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The holidays are upon us, which means we are inevitably spending more money. However, all of this extra spending on Christmas presents, décor, baking, etc. has been budgeted for. We saved a little bit each month for these exact items, so our monthly budget will not be impacted by the “surprise” of Christmas.
Is Christmas spending wreaking havoc on your budget.
If so, be sure to check out Christmas Savings and don’t let it happen again next year.
Brian and I had a budget meeting recently and discussed our food budget. We have decided this is the line item we want to focus on for a while to keep in check.
In our food budget we have line items for both groceries and eating out. We struggle every month to stay within our budgeted amount. One way to resolve this would be to increase the amount allocated to these items, but we think our spending is the problem. So far this year our average spending on food each month has been $860. This includes one month of $1300 – yikes! That month we tried a new healthy eating program that included smoked salmon, which we discovered we both hate – good thing too it’s expensive.
This is not to say we can’t eat healthy for less, we certainly can with planning.
I love to have a plan for our meals – what we’re eating when – but I HATE (I don’t even think hate is a strong enough word for how I feel about it) to actually make the plan. However, I know that when we don’t menu plan we spend more at the grocery store, we eat out more and overall we eat less healthy. So even though I hate constantly coming up with ideas for what to cook for dinner, I do it, usually after much procrastinating.
I am still working through some solutions to make this better and once I have one I will share it. I promise.
So as we continue to work our debt snowball, we are going to focus specifically on our food budget. I’ll keep you updated on that in future debt snowball updates. An optimistic goal would be to get our food spending down to less than $650 a month. It’s ambitious from an average of $860 so it may take a few months to get there.
So here’s the update for October:
Income report from November
Extra from November paychecks $ 818
Money from Garage Sale and Varage Sale $ 82
Total extra income $ 900
Current outstanding student loan debt $35,022