April 2014 Monthly Budget Review

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Another month has flown by! While I’ve been distracted by potential tornadoes in Tennessee, May has slowly crept in, taken a nervous look around, and decided to stay despite the high pollen count. I’m trying my best to enjoy spring, one of Nashville’s loveliest seasons, knowing fully that the oppressive summer heat is slowly making its annual journey south.

The Budget Recap:

April was a bit more expensive than I was expecting, but life threw me a curveball that I hadn’t planned on. I spent a lot of time socializing with friends, did an abundant amount of eating and drinking outside of the house, and barely considered that I was going way over my food & drink budget. I needed it.

My one time expenses included $30.04 (cupcakes for my office), $53.53 (funeral dress), $12.02 (funeral nylons), $38.92 (funeral shoes), $6.01 (future gift/succulent), $3.57 (tylenol), and $5.52 (matches/dish soap). I also included my $25 AmEx credit in this category.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 2.28.09 PM

Other Goals:

Cashville Skyline

April posts: 9 (March posts: 11 / February posts: 9)

Most popular post: When Your Parents’ Finances Become Your Business

Alexa ranking: 167,367 as of 4/30 (March: 242,757 / February: 598,442)

Note: Since I’ve passed my first Alexa goal of 200,000, I’m now aiming for a ranking below 100,000!

twitter followers: 754 (March: 621 / February: 394)

Facebook likes: 6 (March: 3 / February: 1)

Adsense: I was approved for Google Adsense this month and I’ve earned .16 so far! I have so much to learn about this, but you gotta start somewhere, right? Aesthetics and reader experience are extremely important to me, so I’m moving extremely slowly with this.

Education

There wasn’t a ton a free time for education this month and May won’t be any easier, however, I am starting to put together a self-directed summer digital marketing bootcamp that I plan to complete June through August. I’ll be sharing the details soon!

Health

I actually exercised five times this month via my trusty Insanity videos. Damn, I wish someone had reminded me how freakin’ hard this workout is when you’re out of shape. I stumbled through it last year after a four week bootcamp! Ouch.

My boss is in the process of evaluating our health insurance to see if it’s possible to add behavioral coverage. If this doesn’t happen, I am considering purchasing a plan on my own as I’m already paying $200 per month in premiums for my current plan. And I don’t have dental or behavioral coverage.

April Goals:

1. Exercise at least three times per week. PASS.
2. Bike or ride the bus at least two times per week. FAIL!
3. Cut back on refined sugar in my diet. PASS.
4. Research and purchase dividend growth stocks for portfolio. SCORE!

May Goals:

1. Exercise at least three times per week.
2. Research and purchase another dividend growth stock for portfolio with $1,458.

May is shaping up to be my busiest month yet at work, so I’m hesitant to set the bar too high. I’ve made some progress with my health goals, and it’s important to keep that momentum going.

Readers: How was your April? Any big plans for May?

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Discussions — 51 Responses

  • Retired by 40 April 30, 2014 on 1:16 pm

    Nice job! Your April looks waaay better than mine did – so congrats! Plus, $1775 is a ton of money to put in savings. Way to go!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Retired by 40 May 4, 2014 on 3:28 pm

      Thanks so much for the encouragement! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Lauren April 30, 2014 on 1:30 pm

    Nice work on exercising and reaching health goals! Our spending was way up in April for a bunch of reasons, so May needs to be better.

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Lauren May 4, 2014 on 3:29 pm

      Thanks, Lauren! I’m trying to reel in my food and drink budget this month. April was a bit out of control πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Roadmap2Retire April 30, 2014 on 1:32 pm

    Thats a very good savings rate, Cashville. Congrats on another successful month. I started off slow on the Adsense as well, but slowly made progress over the months.
    Best wishes
    R2R

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Roadmap2Retire May 4, 2014 on 3:30 pm

      Thanks, R2R. Adsense has been an interesting experience so far. As I mentioned, I want to take it very slowly.

      Reply
  • E.M. April 30, 2014 on 3:31 pm

    Sounds like April was a good month for you! I’m sure your Alexa ranking will fall quickly. I’m looking forward to hearing about the summer bootcamp you’re putting together, it sounds interesting. Good luck in May!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash E.M. May 4, 2014 on 3:33 pm

      Thanks, E.M. I’m looking forward to building a frugal digital marketing summer bootcamp when I have a bit for free time to work on some skills. Best of luck to you, as well.

      Reply
  • John @ Sprout Wealth April 30, 2014 on 4:40 pm

    Looks like April was a good month for you overall. Our April was very good on the income front, but we have a few huge expenses coming in May that I’m not happy about. We have all the money saved for them, of course, but man I hate seeing that money being spent. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Addison Cash John @ Sprout Wealth May 4, 2014 on 3:35 pm

      Even when we’ve planned for them, big expenses are never fun! I’ve got a crack in my ceiling that I need to get fixed soon. Definitely not looking forward to it.

