I cannot believe that Quarter 1 of 2019 is already done! It seems pretty crazy that we’ve already a quarter of the way through the year and to be honest it had me a bit nervous on my expenses. I didn’t really feel like I was doing a great job, my credit card bills seemed to be higher every month than I wanted it to be and it made me nervous to see the end product.
Below is my grid that I use for quarterly spending for things that aren’t bills (ie: Mortgage, Student Loans, Car Loan is not part of the below Grid) to determine if I am below or above in each non-essential category and overall. If you’re interested in something like this, send me an email at email@example.com
To be fair though, it’s also winter and that required us to buy some things for the house — like Propane Gas (definitely an essential) and I really wanted to start doing some date nights more. For awhile now we hadn’t really been going out on weekends for dinner and we’ve started to do that a bit more. It didn’t break the bank though because I can officially say that I was approximately $800 under my quarterly expenses for the quarter! Ummmm yay!
My big achievements included the following:
- Spending 82% less on books. I’ve decided I’m only buying books for now on when I have gift cards or credits! Wish me luck!
- 32% less on Travel — which included my cash to Ireland, a Hotel in both Boston and an Airbnb in Maine (this one split by 4 people).
- 34% and 84% less on our Dining and Date Night Budget. This was a big one for me because I was really nervous it would end up blowing our budget but instead it did the opposite!
Areas that could use Improvement
- Bookish Items this quarter was a bust, I went over by $30 or 119%, which is really upsetting since I had done so well last year
- I spent 22% less on Coffee Shops but I’m still not happy with this. I have a Keurig at work so I shouldn’t be spending as much as I keep spending. I will be reevaluating this in April
- Cell Phone — I was under this month but I treated myself to a new Cell Phone which only means that moving forward this bill will be higher and I will need to leverage that by spending less with another topic
- I spent a lot of money on misc. cash this quarter and I unfortunately don’t know where it went — I need to be better about this moving forward.
Overall I’m pretty happy with my budget for the first quarter of the year and even though March 31st is the end of the quarter I couldn’t help but tell you guys that on April 5th I paid off a student loan! YAY! I put a lot of my money saved in the quarter toward my Student Loan. I only had about $200 left on one of them at the end of March so the beginning of April I took care of it and I am so pumped.
Goals for Next Quarter
I’m going to re-evaluate some things for next quarter and see if I can make a bigger dent in budgeting. It’s going to be hard because we have birthdays and weddings in the second quarter of 2019 so it should be interesting to see the difference.
I also only have 2 student loans left to pay off. I’m hoping to make some huge dents in them the rest of the year and maybe pay off one more before 2020 happens. I can’t wait to see if I can do it or not, especially with the thought of more local travel rather than plane travel after my Ireland trip.
Have you looked at your quarterly expenses? How did you do? Are you sticking to your budget? Comment below!