thirteen cents under for Animals.
thirty-three cents under for clothes.
fifty-eight cents under for Hobbies.
eighty-one cents under for Gifts.
$117 under for Entertainment. Attributed to free movie tickets my son either won or earned, YouTube, and heaps of DVD box set library holds coming to us.
$30 under for Supplies.
Money market account finally back above $10000, so we now earn the penultimate weakest interest rate. Progress.
$28 over for dining, which I upped already for the dinner out earlier in the month.
forty-five cents over for phone service.
$15 over for gifts: postage for overseas correspondence and domestic stamps, before learning we still have over a dozen domestic staps.
$163.42 over for auto. Did not budget for license renewal and car tabs renewal, together summing to $191.75 when they took me by surprise.
Mortgage payment processed a few days ahead of schedule. Fine. Good to know I can wait in excess of five weeks, and three pay periods, before paying mortgage for May. That will redirect $1000 to our Islands Getaway.
$279.49 over for interest (mortgage)
$288.11 over for taxes (real estate)
$201.60 invested in stocks that have since depreciated in value.
My budget for April will be different. It won't have $1356.82 going toward real estate tax, mortgage interest, house insurance, and principal payment.
I have eighty dollars remaining in the food budget until March 31. I average $17/day for groceries for three people, and our frozen animal protein takes up most of our freezer space so I anticipate half of the eighty dollars going to dairy, grains and vegetables.
I have paid over thirty dollars in excess principal to reduce monthly interest on our HELOC and car loans.
True confession: I struggle with my budget because my family and I never plan weekly meetings, never chart in the open our budget, and frankly I don't know how to markedly increase cash flow without spending more money or stealing outright (which I will not do, surveillance is everywhere and my conscience, although selective, is cruel and unrelenting) or disposing of household members. Our budget parameters are strict as they are. I don't know where to look online for meaningful savings. I mostly see "deals" for consumer or processed food items I don't buy.
Out of budget bounds by $358 and the month's not done yet.