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The Budget Holds Up in April: Review


Well I think I’m getting pretty good at this whole budgeting thing. As you have already probably gathered from my Friday post regarding my mortgage payoff, my budgeting in the month of April was actually quite good.

The Good and the Bad

The month of March was an amazing income month, but the budgeting was so-so. Since I knew my income wouldn’t be nearly as large in April, I really wanted to watch my pennies and do a good job budgeting so I could make a decent payment toward my house mortgage. The focus appeared to pay off!

Auto Insurance – I was overcharged in March, so my bill in April was reduced, which looks quite nice for my budget.

Gas & Fuel – Since I have officially graduated from college (with my MBA), my 30 mile trips to campus have gone away. This helped out my budget this month and will severely help in the upcoming months as well. Plus, I will be riding my bicycle more, so I’m hoping to take my gas bill down below $100. 🙂

april budget

Service and Parts – I spent $30 on my oil change and maintenance check. It is pretty standard, but not in my monthly budget since it is not a monthly occurrence.

Mobile Phone – I have negotiated this bill from $85 a month down to $66, so this will be a monthly savings going forward as well.

Utilities – These stinking utility bills continue to kick my butt. Since it is finally getting warmer, I expect these expenses to actually fall within my budgeted number next month. Hopefully it happens.

Tuition – I just spent a few bucks on a Harvard Business Case, which will be reimbursed by my company next month.

Entertainment – I was a little over on entertainment this month. I bought some ultimate frisbee cleats, a hiking backpack, and a tent. Nothing to lavish, so I feel okay about going over by $30 or so. I more than offset this with my PS3 sale and a few tickets that I sold as well.

Groceries – Pretty much, I just never go out to eat and keep this expense really low. 🙂

Charity – I am still dogging it a little in my charitable giving, but I plan to give quite a lot next month to one of the charities that I volunteer for.

Gifts – Yup, I bought a couple of gifts this month, but only spent $45 of my allotted $50.

Home Improvement – I bought some grass seed, which is coming in nicely, and under-spent in this category which is always good.

Moral of This Report

All in all, I had a fantastic April and was under-budget by $268! All of the excess money went toward my house mortgage, which got my loan number to below $40,000. There is a small light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not sure I’ll get rid of this mortgage by the end of the year, but I definitely still have a fighting chance! I just have to keep my expenses low and my income up.

Weekly Round-Up

It is still quite nice to keep up with my other blogger friends who produce quality articles as well. Here are some of the ones that I have enjoyed this past week:

From Debtor to Millionaire: How a Windfall Changed My Life – by Financial Samurai

Ebay Side Hustle is Awesome and Crap at the Same Time – by Project Ikonz

How We Paid Off $30,000 in Credit Card Debt – by Eyes On The Dollar

Sin Stocks: What Are They and Why You Should Buy Them – by Money Smart Guides

Making the Choice to Pay More Taxes…Just to Pay More Taxes – by Rich in the Heart

A Student Debate: Are There Absolute Truths About Money and Personal Finance? – by Luke1428

The Most Outdated Budgeting Advice Ever – by Save On Almost Everything



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I really think you’re going to pay that mortgage off by the end of the year. If you look up Laser focus, I bet your picture is beside the definition! Thanks for the mention.

    • Haha. Thanks for the compliment Kim! I do get pretty intense sometimes… 😉

  2. Thanks for the mention Derek! I know how challenging that mortgage payoff can be. We just paid ours off in February and I’m going to be talking about that this week on my blog. It’s a great feeling!

    • That is awesome Brian! So what is the next goal now that you have your house paid off?

  3. Thanks for the mention mate! Really appreciate the mention, glad you enjoy the site.

    Love how good you are at running (and sticking to) a budget. I struggle so much with budgeting and instead, simply stick to “paying myself first”, by making automatic investments and payments each month when I get paid.

    • That is definitely one way to do it, Ikonz. I think many others should follow the same idea, otherwise they are always looking for savings dollars at the end of the month that just aren’t there.

  4. Thanks for the mention!

    I’ve realized over the years just how important it is to budget and to keep track of your spending along the way. It is so easy to forget a purchase here and there and come the end of the month, you wonder where all of your money went.

    I’m looking forward to the warmer weather as well, so that the home heating bill plummets. I just hope it stays comfortable so I don’t have to crank on the A/C right away!

    • Same here Jon! Without a budget, I really didn’t think about how much I was spending on my phone, car insurance, or home insurance. It turns out that I was overpaying on all of these things!

  5. Thank you for mentioning my article, and I’m very glad to see you’re able to stick to your goal of getting rid of the last of your debts Derek!
    I’m sure that you’ll be able to do it, just keep up that laser like focus. 🙂

    • I’m getting closer! I made the goal for myself to pay off another $7,500 this month, but I’m not sure it’s going to happen. Now I am torn between buying myself that bicycle (as a reward to myself for hitting my $40k goal) or just putting that cash toward the mortgage… I know I should buy the bike, but it’s just so hard to spend that $450 for some reason…

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