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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June 2017 Expense Report [Month 6]

June 2017 Expense Report

June 1 – June 28

June was a bloom when it came to expenses as you will read below. Summers are always more expensive for this household. I think my life just thaws out to the sun and movement thus ensues.

Analysis: Expenses

Item Amount Notes
Mortgage/Rent $1,645
Furnishings $491.81  Bought a couch
Household Supplies $108.91  Need to get this down!
Clothing $105.84 No more shopping this year! K?!
Food & Dining $876.38 $226.38 out of budget :-(
Auto Payment $334.00
Auto Service $629.96 New tires. There was a huge gash in my tire! Eek!
Auto Gas $175.99 Under budget
Excursion $500
Mobile Phones $90.02
Utilities $78.53
Internet $48.15
Vet $206
Cash & ATM $149
Personal Care $81.51
Music $41  Half to be reimbursed
Movies/Netflix/Hulu $25.94
Dental $14.60
C. Loan $556.00

Furnishings: Needed a place to sit. IKEA discontinued the Karlstad couch last year. I was able to buy it was on clearance.

Household Supplies: Part of this is pricey OTC medicine. Children are spreading a nasty cough & cold like wildfire. It caught up with my child. Sleep? What is it? Her nighttime cough is driving me crazy. I know it’s driving her batty.

Clothing: A triggered splurged happen due to a family member coming to town. I fortunately was able to return most of it. I also needed an outfit for work. I now own a nice pair of slacks.

Food & Dining: Over-budget due to the fumes of moving and our daycation to the beach. We had a nice meal and wonderful bonding day there. The full return of my deposit allowed us to splurge.

Auto Services: I put $1,000 in my emergency fund. Took a roadtrip with DD to the beach. Came back to find out that weekend my back tire was ready to blow! Apparently I put 65K miles on my 45K mileage tires.

beach day

I get my car checked up and serviced like clockwork. I am upset because the mechanic should have caught that my tread was low during my last oil change. Someone clearly was watching over us on our long car ride. So thankful we are safe. I now have pretty shiny tires on my car to last me 65,000 miles more (my car is currently at 98,000 miles. *smile*). EF depleted to $360.

Vet: Tell my cat to stop cleaning off all her fur! The prednisone shot has already worn off and she is back to cleaning off more fur. Boo! My cat has such a pretty coat of under belly fur when its there. I am hoping her allergies will.just.go.away. I can hope!

Cost saving initiatives:

I’m at a loss for any cost saving initiatives. The raucous of moving, family coming to town, DD on summer break, the cat off to the vet… throws my whole schedule off. And that equals spending (but still within my net pay amount). My intentions for July are to cinch the saddle tight. Oh! I just remembered and signed up for Frugalwoods Uber Frugal July. Wanna frugal along?

Income

  • Salary: $4,822.35
  • Deposit Return: $2,271.66
  • Amazon Affiliate Income $13.25

Auto Loan

EOM June Auto Loan

Woohoo! Look at that downward slope!

Starting Auto Loan Debt: $5,999.05

Ending Auto Loan Debt: $5,673.56

Snowball: No snowballs this month because I decided to fill the Emergency Fund. We see how that went! Right back into the car. Glad the money was available to cover that expense!

Regular payment $334.

Total towards car this month: $334

Combined Debts

EOM June Combined debts

Starting Total Debt: $69,214.00

Ending Total Debt: $68,559.00

Nothing exciting in terms of debt repayment this month.

July Outlook

For July, I am moving the budget around again. Some of the excursion is being paid by a 3rd party now. This will allow me to pay off the Student Loan interest before it capitalizes in October and still pay my car off by November.

But here is the catch: I need to stay on serious budget for the next 4-5 months with some trimmings! I recently watched the video, “If I Woke Up In Debt” by Mike & Lauren. A thought experiment about how they would reduce the time it took to pay off debt if they had any. I much enjoyed it. So of course, I had to play with my Vertex42 Debt Reduction Calculator (scroll to the bottom of that page for link) to see how I could throw the Thor Axe towards my debt.

