This month is a great demonstration of what happens when we don't keep track of what we're spending. As i mentioned before, we got complacent this month. And we paid for it. Literally.
We spent more than twice what we had budgeted for Dining out. This, in combination with a few other things (We spent extra money on craft supplies, a little extra on groceries, and with gas prices being up) put us substatially over budget and we had to move money from the savings account to checking to make sure everything cleared. This had two effects. The first is that, obviously, we are further from our savings goals than we were before. The second is that I was was very stressed about it. Right now, getting things together financially on-track is a big source of pride for me, and this was a pretty big blow.
We've got a few categories we need to look at carefully. Gas, while not really something we can control right now, keeps going up, so that'll eat into the other categories. We've already spent almost 60% of what was budgeted for the year on Dining out. A lot of that is little things. $3 here and $4 there adds up quickly. We've also spent half of our Household budget for the year. Shelving and such. Hopefully this is about done though. We've been here a year and made the last purchase of shelving that we had planned.
Going on the theory that money that's already gone is less likely to be missed, I did what some people might consider counter-intuitive after being short last month. I upped the auto-transfers from checking to savings. Doubled them in fact. I'm still hoping that we can make our goal of $2500 in savings by the end of July. The credit card payoff is on schedule. Another one paid off this month. Two to go.
We've both committed to tracking cash spending again and limiting dining out as well. Hopefully May will be a good month.