Where's Margie's Money?

May Spending/Goal Recap

Another month, another mixed bag of emotions about my progress:

How I spent my money:

Gas: $173.40 (over budget by $23.40 . . . and yet I don’t feel like I did a lot of driving at all – definitely less than in April.  I’m chalking this up to gas being in the $4.30/gl range for the majority of May.)

Groceries: $349.93 (over budget by $149.93 . . . I have come to the realization that keeping our budget to under $200 a month is completely unrealistic.  Next month I’m bumping this to $300.)

Dining Out: $56.60 (underbudget by $18.34!)

Home & Cleaning Supplies: $11.94 (didn’t have a budget for this in May but needed two cake pans to bake a cake to bring over to a friend’s home)

Home Office Supplies: $47.30 (another unbudgeted category – bought file folders and a label maker)

Medical Expenses: $96.00 (yet ANOTHER unbudgeted area – signed up for a 16 hour birthing class through my medical care provider)

Yoga Classes: $60

Movies/Music: $27.99 (our Netflix subscription and two tickets to see Bridesmaids)

Gifts: $42.41 (Mother’s Day and chipped in for my boss’ wedding gift)

Salon/Beauty Supplies: $299.00 (Ouch!  I had my hair highlighted, got a facial, and had a pedicure)

Yarn/Crafts: $8.32 (unbudgeted – bought a set of three crochet hooks to make my baby a hat!)

Vacation/Travel: $285.55 (plane ticket for unexpected trip to Seattle in June)

Pets: $79.94 (grooming for dog and new cat collar – which cat promptly took off and lost)

Postage: $5.55

May 2011 Goals:


  • Attend yoga seven times Fail.  I THINK I attended four times due to conflicts that arose.
  • Do yoga video four times a week Total Fail.  I didn’t do this once!
  • Organize wedding photos and decide which ones I’ll have printed and framed (yup, I’m going to keep bumping this project from month-to-month until I’m so sick of seeing it I’ll just do it already!!) Fail. Didn’t even THINK about this.
  • Finish current baby knitting projects (sweater and booties) and don’t buy anymore yarn!! Fail.  I finished the booties, knit another pair of booties for a friend, and completed two hats, but didn’t finish the sweater.


  • Brown bag my lunch to work four out of five days of the week minimum. Success.  I did great on this goal.
  • Deposit $500 into joint savings (we just crossed the $11K threshold in April!! I’m excited to see if we can hit $15K before the baby gets here in August!!) Fail. Didn’t deposit anything thanks to additional expenses related to travel, the birth class, and a decision to use whatever I would have had left to deposit in June to put toward my second credit card.
  • Stretch goal – pay off credit card #1 (only $100 to go!!!) Success!  I did it and it felt great!!
  • Stretch goal – save $875 into joint savings Fail.  Wow, I don’t even know what I was thinking with this one.
  • Meal plan each week and stay under $200 grocery budget Semi Success/Fail.  Didn’t stay under budget but did meal plan.

Reflections on this month:

So clearly there are areas in my budget that I should have either prepared for better or just cracked the whip and said no to.  Liiiiike, travel.  If I had a travel fund, surprise trips wouldn’t be such a big deal.  Instead, I had to take the funds out of my monthly budget and pay the consequences by not having any money to put toward savings.  Another big-ticket item this month was related to beauty.  I admit I struggle with this one.  I really like having my hair and nails done and in many respects I justify it because the industry I work in values a professional and polished look.  I’m okay with budgeting these expenses in because they are important to me.  But where I need to do better is with the beauty splurges . . . like a $140 facial.  I don’t see anything wrong with splurging on spa treatments but I need to plan/save for them or make other major cuts elsewhere in my budget (which I didn’t do this month).

Aside from the mistakes I made, I’m still proud that I paid off my first credit card this month!  It’s inspiring to see the positive change and that makes me want to do better in other areas of my personal life.



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