Planning Ahead to Succeed: November 2016 Budget Outlook

MAY Budget

How did we do with our October budget?


  • I worked 10 shifts.
  • We spent $402.82 of our grocery budget before all of those Ibotta rebates (If you sign up and try through my referral link, you can get $10 cash back after submitting your first rebate).
  • We spent $540 in child care.  It’s a LOT less than the $2500/month we used to pay for three kids in full time care.
  • I signed up for ShopKick and have earned enough to get a $2 Target gift card in one week.
  • I put $250 in my Roth account. I am at $3408 of my $5500 goal.
  • We have a new roof! Insurance has reimbursed us, but the gutters still need to go on before we know our final out of pocket
  • I only bought gas for the van once, spending $32.54.
  • I earned about $1.78 through Google Ad Sense. Whoo hoo? I won’t see any of that until I reach the threshold though. I worked more so I posted less. I earned $0.00 through Amazon.
  • No tuition due this month.
  • I got a $15 for 50 Christmas cards at Staples Groupon deal, plus 12 free cards from Shutterfly, and a free calendar from Shutterfly.
  • I brought drinks and snacks for the kindergarten Halloween party, and spent $4 out of my normal grocery budget plus $8 for juice boxes to make Monster juice boxes. We used things on hand to make them.2016-10-31-08-22-46


  • We spent $381.76 in medical expenses, which includes the twice monthly massage therapy I get for my arthritis.
  • Entertainment spending was just slightly over budget at $110.14. We did improve over last month though!
  • I signed up for Google Fi and replaced my dying cell phone.The new phone and protective case was $278.71. There IS good news though. I have avoided using data when out and about and as of today only have used 220 MB of data our of my 1 GB. I think I will be reimbursed most of my $10 in data!

How is November looking?

  • Once the gutters are on, we get the final tally from our roofer. Estimate: $1000-1500 out of pocket.
  • I picked up 12 and a half shifts this month.
  • I plan on putting $250 towards my Roth. I’m not sure I can squeak more, because we still need to make our big ticket Christmas purchase and expect a very expensive medical bill.
  • I plan on milking a single gas tank again this month. Estimate: $30-35.
  • My kindergartener is in Girl Scouts and I will have to buy a uniform smock or vest plus basic badges for about $25. Our troop came together to donate supplies and we had a few donors, so we should be OK until cookie season is over. Woot!
  • I anticipate $128 in office copays , $50 in medication copays, and $20 of OTC meds.  Massage is $110. We also will have to pay for testing that may be up to $750 cash.
  • Christmas: I am done with shopping for our kids/niece except for the big ticket item we are buying- an Xbox for the kids to share. We’ll also have cash gifts for the teens, my parents, a gift for my in-laws, and flowers for my best friend. My strategy for buying flowers for my bestie and my in-laws is to purchase a gift card at 1-800-Flowers for 26% off, then wait until Ebates has a high cash back value (12-15%) and pair it with a sale.  If you want to try Ebates for the first time through my referral link, you’ll get $10 cash back after your first purchase.
  • I am buying food for the PTO’s staff appreciation this month and we may do Pizza for the PTO one day.
  • The mister and I have one date at a favorite restaurant with two other couples. Maybe $100?
  • We will probably do Thanksgiving at my mom’s house, and I will bring something to share. No extra out of pocket planned.
  • I am lunching with friends one afternoon, but my mom is babysitting and we are lunching in and bringing something to share.
  • Other than the local Christmas Parade with scouts (which is free), this will be a low-key month without a lot of special activities. I think we might play around with cooking and baking.
  • I have been trying to get 75 or more Swagbucks per day (referral link), with a goal of earning a $25 gift card every month. My plan is to get 4 Hulu gift cards this year to pay for Hulu, then do Domino’s Pizza for the rest.
  • I also have a lofty goal of getting 1000 Shopkick Kicks every week, which would translate into earning $16 in Target gift cards every month. My strategy is to get kicks and scans at every store I normally shop at, plus take the toddler to the mall once a week for a stroller walk,  getting kicks while we walk. We opted not to pay for a YMCA membership this year, so this will help me get some walking in during the winter.
  • Swimming lessons are officially over until next summer, meaning we will save $300/month.

What are you doing to meet your goals?


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