Am I On Target With My Summer Budget?

I’m earning more than I expected! I’m also spending more.

Photo credit: Brian Jeffery Beggerly, CC BY 2.0.

So my financial goal for this week is to check in with my summer earnings-and-spendings and see how they compare to my summer budget.

A Very Detailed Look at My Summer Budget

When I wrote this budget, I expected to receive $24,313.84 in freelance payments and book royalties between May 1 and August 31.

So far, I’ve received $13,295.14 and I anticipate receiving another $11,444.77 before August 31, bringing my anticipated summer earnings to $24,739.91.

I planned to distribute that original $24,313.84 number as follows:

  • $6,078.46, or 25 percent, to taxes
  • $3,647.08, or 15 percent, to savings
  • $3,000 to refill my “checking account buffer/emergency fund/money to spend during low cashflow months”
  • $11,588.30 on all other overhead, business, and personal spending

So far, I’ve spent… well, I’ll just show you:

You can subtract the $2,114.05 I paid in taxes, because that comes out of my 25 Percent Taxes account, and get $9,293.86. That’s what I’ve spent on overhead/business/personal between May 1 and July 19, which means I have $2,294.44 to spend between July 20 and August 31.

So yeah, I’m over budget. A little. Which means I gotta keep earning that money and—more importantly—not buying things.

I know it seems weird to write that when I’ve clearly bought a lot of things! You can see all of those numbers! But only $1,190.05 of that is non-overhead, non-business, non-gift-and-charity, purely personal spending, and that $1,190.05 includes stuff like haircuts and airport food. It also includes a $200 massage and that ticket to Fun Home.

I feel like I’ve been saying no to myself a lot this summer: no, I’m not buying new clothes, no, I’m not buying movie tickets, no, I’m not replacing my pillows and linens, no, I’m not buying books that aren’t written by people I know. But I have been treating myself to the occasional $2 chocolate truffle and $6 bouquet of grocery-store flowers, and I paid $3.99 plus tax to stream Arrival on Amazon, and I did buy one new piece of clothing: the Fun Home T-shirt, which cost $40. (It was one of the most powerful emotional experiences I’d ever had in a theater, and I came out of the show literally wanting to wear my heart on my sleeve.)

So I have been cutting back and overspending at the same time, which feels… well, it’s reflected my priorities this summer, which were “publish a book and visit friends and family.”

How about you? Anyone want to take a peek at their summer spending?

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