Taking a look at our spending for the month can help us see how small things and unexpected things add up, and seeing it laid out in black and white can help us improve our financial planning. Plus it shows just how important it is to include an amount for unexpected expenses in our budgets. Here's the nitty-gritty...

Spending Breakdown for the Month

Due to that thing called life, we went over our spending budget for April. However, I’m happy to say that a lot of these things won’t be repeating next month, woohoo! Here’s our spending breakdown for the month. Making this list is so helpful for me in creating and sticking to budgets for future months, so hopefully it’s something useful to you too.

Fast food shakes & soups when we were sick: $15

Garden mix soil for beginning our veg garden: $33

Boards to make our raised bed: $20

Koi to create nutrient-rich water for the garden: $14

Seeds for garden: $13

Dog diapers for the Squishy Pug: $16

Vet bill for the Squishy Pug: $56

Easter expenses: $20

Domain/hosting for LivByGrace.com: $95

Little Caesars: $13

Extra snacks, for no reason: $5.50

Fast food, for no reason: $4

Vehicle oil & filter: $37

Vehicle battery $172

TOTAL: $513.50 (Tax included in all these, because hey, that’s coming out of the budget too.)

Mildly put, I’m not happy with this number. But here’s the thing. By keeping track of this now I can see exactly where the money is going and how to change that for next month.

Sick people food

Thankfully we don’t get sick too often around here, and both of us were under the weather at the same time. I gotta be honest, when I have a sore throat I’m willing to spend a few extra dollars for something that will help me feel a little better. $15 is more than I would’ve liked, but seeing as it only happens a couple times a year, I’m okay with that.

Garden soil, boards, koi, seeds

Our veg garden is now underway! Really excited to actually see the tiny sprouts coming up! Right now we’ve only got root veg and lots of lettuce planted, and they’re coming along nicely. The expenses for starting the garden come in at a total of $80. That’s a lot! But, we’re looking at this one as an investment that will lower our grocery bills for the next several months, so hopefully that will come out saving us money throughout the season. Plus the bed will be used again and again, and we have all the rest of the seeds for this season, and fish, so we won’t have those costs again soon.

That expensive Squishy Pug

A whopping $72 of unexpected money spent on that pug this month. She’s 14 years old, so we want to make sure she sticks around as long as possible, and as comfortably as possible. So with that in mind we recently switched her to a homemade diet instead of kibble. Her new food is so full of moisture that she pees like a banshee these days, and she has a problem holding it all night, thus the dog diapers for bedtime. They’re reusable, so I feel like the money’s much better spent that way than on disposable ones, which would run up a ridiculous bill really quick.

Then she was due for Bordetella drops, and we wanted to make sure she got those since she’s had kennel cough before and it was super sad and distressing for all of us, plus expensive to treat. She also got her ears cleaned and a refill of her medicine. A bit of an expensive month for the Squishy Pug, but that’s unusual, thankfully.

Easter

Okay, I love Easter. The celebration of Jesus’ resurrection after His payment for our sins once and for all, giving us eternal life… It’s probably my favorite. And this Easter we spent $5 on gifts and $15 on food for family gatherings. Not too bad, and not a regular monthly thing.

Domain/hosting

While going through a course on WordPress and best practices for bloggers, I made the decision to change my hosting provider. It’s a huge expense! But I found out my previous host kinda has a bad rep for poor customer service, down time, etc., especially once your blog starts getting more traffic, so I decided it would be better to switch now rather than later.

I also had to pay for my new domain name, LivByGrace.com. I’m really happy that I changed it from LivOnABudget because that was pretty limiting, and I knew I wanted to focus more on helping you grow in faith and live by God’s grace, and placing that above budgeting. (Budgeting and frugal living is still a huge part of it though, just not the only part. 🙂

Thankfully these costs are for a whole year of service, just had to pay it all upfront.

Little Caesars

We. Love. This. The pizza we get is only $6 for a large and it feeds the 2 of us for 3-4 meals. That’s a good deal for us, plus it’s yummy and we feel like we get a fun, eat-out evening once in a while. The trouble is, I didn’t budget for it. We need to decide how often we’re gonna do it and then include it as part of the grocery budget. I love that I’m continually finding ways to improve on budgeting!

Extra snacks and fast food

Okay this one is on my husband, but it could be on me too if he’s doing it because there’s not enough snacks for him to take from home. Definitely something we gotta discuss so we can cut these bad boys OUT!

Vehicle maintenance

This month was a huge one for this… We knew the oil change was coming up, but once my husband got started on that, he found out the battery was on its last leg. So something else unexpected that had to be done right away. Good news is he got a refund of $18 for returning the old battery.

Budget bonus: We went shopping for a few things at Target and bought all generic, so we qualified for a free $5 gift card since we spent over $15 on their Up&Up brand. I feel like offers like that are something employees should be aware of, but I had to ask about it specifically, and was directed to customer service. Thankfully they honored it and got me the card. So it took a bit longer but hey, I got my $5 card, that’s what’s important. I can use that sucker for free toilet paper next month = win.

So now that April’s spending has been broken down, I can see exactly where each dollar went, and I know what to look at when I budget for next month. Taking a look at my spending can help us both see how small things and unexpected things add up, and seeing this laid out in black and white can help us improve our financial planning. Plus it shows just how important it is to include an amount for unexpected expenses in our budgets.

What changes will you make next month so you can better track your spending? Where will you cut back within your budget? Leave a comment or email me at livbygraceblog@gmail.

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Liv

Hi, I'm Liv!
I'm addicted to chocolate, Duck Dynasty, and rainy days. I'm married to my best friend and am mom to a senior (but lively) Squishy Pug. I'm all about family, frugality, and living by the grace of God. I'm definitely not perfect but I know I'm forgiven.
Check out my About page for more, and be sure to email me or reach out on social so I can get to know you too. (Seriously, do it!)

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