February was the worst budget month we have had in a long time, with $5386 in expenses. Not surprising really since we crammed a ton of activity into February. We went to Vegas for 9 days, then to Kartchner and finally back to Quartzsite, and another Mexico trip. Some of the expenses we can ultimately write off as business expenses, but most were frankly us having a good time with our friends and not being cautious. We didn’t have one budget conversation all month, and it shows. I think it just goes to prove you really have to stay vigilant or costs can quickly get away from you. The details are below.
Campground Fees – $494 went to a nine day stay at Circus Circus for Lee’s work. Since this cost is directly attributable to our business it can be written off at the end of the year, but I included it here since it was an immediate expense.
Propane – Propane was a little higher because we started and ended the month in Quartzsite. This off course is offset by how crazy cheap Quartzsite is.
Groceries – We didn’t do a very good job this month dividing out consumables from expendables (food versus non-food) so the individual categories aren’t right but the overall cost is correct. This is the one category we saw a huge improvement in and that was despite many shared meals with friends. I attribute that to all three couples sharing the cost evenly, we ate out more, and Lee eating at work some.
Dining Out – These categories were both terrible. We had our anniversary and several meals out with friends, didn’t keep track as we should have and really just blew the budget.
Entertainment – We really did pretty well in this category considering all the stuff we did, and the overage was caused by $120 in books Lee purchased. He loves the west and they had some very unique books in Tombstone and Yuma and I encouraged him to buy them as well. Neither one of us realized it added up to so much though until the end of the month which would have been solved by having our regular mid month review which we skipped this month.
Home Furnishing Mandatory – This was the other really tough category but these expenses are attributed to two things. Lee accidentally left the surge protector at Circus Circus and of course it was gone when we called. Since a new one was going to be a couple hundred of dollars we decided to upgrade and invest in an inline system that could never be lost or stolen. All in that costs around $500, but it was a decision we made together. The other expense was $173 for new sheets. For some reason the sheets got totally destroyed and needed replaced. Now you can easily say, that is a ridiculous amount to spend on sheets, but we have 800 thread count sheets because it is incredibly helpful controlling my hot flashes. For me (and Lee who I woke up a lot) it is a small price to pay for a good night’s rest. It does stink though that the sheets lasted barely a year. I am not sure if this is because we are washing them in public laundromats or they are stretched too tight on this new bed, but hopefully it was an anomaly and they will last the several years that the precious pair did.
So this $935 overage was a tough one, but we know it was fully within our control which is comforting in an odd way. Nothing that blew the budget was absolutely necessary (except maybe the sheets) and if we needed to we could have avoided or delayed the costs. Since my work paychecks stop in March this was a bit of a last hurrah, but obviously we cannot continue at this rate of spend and be successful.
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