January 2012: Budget Recap and Goals Progress

by Erika Torres

I decided to get back into monthly recaps on our budget and goals to see if we’re staying on track.

Here was our proposed 2013 budget


And this was our actual budget for January

2013 January Budget

Due to our unexpected drop in income, savings and student loan repayment took a hit.

I also added a column for myself since I figure Eric gets a column to himself. However, the budget for the both of us and Everything Else was supposed to only account for 22% and instead it accounted for 28%.

Our groceries were also way over budget.

We’re expecting a good February though so here’s hoping we get right back on track!

Financial Goals

Overall Savings: We ended up contributing only 10% of our income to savings, rather than the 17% we had hoped for.

Where our Savings Stand:

  • 20% of our $1,000 Emergency Savings Goal
  • 12% of our $800 Christmas fund
  • 30% of our $5,000 General Savings Fund

We have about five other specific savings accounts (School, Car Fund, Car Insurance, etc), so these numbers don’t represent all our savings.

Student Loans: I am $8,043.10 away from reaching my goal for the year. I am only paying the minimum and saving the rest of my money for graduate school. Once I figure out if I’ll have enough for school, I can then start paying loans aggressively.

Graduate School: I will find out by the end of February how much I need to pay upfront for graduate school. I know each class is $1500, and my company reimburses 75%, so I will need to pay $375 out of pocket for every class plus books and parking and pay for the first class upfront since I only get reimbursed after I’ve completed the class. 

Personal Goals

Lose 15 pounds: I have lost 7 pounds this month! I am so incredibly elated and plan to do a post soon about my progress.

Bike to work at least 10 times each month: Due to the freezing weather this past month and attending a boot camp right after work, I did not bike to work at all this month. I plan to start this goal asap.

Husband-wife date: Our date for the month was trying out a new burger place by our house. It was delicious! We also went out with friends on three separate occasions, which ate (haha, see what I did there?) into our entertainment budget.

Reading: I did mention that I am looking for 2013 must-read books. This month, I read:

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Fynn, I give it a 3.5 out of 5. It was slow to start but then it got pretty good with a bunch of unexpected twists and turns. TO be honest, at the end of the book I didn’t even know what to think! As disturbing as the female primary character  was, I also kinda really loved her. I can’t give away anything else.
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova. 3 out of 5. It was a really sad story of a woman who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  It was a pretty easy read, but just sad overall.
  • Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin. I loved Emily’s first books, Something Borrowed and Something Blue. But most of the other ones, I’ve felt like the quality has just gone down hill…but I keep reading because I like to stay loyal, I guess? I’m still in the first 100 pages of this book but I’ve been having a hard time getting into it.


P.S. If you were a winner from my magazine giveaway, you should have received an email this weekend!


Melissa February 10, 2013 - 10:24 am

I loved Gone Girl, everything except the ending. 🙂

I think you are doing great with your goals, and if you are still doing the Paleo plan, it is no wonder your groceries are up. Ours are too. It’s painful to pay so much for groceries, but I know I am taking care of myself and my family, so it is worth it.

Jordann @ My Alternate Life February 6, 2013 - 5:50 am

Wow congrats on the weight loss! I need to lose about 5 lbs, but I keep gaining weight instead of losing it. Not good. Good luck in February!

Canadianbudgetbinder February 5, 2013 - 4:31 pm

Congrats on the weight loss!! It’s not easy but worth it. If your work is going to pay you 75%of the cost to get an education grab it, I know I would. I’m all about education and continuing to educate oneself throughout life not necessarily by going to school but other means such as reading, interest courses etc. You should come post your shops in my grocery game challenge for a month see if that motivates you to stick to your budget. The game has grown and we have quite a few people from around the world that have seen big savings just because they are held accountable. Now they have even lowered their budget further to see if they can beat it!!! We have people from USA, Guatemala and of Canada at the moment. Keep up the good work….. 🙂 Mr.CBB I’ll be posting our budget update tomorrow but wouldn’t you know it, our water softener died on us tonight.. bye bye to over $1000 easy…. thank goodness for emergency savings… sad to see it go though lol.. is that bad?

Tanner February 4, 2013 - 5:30 pm

Wow, that’s fantastic that your company is willing to pay that much for your education! That’s really neat. And I hear you on the groceries… sigh. That and gas prices going up will be the end of me.

Sophie February 4, 2013 - 5:01 pm

You’ve done so well! It’s hard to keep grocery spending in check when you’re trying to eat healthily/lose weight…. and then when you start grad school, if you’re anything like me, both the spending and the weight will creep up ever so slightly 😛 This is enough of a problem for me that I’ve already allocated extra spending money (for coffees and bought lunches – such a waste of money) next week when I’m in class instead of at work all day. I know I should always bring in my own lunch and not let the stress affect my frugal habits, but it always does anyway.

Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies February 4, 2013 - 3:45 pm

Great progress on all fronts. Well done!

Joanna @ Our Freaking Budget February 4, 2013 - 11:26 am

You guys did great this month! And way to go on your personal goals. My personal goals have been sidelined for a bit while I figure out how to get anything done with a newborn, haha.

And I’ve been searching for a good read and haven’t found one in a while! I’m excited to see if you’ve found any 5-star reads at the end of this month!

Budget & the Beach February 4, 2013 - 7:13 am

Wow 7 pounds that awesome! And I don’t blame you for not wanting to bike in our “freezing” weather. lol! Good luck with the next round of goals!

pen || new york nonsense February 4, 2013 - 7:03 am

I am a loyal Giffin fan too, but haven’t read her latest because I’ve heard not-so-good things about it. Heart of the Matter wasn’t all that great, but I really enjoyed Love the One You’re With, which I believe she wrote after that one. To add to the reading list… you might be interested in Gimme Shelter by Mary Elizabeth Williams. It’s about her personal home buying process on a less-than six figure income in NYC a few years ago. Just picked it up after reading a great blog post of hers. It is so interesting and eye-opening and reads more like a novel and less like a guide/how-to type book. It really touches on some of the home buying posts you’ve written recently.

SavvyFinancialLatina February 4, 2013 - 6:41 am

Great progress Erika!!!

Emily February 4, 2013 - 6:22 am

I kind of felt like I need a shower after reading Gone Girl. I was slightly disappointed by the ending. But only slightly. Not to say it wasn’t entertaining, but wow, I hope I don’t have people like this in my life!


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