July 2017 Expense Report [Month 7]

July 2017 Stupid Debt Expense Report
June 29 – July 26

I have come to the conclusion that my life during debt repayment is Boring! I know we still partake in activities. But they are far and few in between now and methodically thought out (like our annual summer festival and a concert in Fall). Other than that,  most of the fun consists of cleaning house, maintaining my house plants, cooking up new meals, taking walks around the neighborhood, reading books, wasting time on the Internet and playing video games. Being a homebody. Not much to write about there.

However, I am trying to hike more again. So it’s likely you will see tidbits of that. Like the one below. Got a couple girlfriends together and tried out this new-to-us 7-mile trail in the mountains.

I stayed fueled with nuts & dried cranberries, a PB&J, and lots of water. Next time I will start freezing coconut water (electrolyte) and add that to my H2O bladder when my fave margarita chews are not available.

Hiking

It has been a while since I’ve hiked. So it took some effort. But was great we pushed through and made it to the end and back! Of course it helped knowing that beer & pizza were going to consumed when we finished. I seriously need to put more time into hiking again.

Analysis: Expenses

Item Amount Notes
Mortgage/Rent $1,722 rent + utility share
Auto Payment $334
C. Loan $556
Food & Dining (All) $407.36 when the norm of food + household = $600. did okay this month keeping it down. (pat on back)
Auto Gas $176.25
Auto Service & Parts $27.24 windshield wipers in the summer. of course the rain stopped after I put on the new wiper blades. but I was due for new ones anyway.
Auto Parking $15.00  Beach
Mobile $84.72  for 2
Internet $69.99
Utilities $73.60
Household Supplies $88.62
Shopping $4.15
Electronic & Software $4.22 once a very expensive video game.
Misc. Shopping $1.62
Cash & ATM $103.00 planned. annual entertainment event spending.
Entertainment $18.00 Infrequent trip to the movies. Baby Driver. Meh.
Hulu/Netflix $23.98
Gifts $20.00
Health Co-Pay $20.00
Pets $15.00
Business Services $4.82

Not shown: sinking fund expenses like DMV, education payments and excursion payments. I put away a set amount per month in a separate account to cover annual expenses like auto insurance, education, etc…. Then those funds get transferred into my regular checking acct when payment is due. That is why you see travel in the graph but not in the table.

Movies: we heard how this was such a good movie. Then I saw a clip where Jamie Foxx was talking how the shots fired went with the music. So it put a different spin on the movie. And I love Kevin Spacey. But overall, I could have really waited for this movie to hit the Net.

Internet: still too high per month in exchange for what I get, but I don’t have other choices in my area.

Utilities: I am afraid for the next bill. I have tried to keep the AC use down, but I don’t think it is going to well.

Household Supplies: this is always my problem area. One of these days maybe I will get it under control. But we use everything up that we buy there. So that is a good thing.

Cost saving initiatives:

  • Made limeade: 1 : 1/2 parts lime to sugar. I like less sugar than that, but that is the norm ratio. Anyway, microwave juice + sugar so all the sugar is dissolved in (my Southern friend taught me to cook in the sugar. The result is delicious doing it this way). Then add to pitcher. Fill rest of the way with water.
  • I took those rinds and chopped them up tiny, stuck them in the freezer and use them a freshener for the garbage disposal. I know they say not to use rinds in the garbage disposal, but I’ve done it for year. So do it at your own risk.
  • I have been bringing meals to work more often again, keeping the work meal costs under control.

Income

Achievement is my get fit side hustle. You earn $10 for every 10,000 points earned in walking, tracking meals (link MFP), etc… It will take a while to earn $10, but it is working with keeping me accountable in tracking my meals and increasing my steps. I really would like to keep up the walking exercise (especially after my depressing cholesterol results).

PS – if you sign up, I earn points, you earn points for joining, we all (you and me) earn points!

Auto Loan

stupid debt auto loan EOM july

Starting Auto Loan Debt: $5,673.56

Ending Auto Loan Debt: $4,572.61

Snowball: $775

Regular payment $334.

Total towards car this month: $ 1,109

I love being able to snowball as much. When I started becoming interested in PF a few years ago, I was strapped to my paycheck. So to be able to snowball as much due to increase in salary and reducing my expenses is proof things can get better.

And I am soooo close to paying it off!

 

Combined Debts

EOM july stupid combined debts

Starting Total Debt: $68,559.00

Ending Total Debt: $67,110.57

Every so slowly it trends down…

August Outlook

Murphy hit. Dental work. the next couple efforts in snowballing will be to pay down the bill and zero it out. I would have used my EF, but of course, I used it last month with the auto tire emergency.

Summers are sticky magnets for increased expenses. Unfortunately, that makes for unexciting monthly updates when I cannot snowball. In reality I should save up another $1K after I pay off the bill.  But my annual expense account is kind of my buffer if I really need it.

I am just happy that I am not accruing anymore debt beyond my means (i.e., making the graph go up). I attribute you this to finally making the choice to do things right, great effort, and a bit of luck.

In August, I also want to get back on the bandwagon with meal prep. It tastes a whole lot better, it great for saving money and I don’t end up with the stress of what to eat. I am thinking dal & brown rice and beans and veggies. Side of fruit – whatever the store has in season.

