Ever since since my first full time job with the military I have had the habit of checking my finance twice a month, once on the 15th and once on the 30th. This made sense for a number of reasons. First and foremost these were my pay days. Eventually I found that there were a number of other benefits as well.
-It made sure that I paid off my credit card on time. Most financial gurus will gasp when I say I have no idea when my credit card payment is due. It actually doesn't matter because my credit card is paid twice a month religiously. As a result I have never missed a payment and never paid a cent of interest.
-Updating my financial spread sheet every two weeks is a much less onerous task then only doing it once a month. If I did it once a month I would probably put it off and it would become two . . . or three. Needless to say I need to keep on top of stuff.
-Knowing where I am financially keeps a lid on my anxiety. One of the reasons I am so interested in finances is a deep seated fascination of the subject. The other is a fear of what would happen should I run out of money. It's never happened to me. Even when I lost my job I had cash to see me through. Despite that I have a somewhat irrational fear of running out of money, so I keep a close eye on where I am.
So where am I exactly?
Mortgage - Successfully doubled-up
Retirement/Emergency Savings - On Track
House Maintenance - Savings are down to $121.01 I really need to cut back on projects around the house so I can build up a surplus in this account. At the moment I would have trouble dealing with major repairs like replacing my water heater.
Housing Taxes/Insurance - On Track
Big Ticket Items - $238.88 in savings, most of that will get wiped out by the application fees for my Masters. But I'll get through the month.
Travel - On Track
Health Insurance - Spent
Bus Pass - Spent
Cell Phone/Internet - Bills have not yet arrived
Car Savings - Had to reduce the amount by $25. However, I won't be buying a car anytime soon so that is fine.
Gas - $49.89 left over and the van is gone. So I look forward to folding this into another account. I won't decide what I will do with this until the end of the month.
Utilities - Bill has not yet arrived
Food - $49.75 left. This is going to be supper fun. I'm running low because I stocked up on 6 months of granola making supplies at the beginning of the month (I had a coupon for 25% off that was only good for a couple days). I was also out of meat at the beginning of the month, which put a real dent in things.
Miscellaneous - $4.87 left. That should be plenty for the rest of the month.
Entertainment - $7.02 left. Not quite enough for the book I want to buy, Oh well I can wait until my next pay check.
Social/Sports - Not touched
Clothes - Not touched
Gifts - All spent, but the next birthday isn't until March, so that's not a problem.
Financial Planning - Not touched
Overal things are going well for my first stab at budgeting. The only tight part is food, but I'm stocked up on staples for this month and next so I should be fine.