October 2015 Monthly Budget Review

I really like this picture of my sister. And I think it accurately depicts the laid back vibe of our Santa Fe trip. We were heading to Origami in the Garden and pulled over to snap some photos.

I touched on a few trip details in My Seventh Net Worth Overshare. But it's worth restating how stunning the city is. And how grateful I am to have spent my mother's 60th birthday there.

Again, it's a reminder why I continue hustling toward financial freedom. Because in the future there will be more time for trips like these.

The October Monthly Budget

Remember last month's budget disaster? After blowing through more cash than I have in a while, I tried to lay low this month. And my expenses look much better.

As usual, I'm struggling with my food & drink budget. With limited time and a strict diet, I've been guilty of way too much takeout. But I'm trying not to beat myself up too much about it.

Because $2,100 in total expenses is very reasonable. Even if I busted my food budget, I kept my other expenses in line.

That's the thing with budgeting. If you obsess too much over the small details, you miss the big picture.

Spreadsheet of October Expenses

Note: mortgage, alarm system, internet, electric, water, gas, household, coffee, household numbers reflect one-half of the total bill. I live with my boyfriend, so we split these expenses.

Last month, I started using Personal Capital to check my expenses and track my net worth. And I love seeing all my accounts in one place.

Note: If you sign up for a free account through my affiliate link above, I may receive a small bonus. I'd never recommend a product I don't save time with and enjoy!


Personal Care: $8.36 (shampoo), $19.84 (mouthwash, bath tissue, soap)

Household: $4.40 (allergy medicine), $11 (garbage bags)

Gifts: $92.86 (cards & gifts for a friend / my mother), $30.59 (cards & gifts for two more friends)

Other One-Time Expenses: $24.00 (Social Warfare plugin), $88.01 (Santa Fe food & transportation*), $6.56 (Halloween costume)

*Flight was purchased last month for $522.99. My parents generously covered the cost of the house we stayed in. They also paid for the rental car that helped us reach cool places like Ghost Ranch and star gazing outside of the city.

Other Goals

Cashville Skyline 

October posts: 3 (no change)

Twitter followers: 3,809 (+244)

Facebook likes: 314 (+23)

Google+ followers: 154 (+6)

Pinterest followers: 341 (+33)

Feedly subscribers: 99 (+7)

Email subscribers: 106 (+12)

Cumulative Adsense earnings: $158.38 (+$12.24)

Side Income

When I got back from FinCon, I wrote about the importance of setting intentions. Because if you want to make progress, you have to be specific.

Last month, I set a goal of earning $10,000 in side income before next year's FinCon. This income will come from a variety of sources including:

– Blogging
– Freelance writing
– Social media consulting
– Dividends from my taxable portfolio
– Selling stuff
– And more!

So how's it going so far?

September – $350.72
October – $858.61
Total – $1,209.33

With $8,790.67 more to go, I need to earn $879.06 per month for the next 10 months to reach my goal.


Two months ago, I read Tim Ferriss' The 4-Hour Body and dove into the slow-carb diet. The slow-carb diet eliminates grains, sugar, dairy, and alcohol. The focus is green vegetables, meat, and legumes. One cheat day per week is required.

There's no denying it — my slow-carb weight loss has been frustratingly slow. Maybe it's the limited exercise. Or the four times I cheated while traveling.

But here's what I know. In August, I weighed more than 170. And now I'm finally below 160. I've lost at least 10 pounds in three months. So that's something.

The digital scale doesn't lie. And I think it's telling me I actually need to start exercising. I'd love to step into the New Year another five pounds lighter. Is it possible?

October Wellness Numbers

Weight: 159.8 (-2.1)

October Miles Run: 0 (no change)

October Steps: 145,933 (+16,817)

Line Graph of Weight

October Goals:

1. Continue Cashville Skyline progress. SCORE!

2. Post at least twice per week. FAIL!

3. Exercise, damn it! And drop below 160 pounds. SCORE!

November Goals:

1. Write at least one Cashville Skyline post per week.

2. Earn $879.06 in side income.

3. Lose at least 2 pounds. Even with Thanksgiving and a work trip to Vegas.

Readers: How was your October? And what are your goals for November?

Enjoying what you’ve read? Add me to Feedly.