Not sure if I am going to keep doing the grocery budget posts. While I love the food voyeurism both ways, it’s a lot of effort to produce when all I want to do is put the groceries away and be done. Or all I want to do is snack, put away and be done… ;)

We didn’t grocery shop for week 4. It was a bit of eat at home, grab cheap fast food, and be fed by others (like all you can eat Japanese buffet paid for not-by-me). Our pickings at home are scarce (according to the child). I need to go food shopping!

But am thinking about starting an at home side hustle. Might as well see if my homebody keep-costs-low efforts can make me some money. Time to whip out my sewing machine. So that may take part in my posts.

And I will post the food prep if it happens. What do you food prep?

 

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14 thoughts on “July 2017 Expense Report [Month 7]

  1. Nice progress!

    I feel your frustration on unsatisfying spending, especially after a lot of effort to maintain low expenses everywhere else. Focusing on a big, long term financial goal and enjoying the moment are hard things to balance, I think especially with multiple goals. I recently paid off my car and have been finally buckling down on my student loans, and it’s one thing to see progress every month but it’s a whole new story when you get a debt paid off. When that balance hits $0 you KNOW it’s working, while month to month you have to TRUST that it’s working.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Matt! Debt payoff is such a long and tedious process. I often read those who have $1M + in NW and the stories of how they didn’t have SLs to pay off, lived below their means… And here I am, the last 20 years swirling in debt due to my poor choices and hard lessons learned. Granted I finally made the choice to dig out of debt. But thinking of how much time I have “wasted” in paying interest and missing out on making a significant NW. Bleck.

      Well, I will be so happy when the car is paid off in Nov. Trying my hardest to stay on track. It’s been a while since I’ve had a debt paid off. So it will be nice to have that win.

      Thank you so much for your words. Will keep on trusting. :)

      Like

  2. Great job! That is an impressive (and consistent) trend you’ve got going there. I hear you re: life being boring. Sometimes it really is. Most weeks it’s all about the job, cooking, working out, watching Netflix, and hanging out with the family. I keep trying to think of cool, free things to do that we wouldn’t normally think of – and sometimes I succeed – but often, I’ve only got energy to maintain the status quo. And that’s totally fine!

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    1. I do hope post debt (at least the car loan and consolidation loan) I can resume some more frugal weekend adventures. I have a day coming up that calls for a special occasion, but think I will postpone it until the 2 debts are paid off as it would costs me approx $300. Stuff like this that I can’t partake in making my days boring.

      Speaking of, I need to plan my food prep meals and get cooking! Well after the grocery shopping…

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  3. I generally fail at meal prep, but I bought a Black Friday Instant Pot last year and it really cut into the last minute meals out and pizza. You can make beans and rice from dried super quick in it. If you don’t have one, you can do what I did before the IP and make a big batch of beans from dried in the slow cooker and batch them out. I was pretty infamous for forgetting to soak and cook them, however, hence my IP splurge. I bought a huge bag of black and pinto beans at Sam’s and store them in food grade 5 gallon buckets with bug-proof lids.

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    1. I’ve heard mixed reviews of the IP. So glad it’s working for you. I thought about getting one or a pressure cooker, but I so don’t have space to store another kitchen gadget. I really should batch cook dry beans. but canned + the amount consumed does not cost me much more
      I think I may batch:
      Beans + veggies
      Beans + shredded pork
      And hoping for some big salads. I found if I do one salad for a meal I can keep my weight under control. Weight and aging. Blah!

      Like

  4. Nice job with the snowball car payments. I do the same thing, well sort of. I divide my monthly payment into 2 weekly payments. Then each week I make 1/4 of the payment and add another $200. So I’m paying an extra $800 a month. It’s a great way to get a car payment off the books. I’ve done this with my last 2 cars. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just found your blog – I like your plan and progress! I know it can be frustrating with the loans (we just paid ours off fully almost 2 years ago, had both for undergraduate for my husband and graduate for both of us). Keep at it – once you establish the good habits you will quickly turn it around and then make very fast progress upward!

    And I had not heard of achievement – I will sign up through your site and hopefully help you as well with the referral.

    Keep at it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to admit debt repayment fatigue has set in recently. I can’t wait for my auto and C. loan to PIF’d. then I won’t be so stressed out with our budget.

      Have fun with achievement. I have been doing great tracking my food daily. The steps I would like to increase, but has been steady. It’s going to take forever to claim my 10K points or $10! ha.

      Like

  6. Nice work! Yeah, once you get the snowball rolling you really see how it can help you during the process and not just once everything is paid off. Being able to cover unexpected items with the snowball is great since you don’t have to dip into the emergency fund. It buys freedom during the process which is great.

    On a side note, we recently switched our hosts and for some reason it didn’t transfer our subscribers. I know you had been following our blog so, unfortunatly, if you want to be notified of future posts you’ll need to subscribe again. No pressure, but just wanted you to know we are still out there.

    Thanks also for putting us on your blogroll. We sincerely appreciate it!!!

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Following again! And you’re welcome about the blogroll. :)
      I think after I pay off the auto and C. loan (target early next year for C. loan), then I want to build up my EF a bit more. I’ve had a few things come up recently and it is nice that I can pull from the snowball. Of course it slows my progress. But I am okay as long as the graph doesn’t go in the opposite direction and is still making progress! I have to realize this is a journey and may not always go as smooth as I like.

      Like

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