Let's take a look at how I did in December.
This is the money I had available for the month.
Wages - my take home pay was $0.50 more than expected.
Transfers In - higher than expected. This will happen any time there is a sinking fund expense I did not know about at the time I did my monthly budget.
Buffer - starting balance in checking on 12/1/19.
Other - I have a $200 loan out to a friend which I had expected to be paid in full in December. With my approval, only $60 was repaid; the remaining $140 is to be repaid in January. I received $37 in secret shop fees, and $0.01 of interest on checking.
This is the cash I withdraw each payday to cover groceries, gas, personal (hair cuts, meals out, anything I decide I want) and miscellaneous needs (shampoo, hygiene products, vitamins, etc.). If I have at least $20 left in a category, I reduce the next withdrawal by $20. As you can see, I was able to spend less than budgeted in both personal and miscellaneous.
These are my regular monthly bills. Very few surprises here. The phone category is both my monthly Verizon prepaid bill which is fixed at $52.75 and my mom's monthly Ting bill which is variable. Mom's bill was $17.35 this month.
Sinking funds. Deposits mostly went as planned, with the exception of a $1 deposit to open Bella's sinking fund. The bi-weekly transfers happen every other Tuesday. Because of the way the days fell in December, there were 3 transfers this month.
Withdrawals from car ins & reg include $947.26 to pay my 6 month premium due 12/4/19, and $188.64 which I had determined was in excess of what is needed (went to debt repayment).
Withdrawals from gifts/xmas included 1 birthday gift and 3 Xmas gifts.
Withdrawals from travel/vacation to cover half of the gas cost for towing our travel trailer to my mom's at Thanksgiving and my niece's at Christmas. SB pays the other half.
This section is everything not included above; some items were budgeted some items were not.
Movies - over Thanksgiving weekend, my son and daughter-in-law and SB and I went to see a movie (Knives Out). When we decided to go, I bought the tickets online with my credit card (since I paid the charge in December, this item has ended up in December's budget). I entered the wrong amount ($41.80 instead of $47.80) but I just left it that way. My daughter-in-law Zelled me the money for their 2 tickets, and SB just gave me cash for his.
Bella flowers - These are large fabric flowers which attach to her collar and look so cute. I bought them on Amazon. There are a dozen in assorted colors and are washable. This is definitely just a want!
Bella vet - a visit to the vet regarding her re-occurring ear infection. We still had the eardrops left over from when they were prescribed 2 months prior so were charged only for the office visit.
McAfee - anti-virus software for 1 year for my laptop. I bought this on Black Friday and got a great deal. (with credit card, paid for in December).
ins-6 mo - 6 month insurance premium for my CR-V (daily driver) and 5th wheel. Sinking Fund transfer paid for this.
Gifts - Xmas and birthday gifts. Sinking Fund transfer paid for this.
Playing w FIRE - a documentary I have been waiting to see, purchased on Amazon.
fuel-trailer trips - My half of the fuel to haul our travel trailer over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sinking Fund transfer paid for this.
medical - out-of-pocket medical expense. My HCRA was depleted for 2019. I am very conservative with funding it, as any amount over $500 is forfeit at the end of the calendar year.
meal out - An unbudgeted (and quite naughty) meal out which went on my credit card. The rule is any meals out should come from my personal cash, so this should not have happened.
extra principal - extra principal to my 5th wheel loan.
Grand Total - perhaps I should re-name this. It is a net total; what is actually left in checking at the end of the month.
This area is just for me to calculate what I want to have left in checking, so I know to the penny how much I can send off to debt. I like to keep a buffer of 1k in checking. Additionally, since my pay dates vary, I need to think about what will happen before my first paycheck of the new month. My first paycheck in January will be on the 10th, but I have an automatic loan payment coming out on the 3rd. I am expecting to be repaid $140 this coming Friday, so can reduce my required balance accordingly.
As you can see from above, my target is $1267.58 but I have only $1266.79. I am short by $0.79. This shortage won't cause a problem, but I will be a bit more careful next month. I do like to hit my target to the penny.
December 2019 Budget Report
Let's take a look at how I did in December.