August Budget Report: The Good, the Bad, the MMM

August Budget report

A lot has happened since I posted our July budget numbers, so let’s get right to it.

First, I joined the Mr. Money Mustache forums and posted a case study there about our situation.  We’ve received a ton of great feedback there about how to tackle our $800,000 in debt, including some great budgeting tools to use.  You can view the post here – you might want to grab a cup of coffee and settle in though – there have been over 115 replies to the thread already!

We also signed up for Mint, and imported all of our accounts there.  What a time saver that has been!  After a bit of category tweaking, I’d say it’s close to a full accounting of our spending.  I really enjoy the ability to compare month to month spending, so I’ll be using Mint for most of my budget posts going forward.

Some big budget changes coming in September, but in August things were pretty much still “status quo” – lets take a look:

Spending by category

Green is the August budget numbers, and yellow represents July.  I’ll break out a few of these so you can get a better idea of what is going where, but you can see that we spent less overall in a number of categories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notably, travel and pet expenses were down quite a bit from July numbers, when we took a trip to Disney.  I’m hoping that over the next few months we’ll have a better sense of average spending in each category.

While overall spending in August was down about $1500 from July, when you back out the vacation expenses, it’s close to a wash.  At least we consistently overspend.  :o(

Big Spenders

There’s a lot of info here, so just let me know in the comments if you’d like to see the details of any categories and I’d be happy to share.  For now, let’s break down the three highest spending categories.

Home

Our biggest spending category is Home at $6,353 in August, which includes not only our Primary mortgage, but also the three rental properties.  We purchased some garage storage shelves in August, which is why the Home Improvement category bumped up from July.  Literally can’t even walk in the garage.

Food and Dining

Food and Dining is our second largest spend at $2,072 in August, and one category where we definitely need to cut back.  Spending over $1,000/mo on Restaurants, Fast Food, and Alcohol/Bars is just crazy…thats over $30/day on top of our grocery spending!  This is way more than I thought we were spending.  One big step I will also take is cutting back on Craft Beer purchases – it’s just not necessary spending.  How much do you typically spend on Groceries and eating out?  Please share in the comments below.

Shopping

Shopping was the third highest spend coming in at over $1,000 in August, mostly on Department Stores and Clothing, which is consistent with last months spending.  There are definitely savings to be had here.

 Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth

Both assets and liabilities moved in the same direction, down 🙁

I had to get more realistic with the value of our used cars and real estate values dipped slightly.  Credit Card debt increased, while total loan balances went down.  Things should looks better in September as I start taking positive steps toward paying down debt.

As a result, Net Worth dropped by about $10,000 to $346,949.

Next Month:

As we roll into September, I’ve got some exciting news to share in our upcoming budget report.  Since signing up with Mint and joining the MMM forums, we’ve already make some big moves toward paying down our debt.  Here’s a hint:  credit card balances will be $0!!!

Be sure to sign up below to get the latest updates on our journey to find budgetary bliss!

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