Here is what I came up with that denotes uncomfortableness to abide but believe it can be done (hopefully, I will be the one to do it):

I shall: reduce coffee/fast food/food misc.: to $15 every other week or $7.50 week (savings: $90/m)
I shall: spend no more than $120/w on groceries
I shall: reduce my spending on household supplies to $25 every other week or $12.50/wk (savings: $50/m)
I shall: have no more Personal Allowance (savings: $40/m)
I shall: Pack ALL meals for work and outings
I shall: Buy NO more clothes! (savings: $50/m)
I shall: Not buy miscellaneous (savings: $150/m)

I know there is bound to be some expenses that go out of intent. So the miscellaneous will probably be made “I shall: spend no more than $50/m on miscellaneous”.

You will all hold me accountable to this, right? :)

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Mid Year Budget Check Up

I was inspired by a virtual friend’s budget check up to see how my own budget was stacking up to its planned intentions. Would it cause me to gasp? Where am I falling short? Do I need to update my budget to accommodate expenses better?

I was not actually planning to gasp. But see that yellow ($823.94 per month x 6)… ya, it surprised me too! What was all this miscellaneous nonsense?

I know some other areas are above the line, too. But does not cause alarm as I know it to be related to significant events that should not reoccur. 

Misc Expenses in 6 months time

  • Travel ($1,200) on a wonderful last minute trip I decided to take. No regrets. It was a lot of fun and nice to get away from the day in, day out. I met some really fun peeps. This also includes a couple near local trips, too.
  • Then there was Moving ($1,700) costs. Basically it turns out to equal the amount saved if I would have stayed in my place for 6 more months.
  • Then the cat is eating all her fur off. We finally took her to the Vet ($330) to find out the Super Bloom is causing itchy allergies. Gave her a steroid shot but its a short term solution. Not much else I can do.
  • Spending ($575) on various stuff (electronic, books, hobby, business, etc…)
  • Cash & ATM ($674) *shrugs*
  • Then Fees & Charges ($403) I’d rather not discuss (grumble).

There was money coming in to cover all these expenses. So the expenses are not out of my means. But all of them are out of the normal, except the Vet. It is probable that the Cash & ATM and Spending Misc. are most likely related to moving and/or travel.

After ruling what the normal expenses were, I have decided to add two more categories to the budget spreadsheet:

  • Vet – $30/m
  • Misc/Misc. Shopping/Cash & ATM – $200/m… maybe $150/m. Really I would like to keep it at $0, but that doesn’t seem realistic.

Leaving me with approx. $125/per month that I will use to snowball my debt.

Have you done a 6 month check up to your budget? If so, I hope you will share the outcome!

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May 2017 Expense Report [Month 5]

EOM May 2017 Stupid Debt

April 20 – May 31

Moving: last month I had the predicament of the rent being raised and being ousted out of my place. In order to stay in budget I moved the family.

But money just goes everywhere during a move! I found a place, signed a lease, packed & moved all in 5 days! Then there is unpacking stuff from a bigger place into a smaller place. Oh, but the fun doesn’t end there. Bees were discovered at our new place (after we moved in). And they found a way into our house from the roof to the wall vent. Eek! The little buggers don’t want to leave. The bee guy has been out a couple times to do his job. It’s been almost 3 weeks and the problem is just about to be resolved.

Money: I tried to man the ship. Guide it by balancing categories when deficits came up. Creating a zero-based budget. Then I got word a tuition refund check was due my way from a long, long time ago. So I allowed myself to get a little lax, but it was actually a blessing in timing because it covered all my moving costs (and more).

Home Phone: I got the Obi200 connected to have free home phone service with a Google Voice phone number. I know many people don’t use a home phone much anymore, but sometimes its the only way I can get a hold of my child. The set up was easy but there were some kinks to work out. I will explain more in a separate post after the frustration of unpacking and bee removal calms down.