Related Post


Discussions — 33 Responses

  • Holly@ClubThrifty November 9, 2015 on 7:07 am

    Hey, your budget looks good to me. It’s really easy to go over in a category or two. In our zero-sum budget, we have a $200 miscellaneous category to soak up those overages. Most of the time, I overspend a little bit on groceries.

    • Kate Dore Holly@ClubThrifty November 22, 2015 on 5:36 pm

      That’s a good idea, Holly! A miscellaneous category would be helpful for me. Especially for food overages!

  • Tre November 9, 2015 on 7:24 am

    Good luck with your November goals and reaching $10,000 by next FINCON. I’m planning on hitting the gym while the turkey is in the oven on Thanksgiving morning 🙂

    • Kate Dore Tre November 22, 2015 on 5:37 pm

      Good for you, Tre. Hitting the gym on Thanksgiving is very impressive!

  • Jason Hull, CFP November 9, 2015 on 7:58 am

    Congratulations on the 4HB progress! We’ve been on a slow carb diet since 2011. Recently, we’ve been exploring ketogenic diets (think slow carb minus as many carbs and minus as many cheat days). Tim Ferriss interviewed Dr. Dom D’Agostino recently, and it was mind-blowing: http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/11/03/dominic-dagostino/

    Also, make sure that you’re doing the PAGG stacks. I’ve found that my BF% goes down by about 2% when I’m doing the PAGG stacks correctly versus the times when I’m not.

    • Kate Dore Jason Hull, CFP November 22, 2015 on 5:39 pm

      Interesting, Jason! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m realizing I may need to change things up to keep getting results.

  • Maggie @ Northern Expenditure November 9, 2015 on 10:51 am

    Heading in the right direction! I’m excited to see where you go with the side income. And where do you get your gift cards?

    • Maggie @ Northern Expenditure Maggie @ Northern Expenditure November 9, 2015 on 10:56 am

      Misread that. “Cards AND gifts.” Right. I was wondering why they were such odd amounts! 🙂

      • Kate Dore Maggie @ Northern Expenditure November 22, 2015 on 5:40 pm

        I always try to support neighborhood businesses when buying cards and gifts. There’s a shop about a block from my house called “Welcome Home” that always delivers. My first trip included stuff for two people. And the second one was just one person 🙂

  • Hannah November 9, 2015 on 10:57 am

    Well done on the budget, the hustle, and the weight loss. I think 10lbs in three months is pretty good. I mean, it wouldn’t be good if you were 100 lbs overweight, but I think you’ve said that you would feel healthy at 145 or 150? I can’t remember exactly, but at a weight loss goal that’s somewhere under 15% of your total body weight, sustainable life choices are more important than pounds.

    Good luck with the workouts! Maybe sign up for a Turkey Day 5K! It’s fun, and you’ll get in motion if only to prevent walking the whole thing.

    • Kate Dore Hannah November 22, 2015 on 5:42 pm

      Thanks so much for the encouragement, Hannah! It’s been a challenging couple of weeks. And Thanksgiving will be tough. But I’m going to hit it hard between Thanksgiving and Christmas 🙂

  • Cat@BudgetBlonde November 9, 2015 on 1:26 pm

    Sounds like a good month overall. Great job! Keep trucking away at your goals and you’ll get there. This time of year is so hard for weight loss, but you are doing great!

    • Kate Dore Cat@BudgetBlonde November 22, 2015 on 5:43 pm

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Cat! It’s a busy time of year. But I really want to end the year strong 🙂

  • Brian @DebtDiscipline November 9, 2015 on 4:20 pm

    Looks like a good month to me. A great experience with family, nothing better than building memories. Hoping things slow down a bit for us in November.

    • Kate Dore Brian @DebtDiscipline November 22, 2015 on 5:47 pm

      Totally agree, Brian! That’s part of why we’re opting for a gift free Christmas this year. We’d rather just spend Christmas morning enjoying a nice meal together. I hope November has treated your family well, Brian! 🙂

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde November 9, 2015 on 4:54 pm

    Congrats on the side hustle income!!! It’s amazing how much a little intention can do for you!! I have been focusing on my weight as well and I’ve found that just reducing my portions has made a huge difference. I make my dinner plates on salad plates now which takes some of the guesswork out of figuring out what to eat. Plus, I have focused on limiting my alcohol intake. So far so good, but any weight loss journey is going to be slow moving, it’s just the nature of the beast.