      Reply
  • Chattanooga Cheapster April 30, 2014 on 6:09 pm

    Awesome!

    Only comment is on your cell phone bill. I just switched to the $10/month Republic Wireless Plan. I highly recommend it.

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Chattanooga Cheapster May 4, 2014 on 3:36 pm

      I know! My cell phone bill is nowhere near as cheap as I would like, but I need Verizon’s service for my current job. Mediocre service would cause major problems for me when I’m traveling.

      Reply
  • FI Fighter April 30, 2014 on 7:14 pm

    Great stuff. Congrats on all the early success with the blog! You’re going to pass me on Alexa real soon and I’ve been blogging for over two years! πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • Addison Cash FI Fighter May 4, 2014 on 3:37 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, FI Fighter! I definitely still have a lot to learn.

      Reply
  • Brian @ Luke1428 April 30, 2014 on 9:02 pm

    Our April was very tough on eating out. With tax season for my wife in high gear and our kids activities, seemed like we were always on the go. You are doing great with the challenge! Getting the Alexa rank below 6 figures was the coolest part for me…I took a screenshot when that happened!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Brian @ Luke1428 May 4, 2014 on 3:39 pm

      It’s nice to have the option of not cooking when schedules get crazy, even if it’s expensive! Let’s hope we both have a more frugal May.

      Reply
  • Kassandra April 30, 2014 on 9:55 pm

    Glad to see you had a good month overall! April was very good to us in terms of income which helped to soften the cushion of insane expenses we had in March! We also we’re under budget for most of our categories which doesn’t always happen so I’ll take it!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Kassandra May 4, 2014 on 3:39 pm

      Great job of the boost in income and being under budget! Keep up the good work, Kassandra!

      Reply
  • Mr. SFZ April 30, 2014 on 10:10 pm

    Sounds like it was a great month Addison. Mine has been pretty good as well, just been slacking with the blog posting here lately with work so busy. Hopefully I’ll have some more time in May to get back to regular posts. Financially I did pretty good, but it was pretty easy to meet all my goals with getting a tax return this month. πŸ˜‰

    I’m curious, did you end up purchasing KO for your first dividend growth stock or did you go in a different direction?

    Best wishes,
    SFZ

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Mr. SFZ May 4, 2014 on 3:41 pm

      Thanks for checking in about KO! I purchased 45 shares on April and I plan on writing another post about my investing soon πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Kim May 1, 2014 on 12:26 am

    I do miss spring in the South, aside from the tornadoes of course. I grew up in Southern KY, about 90 miles from Nashville. May was always my favorite month, but April was nice too. All we have for April in Colorado is wind, but at least no tornadoes!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Kim May 4, 2014 on 3:42 pm

      Neat, Kim! I had no idea you were native to this area. Colorado is beautiful, though. I always love when I have the chance to visit there.

      Reply
  • Zee @ Work-To-Not-Work May 1, 2014 on 3:40 am

    I like how you have a Christmas budget that’s fixed every month. Great planning for the end of the year.

    AdSense is nice to be able to add to your blog. I completely agree with not overloading your site with ad’s because as a reader I find it can sometimes be distracting. Occasionally I’ll go to a site where I feel like it’s a minefield of ad’s and it really makes me not want to visit them simply because I don’t want to accidentally click on things and end up at some site I didn’t mean to click on. I feel like the sidebars and footers are totally free game though, that never seems to bother me.

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Zee @ Work-To-Not-Work May 4, 2014 on 3:43 pm

      Agreed, Zee. I hate accidentally clicking on things I didn’t mean to! I’ve found budgeting for Christmas throughout the year makes it a lot more manageable in December. Between gifts and traveling, it’s always more costly than I’m expecting!

      Reply
  • Brock @cleverdude May 1, 2014 on 10:50 am

    Looks like a great month financially, and from a blog perspective!!! I’m impressed that you only spend around $40 in gas….I use more than that in a WEEK!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Brock @cleverdude May 4, 2014 on 3:45 pm

      I am super lucky to work about 5 miles from my house and I barely ever drive outside of Nashville proper! Eventually, I want to find ways to ditch the car completely. The motivation increases even more as Nashville’s traffic problems get worse.

      Reply
  • Liz May 1, 2014 on 2:03 pm

    Looks like you had a great April. Nice work on the exercising. I really need to start making this a priority. April was tough on our budget.. We had to take our dog to the emergency vet (Ruby was fine) and then had some plumbing work done as well. May is going to be extremely busy for me as well. I hope the month is at least kinder on our budget : )

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Liz May 4, 2014 on 3:46 pm

      Exercise is always such a struggle for me, Liz! Sorry to hear about Ruby. I know how stressful (and expensive) vet visits can be. Best of luck in May!