Analysis: Expenses

  • Home – $4945.32 (services, improvement, and furnishings are unplanned expenses)
    • Rent – $3652.95 – just paid rent for May, decided to move, paid rent + security deposit on new place. waiting for rent + deposit in former place to be returned.
    • Home Services – $628.08 – Movers + Tip $458, App fee $40, Hauling some furniture to dump $126.96
    • Home Improvement – $466.21 – just stuff (I don’t even remember half the stuff. but stuff like new vacuum belts, bathroom rack, trash bags, boxes, etc…). I still need more stuff but have put a stop to the spending until cash is in hand.
    • Home Insurance – $130 – annual expense. planned/saved up for.
    • Furnishings – $68.08 – something from Ikea. now what was it…
  • Food & Dining – $1270.01 (over-budget $270)
    • Groceries – $551.53
    • Household Supplies – $88.45
    • Restaurants – $280.47 – moving causes expenses to awry.
    • Fast Food – $160.56 – moving. awry.
    • Coffee Shops – $134.00 – went on a road trip. Starbucks was the stop place.
    • Alcohol & Bars – $55.00
  • Shopping – $550.12 – all totally unplanned for. except the last one. but 
    • Clothing – $407.39 – I seriously needed clothes
    • Gift/Charity – $121.28 – child’s birthday
    • Hobbies – $13.31
    • Shopping Misc. – $3.16
    • Books – $2.99
    • Electronic & Software – $1.99
  • Travel – $500 – excursion payment
  • Bills & Utilities – $379.18
    • Internet/Ph/Cable – $217.83 – last months/this months. planned. in budget. I cancelled cable and phone services. Internet will now run me around $65/m.
    • Mobile Phone – $137.68 – last months/part of this months. planned. in budget
    • Utilities – $23.67 – I didn’t seem to have an electric payment. I better make sure of that!
  • Auto & Transport
    • Auto Gas – $290.70 – $16.80 left over from budget. And that included a last minute unplanned road trip to SF for my aunt’s 70th birthday party. It was a blast!
    • Payment – $334 – fixed and in budget
  • Cash & ATM – $103.00
  • Entertainment – $91.20 – Netlix/Hulu $23.98 and the rest was unplanned movie goings and rentals.
  • Pet – $61.54 – fancy litter box and food stuff from name brand place.
  • Health & Fitness – $40.00 – dental bill that wasn’t paid by my FSA
  • Fees & Charges – $13.00 – ATM charge (to be reimbursed) and credit report unfreeze so I could move
  • Business Services – $11.87
  • C. Loan Payment – $555.39 – fixed and in budget

Total Expenses: $8,217.95

Cost saving initiatives:

I don’t think there was any this month. Stress will do that.

Income

  • Salary (3 paycheck month)$7,615.86
  • Tuition Refund Check: $1780.92
  • Summer Savings cashed out: $216.00
  • ATM Fee Refund: $3.00
  • Fee Refund: $37.99
  • Amazon affiliate income earned: $11.81

Auto Loan

Auto Loan EOM May 2017

It’s getting there….

 

Starting Auto Loan Debt: $6,528.41

Ending Auto Loan Debt: $5,999.05

Snowball: $181 because I had to push it under the $6K line

Regular payment $334.

Total towards car this month: $515

Initially I had a bigger snowball set for May. But I updated the spreadsheet to make sure I have the funds in place for some annual expenses coming up (car registration, education, etc…). So the bigger snowball payments will happen in autumn. But all is still on schedule to have paid off by November!

Combined Debts

Combined Debts EOM May 2017

Starting Total Debt: $69,964.86

Ending Total Debt: $69,214.00

The Student Loan interest just won’t let me squash down the debt number as quickly as I would like. Speaking of SL interest. I just received notice that the interest accrued during my forbearance will equal about $2,700. Unfortunately, I will not be paying this before capitalization takes place. Unless the money faeries send more blessings my way.

I realize if I didn’t have the excursion fund than I could pay off the SL interest. But that is not going to change. So I would need to come up with an extra $600/m to pay down the interest before its capitalized on.

It’s a race to November to pay off the car and possibly the SL interest.

Rice & Beans or Ramen everyday?

I could probably do it. But my child would not go for this. Hmmmm….

Here’s the budget for June. I cannot see where I could cut $600 out. Ideas for cutting out or making more?

June Budget 2017 stupid debt

 

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