Hi everyone! Welcome to the November Budget Report Card. It has been two months since the last budget report card. I really intended to do this every month, but life happened. During that time, a lot of things have taken place. At the beginning of September, my grandmother passed away. This was a difficult time for me and I really neglected a lot of things that were going on during that time. Also, Mr. Kay Saga recovered from a procedure that he had in August and began working again for the first time in over a year! He was so happy. He started his position at the end of September and we were so excited to have more money to pay down our debt.
October went fairly well and Mr. Kay Saga’s job was going great until he began to feel really tired. We went to his doctor and discovered that the fluid in his spine has returned. This was so disappointing! We were both frustrated, because we knew that this would mean another surgery and that he wouldn’t be able to work for a while. We now have the surgery scheduled for December and we’re hoping that this will correct all of the issues with Chiari Malformation.
November has gone by pretty smoothly. We were able to spend time with our families for Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law had her baby shower while everyone was home for Thanksgiving as well so that was fun. I can’t wait until our nephew arrives in January! Black Friday shopping with my mom was fun. I didn’t buy much for Black Friday, but I did spend money that was budgeted for Cyber Monday. With that being said, let’s jump into the November Budget Report Card.
As you know, we budget $280 for groceries each month. Sometimes it’s tight during a five week month, but most of the time it works perfectly. This month we went home for Thanksgiving so we came in under budget for groceries. Mr. Kay Saga also started a vegetarian diet this month. I’m not sure if I’m fully on board, but I have been attempting to limit meat to one meal per day for the past two weeks. This has reduced our grocery budget a bit, so that is great. We had $70 per week to spend for November and we ended up with $18.86 left. I will hold on to this money in my wallet in case we are over budget in the next few months.
Our goal for debt payment each month is $300. This month we were able to do a bit more because Mr. Kay Saga we got his last paycheck this month. We were able to completely pay off the loan that was at the top of our snowball. I will have a separate post about this loan in the upcoming weeks. Now, we are able to strictly focus on our medical bills then move on to our student loans. We also paid off a few of the small (think $10-$40) medical bills that were next on our list.
One unexpected thing did happen with our debt repayment plan this month. Mr. Kay Saga’s student loan payment went from $0 per month to $44 per month even though he hasn’t been able to work in the past year. They stated that even though we are both on the Income Based Repayment Plan (two different lenders), my income increased in the past year so his payment had to follow suite. This was a bit discouraging because it takes away funds that we could be using to pay down the medical debt and reach the student loans in our snowball at a faster pace.
The total debt paid for this month was $643.41. Anytime we receive any extra money, it goes directly towards our snowball. Our minimum payments are $220.74. We were able to pay $422.67 extra towards our snowball. This was a great month for debt repayment.
The Miscellaneous category was pretty high this month. We had to pay for gas and food while traveling to our hometown. We also purchased a few decoration items and a gift for my sister-in-law’s baby shower. It was really nice. I know that we could have skipped spending this money and applied it to our debt, but this was special. I wouldn’t change anything about the way that this money was spent. Our total for this category was $226.08. I plan to keep this number much lower next month.
The November budget was all over the place. I spent a good amount of money on Cyber Monday, but our budget stayed in tact. We also lost a portion of the income that we had in October, but this is why it pays to have a written budget. Our budget allowed us to plan for this income loss and move forward. We spent more money than we planned for the miscellaneous category, but we were able to adjust the budget and not add any additional debt. I think I will give the November Budget Report Card an A.
Next month, the goal is to not have to adjust the budget. I tried to plan for everything when creating the December budget. Holidays are tricky for budgets, but my goal is to stay the course. You will notice that the “Debt Remaining” total below is higher than the amount for the August Budget Report Card. This is because of medical debt. I have to constantly remind myself that even though we are adding medical debt, we are knocking our debt payments out of the park. It may not seem like we are moving forward, but we are. This is the hardest part for me. I am determined to keep going and eventually become debt free.