Mid-Month Financial & Budget Check Up

Instead of letting my spending addiction control me, I’m now using Mint’s planning features (read my interview with Mint CEO about this feature release here) and am finding that the tools are extremely useful in keeping myself on track.

This month has been a bit wonky between travel and gifts and end-of-year expenses, but I’m trying my best to stick to the budget I set for myself. What I really like about Mint is that it’s easy to adjust my budget as the month goes on. So, for instance, this month my medical/health costs skyrocketed, and I reduced my entertainment and education costs to balance out some of the extra spending. Ultimately, my goal is to save as much as possible per month without living “frugally.” I just want to live smart under my means, and earn enough income to make this possible without being “cheap” or “frugal.” Also, this month I received a surprise $200 bonus, so I am using that to pay for the remainder of the month with the exception of whatever other bills I will be paying automatically before the 1st.

Expenses so far this month: $3983

Auto: $194 / 200

Bills: $341 / 400

Education $0 / 10

Fees: $12 / 15

Food: $363 / 500

Gifts: $90 / 100

Health & Fitness: $1422 / 1500

Rent: $632 / 632

Personal Care: $78 / 100

Shopping: $423 / 500

Travel $322 / 400

Other: $70


Come January, I’m shrinking my budget and focusing on saving more each month. This month, I’m lucky, I have a lot of belated freelance income owed to me that is coming in the mail so my excess spending should balance out, even leaving enough to save a bit. Still, I need to be more careful next year. I may only have a job 1/2 the year if my company runs out of money, which means I might need to give being a frugal a try, at least for a little while, and maximize my savings as much as possible.

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