      Reply
  • Joshua Rodriguez May 1, 2014 on 4:03 pm

    Wow almost 2 grand a month in savings, that’s great! OK, so you went a little overboard on food, drink, and gas, but it looks like you had an awesome month! Great job!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Joshua Rodriguez May 4, 2014 on 3:47 pm

      Thanks, Joshua. I had some birthday money left over from March, so that definitely helped. As much as I would have liked to buy myself something nice, saving as much as I can feels really good.

      Reply
  • Bridget May 1, 2014 on 4:17 pm

    Congrats on your progress!

    I wouldn’t worry so much about the Alexa ranking. It doesn’t tell you much. You’re better off using something like http://www.check-domains.com/website-analysis/website-analyzer.php that measures your Google PR, domain authority, etc. (while still giving your Alexa rank)

    Yakezie is a circle jerk. Focus on creating great content not boosting average (or below average) blogs.

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Bridget May 4, 2014 on 3:48 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Bridget! And thanks for the advice on check-domains.com! I’ll have to take a look.

      Reply
  • DC @ Young Adult Money May 1, 2014 on 5:44 pm

    I haven’t reviewed my April finances yet so I can’t speak to it, but I like your goal of working out 3 times a week. I’ve had that as a goal for 2+ years now and it’s really helped me stay fit.

    Reply
    • Addison Cash DC @ Young Adult Money May 4, 2014 on 3:50 pm

      Wow, I’m impressed that you’ve managed to work out 3 times per week for the past two years. I’d love to even reach six consistent months! I’m the only one who can make that happen, though. And it’s only going to happen if I make it a top priority.

      Reply
  • Taylor May 1, 2014 on 9:43 pm

    Congrats on completing the Yakezie challenge! Something to be proud of! Can’t wait until I can join the ranks of some great bloggers.

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Taylor May 4, 2014 on 3:51 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Taylor! I still have a long way to go with this blog, but it feels good to be making some progress πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Canadianbudgetbinder May 2, 2014 on 12:37 am

    Your eating out was pretty high but you still did awesome even with the savings. Sometimes we need to splurge a little but as long as we are achieving our goals and tracking expenses we know where the money is going. Good stuff with cutting back on sugar. I need to do the same in my tea and coffee. Hope your May is even better. Mr.CBB

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Canadianbudgetbinder May 4, 2014 on 3:52 pm

      Thanks, Mr. CBB! Cutting back on sugar definitely isn’t easy. It’s been scientifically proven to be addicting! Alas, I don’t need it and the less I consume of it, the better off I’m going to be.

      Reply
  • Dividend Mantra May 2, 2014 on 1:13 am

    Cashville,

    Another great month. Considering you had an unfortunate tragedy occur, I’d say you kept to the budget pretty well. Keep it up!

    And best of luck with all the other goals. You’re bettering yourself every single month. πŸ™‚

    Best wishes!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Dividend Mantra May 4, 2014 on 3:53 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Jason! I have high expectations for May!

      Reply
  • getrichwithme May 2, 2014 on 12:26 pm

    Great that your hitting the goals – good luck for May and the Alexa 150k

    Reply
    • Addison Cash getrichwithme May 4, 2014 on 3:53 pm

      Thanks for commenting and the kind words. Hard to believe we’re already in May, huh?

      Reply
  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer May 2, 2014 on 1:28 pm

    Great job on the savings, Addison, and those spendy months happen sometimes. We all have those months when we need to have a little more entertainment time.

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Laurie @thefrugalfarmer May 4, 2014 on 3:54 pm

      Thanks, Laurie. I agree with you. Hopefully it won’t turn into a pattern now that we’ve reached warmer months.

      Reply
  • Michelle May 2, 2014 on 5:30 pm

    Biking to work was one of the best things I ever started doing! I totally recommend it!

    Your month was awesome! Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Michelle May 4, 2014 on 3:55 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Michelle. I really really want to make more time to bike to work. It takes me about 45 minutes, so I definitely need to plan ahead to make it happen.

      Reply
  • Kay May 4, 2014 on 9:46 pm

    Great job Addison. Sorry about your unexpected loss, that must have really shaken you.

    Did you end up buying Coke? What are you thinking of for your next purchase?

    Reply
    • Addison Cash Kay May 5, 2014 on 12:50 am

      I did purchase Coke! I’m looking at a few different options for this month’s purchase. Thanks so much for sending that website (drip investing.org) Super helpful!

      Reply
  • Brian May 6, 2014 on 11:12 am

    Congrats Addison! Keeping your expenses close to you targets is no easy challenge, so way to go for getting so close.

    Also, congrats on the Adsense revenue! So what if it is a few pennies, its still money that you earned passively. Now its just a matter of growing that number over time πŸ™‚

    Long Term Brian

    Reply
  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach May 6, 2014 on 2:32 pm

    Great job on the savings!! I still haven’t gotten a grip on the whole affiliate marketing thing. I think it’s taken me over a year to get $100 on adsense. I just haven’t put as much time into it as I need. Hope you have a successful May!

    Reply
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