By Moira November 6, 2018 In Finance

November 2018 Budget + Prepping for Christmas Spending

One month with a functional budget down, and many to go! October was the first month I actually held a budget and it was super hard. I did break my budget, which I’m annoyed about, but it definitely could’ve been a lot worse. I had a huge achievement in saving, made some changes for November, and started the process of prepping for Christmas gift.

October Budget Review

Okay, it was rough, but it was a learning experience. I went $354 over my initial planned spending, but it actually wasn’t as bad as it seems. I had a big unexpected expense from Ikea which was $235 of that. It was a photo, frame, two bags, a coffee table book, and a new desk chair! I also broke my budgets for my rabbit, my car, and health & beauty. The first two were just bad estimates and the health & beauty overage was a few extra targets stops when I had a cold! I was under budget on entertainment, and going out to eat.

Big Achievement

After my Ikea shop, I was feeling incredibly guilty for spending that money. In exchange, I ended up putting $175 into my savings account. While the spending guilt really isn’t great, I’m really happy I was able to save a lot more than I initially budgeted for! This is one budget overage I will happily accept.

Changes to Make

Last month, I had two budgets, debit and cash, and it seemed like a good idea. Wrong. This was just an extra chore and a general PITA. I ended up combining my two budgets and it’s already looking a lot easier.
I did encounter some issues with my categories, specifically not having a place for groceries, clothes, and home items. Some things had nowhere to go, I added a clothes category mid-month, and tried to wing it as I went. Definitely needs to be reworked.
One big question I have is credit card spending. Do I add that to my budget? Do I not? If I do, how??

November Budget Preview

I did end up adjusting my categories for November and they are: Rent, TJX Card, Health, Gus, Car, Savings, Adobe, Entertainment, School Expenses, Food, Clothes & Beauty, Home, and Gifts. Check those out here!
I did cut down my budget, and then when I combined my debit and cash budgets, the totals went up a little. It’s hard to say what those reductions were since I reorganized my categories, but trust me on that one. I am really liking these new categories, and I think they really will work for me!

Gift Budget

One category I added was my gift budget. I’m not typically a gift giver, but it’s Christmas! Okay, not really. But when you’re on a tight budget, it’s super important to keep your gift-giving expenses tightly wrapped. The first part of that is planning ahead of time, so you’re not caught off guard December 21st with the holiday markups! To prep, I made a list of the people I wanted to give gifts to and what I wanted to get them. I roughly looked at the prices so I had an idea of what I was going to budget for November and December.
This week, I’m going to be looking around, online & in-store to find exact, hopefully, lower prices for the remaining gifts. My mom’s gift is already done, I managed to squeeze that into my October budget, so that’s one less to worry about. One down, just eleven more to go! I’ll have another post out soon with tips for finding those best gifts at the best prices.

Another budgeted month in the books! While my October budget wasn’t perfect, I’m really proud of how I did. I really am looking forward to November, for the blog, for work, and for this amazing sweater weather!

How did your October budget go? Are you already planning for holiday extra expenses? Let me know!

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