As normal I check how I'm doing overall on my budget at the mid-month point. Though I do check it frequently throughout the month. I have my finances organized in a spreadsheet which is conveniently located on the computer that goes every where with me. And the answer is yes, I do look at my spread sheet before deciding if I can afford to do something like go out with friends for a bite to eat.
Mortgage - Successfully doubled-up
Retirement/Emergency Savings - On Track
House Maintenance - Savings are up to $428.14. I'm going to keep spending conservative in this area for a bit. The only thing I plan to buy for the house at the moment is insulation for my water heater, which shouldn't set me back too much.
Housing Taxes/Insurance - Got to pay property taxes for the first time (very exciting.) Now need to get the second half scraped together by June. Insurance is on Track
Big Ticket Items - $197.75 in savings, going to hold back on spending in this category for two reasons. 1)There are only a couple of expensive things that I want (but can wait for) and nothing that I need 2) I want a bit of a surplus in case something big like my computer dies.
Travel - On Track
Health Insurance - Spent
Bus Pass - Spent
Cell Phone/Internet - Bills have not yet arrived
Car Savings - Going well (just look at the fancy new side bar!). I've been without a car for a month now and have no regrets, actually I'm enjoying it quite a bit
Train - $52 still there. Haven't been to see my parents this month and they're coming to me next week so this will probably role over to next month.
Other Transportation - $38.70 left, that would give me plenty of cab rides if I want or need them.
Utilities - Bill has not yet arrived, but last month's was $100 under budget so I should have plenty.
Food - $58.60 left. Only one week of groceries left to buy this month. I'm also fairly well stocked for supplies. Much better than last month.
Miscellaneous - $8.83 left. No worries there
Entertainment - $17.02 left. I'm thinking dinner out with friends is on the horizon.
Social/Sports - $35, most of which will disappear when I pay my dues next week.
Clothes - $20, have plenty of clothes at the moment. So this will accumulate until I need something like a new jacket or boots (11 years old and still absolutely amazing, but they will give out at some point).
Gifts - $10 just need to let it accumulate in anticipation.
Financial Planning - Not touched really need to make an appointment to see someone.
So things are going well. You may have caught on that I like to have some comfortable padding in all areas, just in case.