away. Too much on my plate already.

Anyway, June is almost over. Half way through anyway. So I will just keep the budget I have from last month and work with that for the rest of the month. The way things are looking like, it’s going to be a hard winter. One thing I can be proud of though is that I am at least keeping track of all my transactions. I think it’s starting to become a habit.