Thursday, June 01, 2006

Blown Budgets

So I just reviewed our budgeting vs. actuals for Q1 and Q2..


I've been thinking for a while "Why don't I have any damn money" after all, I was making a lot for a while, and only out of work for 3 months.

What it comes down to is that theres about $2100 that I can't account for, as in I know that I recieved it (I have careful records of my reciepts), but can't account for where it went; and this is AFTER accounting for cash withdrawals and ATM transactions.

So if it went into my bank account, and came out again, I've got a record, and I've got a record of all the cash that I've recieved, but not how much I've spent.

I genreally don't use very much cash. My wife does more than I do, but still, not all that much.

Anyway, I'm looking at our life the last few months and wondering, where exactly did all of it go?

I've mentioned, our expenses add up to around $3500 a month, and that has played out for every month except for some reason January which was over twice that.

Yeah I dont get it either, because I moved in February, and the move cost a lot, but my february expenditures werent all that much; about $2200 over normal (utility deposits, Ikea, extra half months rent, and the cleaning deposit).

March, April, and May lined up right where I expected them, in around $3500 a piece.

I'm not putting any of this on credit so the payments arent being deferred around or anything either.

At first I thought it was $5000 unaccounted for, but then I put together some of my cash with some of my deposits etc... so I know where $2700 of it went.

But where did that other $2100 go?

Well, I suppose $2100 over six months isn't all that weird to be unaccounted for. That's just an average of $350 a month, which isn't nothing, but its only about 10% of the budget.

I really need to start keeping better track of things though. I mean I KNOW that, and I used to, I just haven't been on top of it.

Oh well, on the list for second paycheck, new bookeeping software; and get into the routine of entering expenditures at least every week. The first step to controlling your expenditures is knowing what they REALLY are.

I bet if most families did this same excercise, they'd find money.

Wait a second... Ok I think I found where some of it went... yep, ok I'm an idiot, and I've managed to account for everything but about $500.

Welllll.... that includes cash transactions I have a record for (ATM withdrawals and cash debits), and don't have a corresponding purchase record for.. which is most of them, and which adds up to... yowza... almost $5,000 (including the unaccounted for $500).

Oh and one thing that kinda pissed me off, almost $600 in bank fees so far this year; almsot all stemming from two weeks where money I was expecting didnt come in, but a bunch of transactions were processed anyway.

It WAS a lot more, but I was able to get some of that refunded.

Now, biggest expenses for the year so far...

Rent: appx $9,000 including security deposit, and paying extra for half of feb.
Food: including restaurants and supermarkets appx $6,000
Utilities: inc phone internet and cable appx $4,000
Untracked cash purchases not including food: appx $2500
Gas: appx $1600
Everything Else: appx. $4,000

If we break that out monthly for six months we get
Rent: $1500 (its actually $1300, but we paid a big deposit and thats included in the avg.)
Food: $1000 (all food including restaurants)
Utilities: $675 (gas, electric, water, cable, phone, and internet)
Cash transactions: $425
Gas: $275
Everything Else: $675
Total: $4550

So on AVERAGE my expenditures have been about $1000 higher per month than "normal" and budgeted; but almost all of that comes from the moving costs of February, and the strangeness of January.

I still have really no idea where that extra $3500 in January went too though... weird. I mean I have the transactions recorded but I don't really know why that month cost us twice as much as most other months, without any large purchases or real reason...