15. – May Budget Review & Shopping Ban Updates

So first of all, I am still doing gloriously with my shopping ban. I haven’t bought anything unnecessary – & I haven’t even been tempted to. When I first started the shopping ban I was extremely nervous – even just writing the post on here officially committing to it – but it’s been so much easier than I expected it to be. I have noticed that I don’t really miss buying things. It’s always fun but the high from the new item doesn’t last long & then I (and I think a lot of other people) go on to buy another new thing after it wears off because we want that high again. Once I really thought about this, I realized I don’t need that temporary high – I can find joy & excitement in other ways.

I also think that decluttering while I’ve been on the shopping ban has been really helpful because it has made me see how much money I wasted on things in the past that I don’t even use. Some of them I had never even used at all.

I had to make some small adjustments to the May budget because I was a little off on the car/home insurance cost by a few dollars, business services & a few other lines of the budget. As I mentioned in a previous post – we have put our mortgage on a covid forbearance plan for a few months to help us get out of debt.

So here is my review (and some explaining) about what happened with our budget this month.

Our utilities were ridiculously high this month because I took us off budget billing with our power company (that was an $800 bill – long story, shouldn’t happen again) because I was angry that they wanted to charge me the usual $550 when we had only used $200 worth of electricity last month… 

I also had to pay two water bills at once because I hadn’t been getting the bills in the mail (I don’t know what the fuck happened with that) & our water got shut off. Frustratingly, this comes with a $65 charge to turn it back on. So I will be making an account on the water company website soon & setting a reminder on my phone to check it once a month. Ridiculous. As soon as I get bills in the mail, I pay them. I didn’t realize I hadn’t gotten a water bill in 2-3 months. I just didn’t notice.

The entertainment budget being more than was allotted should be back to the normal amount next month – this month there was a special exception we made because we really wanted to see a performance by a comedian my husband & I love.

Alcohol & bars over by $8 – oops but not a big deal.

Groceries were over by a bit but I am not considering this a big deal because my husband has been having a major depressive episode & one of the things he can still enjoy is cooking. He’s feeling a little better now so hopefully we’ll do a bit better with that next month. 

We also limited his “fast food” budget (which is just cafeteria food he buys at work) to $20 & added the rest of it to the grocery budget (his idea). He has been very good about cooking at home & then taking his meals to work. I am actually very proud of him! He’s truly the best.

The pharmacy bill was larger than expected but since my husband & I are both on a lot of medications & I didn’t realize how much they added up to each month. Each of these medications is necessary – who takes unnecessary medications? I will just have to adjust the budget next month to allow us to get what we need for our health while staying in budget

Home services were way way way over because we got a notice that it was time for our yearly termite treatment which we did not know was coming up. We live in a house made of a lot of wood that was built in 1915 so this was not something we wanted to skip. We won’t need this service again until May 2022 so it’s okay. That budget of $25 will be back to normal for the next year so I am not worried about this. 

Food for our four dogs, cat & fish was higher than we expected this month so I will have to adjust to budget for that for next month. Luckily my little Russian tortoise eats our vegetable scraps so he is super cheap to feed.

There was also an unexpected veterinary expense because my little dog (who is my baby) got an eye infection & had to go to the vet.

I canceled my Kindle Unlimited subscription but somehow got charged again yesterday (that’s why the book budget is over) but I’ve already called Amazon about it & they are refunding my $11 and assure me it is actually canceled this time. I believe them.

Overall I think we did pretty good this month. I was able to pay all of the credit cards we use regularly off in full & put $1450 towards our debt card – the one moved our credit card debt to with the 0% APR for 16 months intro offer in December. It’s now down to $2500 which is soooo much lower than it started. It’s really encouraging to just watch that number drop & drop & drop from the original $7000-$8000 it started off at back in December.

I also still have the $1000 in our saving account as back up incase anything unexpected happens.

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