This month I came out in the red once more since I do not have a full time job and hence, no salary. I did not do too badly this month considering everything and I really do hope that things work out in January so that I can work on building up my savings instead of spending them to live.

I pulled out a total of $34.55 this month from Lending Club and as a result I will be funding a new loan in January. I did not redeem any coupons this month but I also did not buy the newspaper so that was okay.

I redeemed a total of $49.53 in coupons for the year and spent $21.00 on newspapers, giving me a net gain over the year of $28.53 in coupons. I am not sure how my coupon usage for 2012 will work out as I do not know what my situation will be quite yet but I will keep everyone posted when I know.

Areas where I remained under budget are:

-Utilities : I came out $80 under budget total and the electric bill was also under the budgeted amount.

-Car : Even with more travelling for the Christmas holidays I managed to stay under budget total and did not even use all of my gas budget.

– Fees: I did not spend  the amount I budgeted for fees such as the Health Savings Fee and other miscellaneous fees.

Areas where I went over budget are:

-Food : I went over the food budget by $50.34 but some of that food was bought on 28 December and will last well into the new year.

-Health : As long as I am paying the COBRA insurance I will be over the amount I budgeted because my insurance used to come out of my salary before I received my paycheck.

-Shopping : I went over my personal shopping budget by $40.16 this month. I need to spend less in January because that has defeated the point of having a zero based budget. I actually should have taken some of this out of the entertainment budget (which I did not spend ANY of) because some of this money was used to buy books for my kindle…and should be classified as entertainment.

I am going to make a very small tweak to the budget for the new year and I will also be rolling every category over in Mint so that I can have a yearly running total. I know this sounds a little bit complicated and unnecessary to some of you but it just something I want to try. It is not going to take any ongoing effort on my part…once I set the categories to roll over they will continue to do so automatically in Mint.