I spent some time yesterday reworking our monthly budget. It was no longer possible to stay in budget for some of the categories. Even though adjustments are made each month, it got to the point I needed to redo the template.
There’s another reason driving the new budget which I’ll share with you a little later.
Can you believe how high gasoline prices shot up this month? They’ve gone up an average of 36 cents a gallon here in the past two weeks. With gas rapidly approaching, and in some cases, exceeding, $4 a gallon I needed to increase this category to $220 a month.
Grocery prices have also been gradually creeping up. Not just our food, but the dog and cat foods as well. That meant upping the grocery category budget. It’s now at $600 a month. That might seem high for two people but it’s us plus two pets and includes all household items; not just food.
Our internet service provider upped the bill $3 this month. We don’t recall getting any notice, just a new number on the monthly statement. I will be looking at making a change here to a lower cost option.
Last but not least, a promotion ended for our Dish contract, so that bill went up $20 a month. Was it ever going to end?
Goodbye Sallie Mae
The big reason I needed to redo the budget was because I won’t be making debt payments anymore. Yep, Sallie Mae is getting paid off this week after many, many years.
We still have a mortgage payment but it’s only $514 a month which is a bargain house payment in this part of the country. At this point, we’re not focusing on paying off the mortgage. There are other plans for the money which you’ll hear about next week when I can really say, “I’m Debt-free!”.
Although I’m complaining a bit about higher prices, I feel fortunate that it’s not a hardship to make these adjustments. I feel sorry for someone who might not be able to allocate more money to any budget category because it just isn’t there.
Have you had to redo your budget this year? If so, what was the reason?
photo by coolmikeol