August 2014 Monthly Budget Review

After a couple of oppressively sticky days without air conditioning, I awoke yesterday morning comfortably swaddled in the crisp and cool New England fall air. Temporarily ignoring my hunger pangs, I lingered in bed longer than usual, wrapping myself in any blankets within reach.

I embraced the familiar feelings associated with the abrupt changing of seasons that one becomes well-acquainted with from growing up in the Northeast.

I traveled home for an upscale family wedding in New Hampshire. While I usually question the necessity of these lavish types of events, I had a really wonderful time and genuinely appreciated their attention to detail – an eight-piece live band, fancy bathroom trailers, open bar, root beer floats to-go.

At some point over dinner I looked around the over-sized tent, noticing my loose web of connections to the other guests, and felt immensely grateful to be there.

It's important to remind ourselves that personal finance is just that, personal. We all have our own needs, priorities, financial goals, and journey to reach them.

It's imperative to respect choices that may be different from our own, after all, being frugal or cheap doesn’t mean you’re morally superior, as Save. Spend. Splurge. so eloquently pointed out.

August Budget

The Budget Recap:

There are highs and lows within this month's recap, but overall, I'm pleased. Many of my one time expenses won't be recurring, so I'm look forward to a much leaner September.

Personal Care: $27.94 (floss and moisturizer)

Household: $50.52 (two months of trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels, mouthwash, toothpaste, and laundry detergent)

Gifts: $100 (wedding gift), $2.75 (card), $20 (donation to friend's dog), $1 (postage), $15.84 (cards), $21.85 (friend's birthday gift)

Other One Time Expenses: $34 (coffee), $24.95 (annual Flickr fee), $50 (Nashville b-cycle annual renewal), $63.50 (gym joining fee + monthly membership), $21.84 (Adobe Photoshop), $20 (annual eye exam), $7.64 (cactus), $16.35 (herbs), $5.46 x 8 (parking), $174.40 (cost for brunch party)

Other Goals:

Cashville Skyline

August posts: 8 (July posts: 7 / June posts: 8)

Most popular post: Have You Calculated Your Bare Bones Budget?

Alexa ranking: 161,307 as of 9/6 (July: 206,731 / June: 188,903)

twitter followers: 1,370 (July: 1,201 / June: 1,024)

Facebook likes: 20 (July: 12 / June: 10)

Cumulative Adsense earnings: $44.65 (+ $21.47 from last month)

Education

While ongoing education is always a priority for me, I'm putting these goals on the back burner while I focus on my new job. I anticipate having more time for my education goals mid-fall.

Health

For the first time in 2014, I've managed to exercise five times per week for an entire month thanks to Pact. This is a great start, but I'll need to tackle my diet next. I have no doubt that I can follow my doctor's orders to lose weight once I make this lifestyle change.

August Goals:

1. Don't get charged any money by Pact. PASS!
2. Don't dip into my savings to cover this month's expenses. FAIL!

September Goals:

1. Continue progress with exercise Pact (five days of working out per week).
2. Add a fruit & vegetable Pact by end of month.
3. Eliminate refined sugar from my diet at least six days per week.

Readers: Was August good to you? What goals are your priority for September?

Are you enjoying what you’ve read? Do me a favor by following Cashville Skyline on Facebook, twitter, Google+, and Pinterest!

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Discussions — 18 Responses

  • Mr. Frugalwoods September 8, 2014 on 6:46 am

    High Five! I’m a big believer that life is about Experiences. We save and optimize our everyday life so that we can enjoy these types of moments without worrying about their cost.

    Glad you got to experience a the first bit of New England fall. It’s our favorite season by far!

    Have you thought about optimizing the cellphone spending? My job pays for my phone so I don’t have to mess with it at this point, but I know there are plenty of folks paying less with stuff like republic wireless. Forgive me if you’ve addresses this in the past 🙂

    Reply
  • Holly@ClubThrifty September 8, 2014 on 7:32 am

    Great job on your spending! It is hard to stay on track when you have a wedding to attend and need to buy a gift. I actually have a wedding to go to next weekend but am happy to report that it is only 30 minutes away so we don’t need a hotel. That always helps!