    • Kate Dore Shannon @ Financially Blonde November 22, 2015 on 5:48 pm

      Nice, Shannon! Limiting alcohol is tough. Especially this time of the year 😉

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach November 9, 2015 on 5:35 pm

    10 pounds is great! And you don’t want to lose too fast anyway, because you want this to be a lifestyle change, not a quick fix that you can’t possibly keep up, right? Your trip to Santa Fe sounds awesome! I hear it’s a big arty community.

    • Kate Dore Tonya@Budget and the Beach November 22, 2015 on 5:49 pm

      Thanks, Tonya! And you’re right. I’m definitely aiming for a long-term change.

  • Jim November 10, 2015 on 6:23 am

    Keep after those goals, you’re making progress! Don’t let the speed of it deter you, it’s all relative and you’re still moving forward. Don’t worry about the pace.

    • Kate Dore Jim November 22, 2015 on 5:50 pm

      Thanks so much for that reminder, Jim. You’re totally right. I’ll be happy as long as I’m moving forward.

  • Abigail @ipickuppennies November 11, 2015 on 1:08 pm

    Our October was low key, other than

    • Abigail @ipickuppennies Abigail @ipickuppennies November 11, 2015 on 1:10 pm

      Oops, hit enter by mistake. Our month was pretty low key. One major expense was investing in some Pinterest help. I have to sink a bit more in that endeavor too.

      I’m just hoping we can put the projected amount into savings. The checks are just now processing, so I can’t know anything until those numbers are official.

      • Kate Dore Abigail @ipickuppennies November 22, 2015 on 5:52 pm

        Nice, Abigail. I hope your extra Pinterest efforts are paying off. Fingers crossed your numbers finish strong for November!

  • Latoya S November 11, 2015 on 2:26 pm

    Hi Kate,

    You rocked it this month! One thing that caught my eye is your security bill…it’s so cheap! Please, seriously, share the deets of your company… I may need to find someone else other than ADT because I feel like I’m being ripped off now!

    My goals for November are to line up 2 more guest posts. I’ve already got one lined up, so I have one more to go!

    Enjoy the rest of your Hump Day!

    • Kate Dore Latoya S November 22, 2015 on 5:54 pm

      Thanks, Latoya! I split a $19.95 alarm system bill from NCA with my boyfriend. And it would only be $9.95 per month if I had a landline! Best of luck with you guest post goals! 🙂

  • Alyssa @ GenerationYRA November 12, 2015 on 10:39 am

    Awesome job with all of your goals!! Even just nailing down a few, the rest will follow as time goes on & you should be proud. 🙂 Your side hustle income is kicking and that’s great to hear since that was one of the goals you created after FinCon! Keep it up, you’ve got this!!

    • Kate Dore Alyssa @ GenerationYRA November 22, 2015 on 5:55 pm

      Thanks so much, Alyssa! FinCon was really inspiring. And I’m still feeling motivated.

  • Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels November 16, 2015 on 8:21 am

    That’s a great budget and even if you go over with something, you can easily cover it the money you saved with something else. What a great job with your goals and achievements!

    • Kate Dore Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels November 22, 2015 on 5:56 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Reelika! I’m pretty happy with October’s numbers. Hopefully, November will finish strong 🙂

  • Eric November 16, 2015 on 9:23 pm

    You have great trajectory there in your side hustle income! I bet you’ll hit $10,000 a lot faster than the ten months you have left. Challenge goal: try to hit it in half the time! Can you make it to $2,000 per month in five months?

  • Melanie @ Dear Debt November 18, 2015 on 2:23 pm

    You’re doing great! How is the 4-hour body program going?

    • Kate Dore Melanie @ Dear Debt November 22, 2015 on 5:57 pm

      Thanks, Melanie! It’s been a rough couple of weeks. I spent last week in Las Vegas for work and we’re heading down to San Antonio for Thanksgiving. Needless to say, I haven’t really stuck to the diet. Hopefully, I can pick up where we left off when I get back to Nashville 🙂