How Much We Spent In December With Christmas and Traveling | December Budget Check-In

december budget check in, budget check in, how much do we spend, how much to spend, meredith rines, merelynne

It’s time for another budget recap.

Oh my goodness! December is over and I have no idea where the last week of the month went. I had so many plans to get so much done before the New Year and I am still working on that list.  It took me a little longer than usual to get caught up on last month’s final budget recap. Christmas and then New Year really did a number on my routines and totally threw me into a whirl. 

I always do really good when I get to work a few minutes early each day to update our budget and go through our online bank statement to make sure everything has cleared.  When I’m out of the office for a few days then my habit of getting there by 7:30 usually goes right out the window, which means the time I have to update our budget is usually gone.  Now that we’re into the second week of 2018, I’m finally working my habits back into what works best for us.

Alright, enough with the excuses. Let’s get down to business.  Here is this month’s budget recap and check in to our envelope tracking system.  As you probably remember we use the budget spreadsheet I created years ago.  It’s easy to follow and really helps us keep up with how much we’ve spent and how much we have left each month. 

If you’re new to budgeting, then I recommend finding a system that works for you.  It’s okay to have a few trial and errors along the way, and to test our multiple systems to make sure it’s easy for you.  Finding something that’s simple and easy to update will encourage you to stick with it.  At the end of the day we’re striving for progress not perfection when it comes to budgeting.  You have to be willing to forgive yourself (and your partner) of any mistakes that are made and keeping finding new ways to improve your spending habits.  

Recently I shared why we like to review our budget at the beginning of a new year to make sure we’re on track to hit our financial goals.  You can read about how we do that on last month’s Budget Q&A post.

Watch this month’s recap online or down below:

As you can see we had a few bumps in December. We budgeted for Christmas and that worked out great, but with travel and sickness it hurt us a little bit.  That’s okay though, we realized we needed to be a little more prepared for doctor visits and medicines in the upcoming year so we made an adjustment to our 2018 budget.  All we did was average how much we spent on doctor visits, medicines and other medical related bills in 2017 and averaged them out.  We assumed that 2018 would be similar to last year so we’re using that number as a monthly budget goal – we took our average of 2017 and divided by 12 to get a monthly amount.  Now we’re simply setting aside that amount each month to make sure we have a cushion for when the flu bug hits our house again.

We also traveled more than we realized and usually that means eating out.  So our eating out budget shows a little more than average in December.  Again, that’s okay.  We know why and we can then be better prepared when it happens again.  

It’s all about progress not perfection.

Need More Help?

If you’re looking for a great tool to help keep your family on budget, then check out out my budget spreadsheet.  Each month is laid out right in front of you where you can keep track of what you budget and what you actually spend. Now you’ll know in real time how you’re doing each month.

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