    Reply
  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life September 8, 2014 on 7:45 am

    Congrats on the exercise! 5 days a week is seriously impressive, you must feel awesome! I’m from New England so extravagance is a standard here. People are going to be mortified if the day ever comes that I throw my budget wedding.

    Reply
  • DC @ Young Adult Money September 8, 2014 on 7:52 am

    I also felt grateful at the various weddings I was at this year. August was an “okay” month for us and in September I want to make some progress on a couple of new business ventures.

    Reply
  • Bridget September 8, 2014 on 8:14 am

    Looks good to me.

    I haven’t looked critically at my August spending — the month went by in a blur. However nothing stands out to me so I don’t think it was too far from ordinary. Went to a few weddings and parties, but otherwise my life was divided between work, gym, and books =p

    Reply
  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde September 8, 2014 on 8:42 am

    Congrats on your work out goal for the month! I have not been good with the 5 times a week goal, but now that school has started back, I am hoping to get better about it. I also need to get better about the diet, I have definitely fallen into some bad eating habits that I need to reign in especially before the beginning of winter where I typically eat more.

    Reply
  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach September 8, 2014 on 8:46 am

    Great job on the exercise pact! I had a gift certificate for a one day juice cleanse which I’m doing today…I’m scared! I love my food! lol! Sept I’m just focusing on finding work mostly, with some uke playing and learning some web skills thrown in. Hope you continue to enjoy your job!

    Reply
  • Will @firstqfinance September 8, 2014 on 9:04 am

    The featured pic is perfect. 🙂

    Congrats on the Twitter growth!!!!

    Reply
  • Mel @ brokeGIRLrich September 8, 2014 on 9:29 am

    Woah, you are nailing it! And you have a TON of Twitter followers. That’s pretty cool, trying to grow my social media presence is totally on my to-do list. And you kicked my butt at going to the gym. I felt successful I want twice last week.

    Reply
  • Aldo @ Million Dollar Ninja September 8, 2014 on 9:37 am

    Congratulations! I have a hard time working out 3 times a week, yet alone 5 days a week. The one suggestion I might have is to try to lower your cellphone bill. $130 is a bit too high. Have you looked into Ting or Republic Wireless?

    Reply
  • Michelle September 8, 2014 on 9:59 am

    Looks like a great August for you! I am so jealous of your exercising. I have been very, VERY bad in that area for the past few months. That is something I really need to work on.

    Reply
  • Erin @ Journey to Saving September 9, 2014 on 12:26 pm

    Awesome job on your exercise goals! I am glad that Pact is working out for you. I hate when so many one-time renewals come up all at once. $50 for two months of household supplies is not bad, either. Good luck this month!

    Reply
  • Dividend Mantra September 9, 2014 on 3:27 pm

    Addison,

    Looks like a solid month, overall. I had similar spending this past month thanks to a flight I booked. But you gotta take the good with the bad. 🙂

    I hope the part-time gig is treating you very nicely thus far!

    Best regards.

    Reply
  • Kay @ Green Money Stream September 9, 2014 on 7:08 pm

    Good job, Addison! Exercising 5 times a week is awesome! I’m lucky if I get in one.

    Sounds like a fun wedding too. Especially those root beer floats to-go!

    Reply
  • Michelle September 11, 2014 on 6:54 pm

    August sounds like an okay month to me! You were right on track. I think sometimes it is okay to make those splurges to spend time with family.

    Reply
  • Kate @ Money Propeller September 13, 2014 on 5:25 am

    Nice job that you managed to exercise five times per week for an entire month! I want to put that on my weekly goals list too, my doctor advised me to have a regular exercise but failed to do so.

    Reply
  • Melanie @ Dear Debt September 14, 2014 on 10:03 pm

    Nice work with the budget as well as the exercise! That is seriously awesome. I need to be better at working out now that I’m in the house all the time.

    Reply
  • debs @ debtdebs September 15, 2014 on 2:30 pm

    Well, I want to point out that the food and drink line looks mighty fine! Your Adsense is very impressive. I started two months ago but am only at $12. I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong. 🙁

    Reply