2017 has been a whirlwind – starting a new personal finance blog, tons of skiing throughout the winter, a diving trip to Belize, camping trips – oh yeah, and that pesky thing called “work” that consumes 45+ hours of our lives each week. Time to see how our year-to-date expenditures, January through June 2017, are tracking against our planned 2017 budget.
This is the first year I’ve tracked our expenses in such detail (I used to just lump together “credit card payments” as one expense item) and there is a lot of additional detailing to be had. That “miscellaneous” category still leaves a lot to be desired. Having the right online tools to automatically sort and summarize categories has really helped us see the biggest picture on where our money is going. We track everything using Personal Capital’s Free Budget Tracking Tool and I love that I can “drill in” to any category to see individual transactions, plus you can now add custom categories.
The first six months of 2017 were mostly on target, which is pretty impressive given the ghastly start to the year in January… Luckily, February, April, May and June were under budget and brought us closer to our projected monthly spending. Month-for-month, we were only $100, or about 2%, over each month.
June was a very busy month, which inadvertently helped our budget a little. Turns out that when you don’t have time to shop, you spend less money 🙂 Mr. Saverdink had an awesome 4-day work trip this month which contributed to a weeklong “spending freeze” – all of his expenses were covered while traveling and the absence from home meant lower groceries and gas for the week. I was swamped at my job for the first 3 weeks in June and didn’t even have time to go grocery shopping that week. Leaving the office at 8pm multiple nights in a row is no fun and I may or may not have eaten a chocolate bar for dinner one evening… By the time the weekend rolled around, Mr. Saverdink was exhausted from traveling and I was exhausted from working crazy hours, so we laid low and relaxed at home that weekend.
Despite the one-week spending reprieve, June spending totals were a bit higher than May, but still well within the normal realm. We did have some splurges in the home appliance and vacation department. Summary chart courtesy of Personal Capital’s Free Budget Tracking Tool.