So we did come in under our 1500 pounds a month budget this month but had one or two annual expenses which meant our savings rate was only 19% of that amount. Not too bad for a month where for part of it MasterShoestring was on holiday, which means he eats something just about every hour !
However, I had re-jigged the budget in March to take account of some expenses going down, like water and books, but had noticed that we were spending more in other areas. In particular, transport and telephone calls. We had changed the package to Plusnet in June, but had not included a telephone package just to see if it would cost less as we don't make that many calls. So this month when I looked at the itemised bill one of the calls was for over £8, it was one of my calls to a friend ! For £8 a month I could have Unlimited 60 minute calls at anytime so I've decided to add that package ! Transport for MrShoestring in and out of London was also around £10 a month more expensive than we had been reckoning on so that budget category has been increased as well.
Overall, the extra expenses mean that the budget has increased overall by around £50 a month. Still doable but over the next few months I might have to put up the food budget as well as we are just squeaking in under £170 a month on average. There are a few possible reductions in expenses on the horizon as our new Tax Credit exemption cards should help with dental and prescription charges. However, there are a few possible increases as well. For instance, I've stopped doing the postal survey, they always retire you after 6 months, so back to paying for postage !
August is going to be a bit of a challenge as we are away right at the end of the month and MrShoestring won't earn anything. We have money saved to cover all this but it is tempting over the Summer not to watch every penny, but I think this year we will have to !
Have you had to re-jig this year's budget at all ?