March 2016 Expenses


Turns out you can’t get your toddler to do your yard work, so we hired a professional

Continuing catching up with belated monthly expenses, a recap of March:

  • Semi-annual property tax payments were due, making this a spendy month
  • Lots of rain made yard work a bit unmanageable and we decided to take the opportunity to get some help catching up on the fruit trees, bushes, and shrubs
  • Realized two days before Good Friday that we had forgot the Little Man’s daycare would be closed. We decided to try looking for a babysitter but since we had never hired one before, we didn’t know where to start!
    Like many things, living in the future made this an easy problem to solve, thanks to the Internet: We found a great sitter last minute on Urbansitters who was able to watch the Little Man (and the dogs). Promotional credits made the baby sitting quite a bit easier on the wallet.
  • Again, thanks to the internet, learned the basic skill of unclogging a bathtub. Was cheaper than a plumber.
  • Since the the remote gig came to an end, there has been more commuting  alternating between train, bike, and car pooling.
  • We filed our taxes and got a good chunk of money back from the tax man (thanks in large parts to tax loss harvesting and strategic charitable giving). To simplify accounting, we count the refund as current income, which offset the high spending in the month.

Now onto the details behind our spending:

Category Spending Details
Housing $5,550 $1,800 – Mortgage: Principal and Interest
$3,640 – Property taxes
$10 – Drain auger for DIY plumbing fix 🙂
$100 – Yard work
Travel $96 $11.20 – Taxes and fees on airfare for a potential trip back home later in the year
$85 – Annual fee on a recent credit card for signup bonus
Health & Fitness $225 $60 – Drugs for the Little Man as he was under the weather a couple times this month
$165 – Doctor’s visit from earlier in the year for the Little Man
Groceries $210 Our grocery spending was average
Restaurants & Take-Out $12 $12 – Work lunch – we need to improve on this!
Transportation $160 $110 – Gas – more commuting
$45 – Public transport
Bills & Utilities $145 $38 – Gas, Electric
$38 – Garbage, Recycling
$45 – Internet
$22 – Mobile phone (prepaid for two months)
Heir Care $1,605 $1,500 – Childcare
$40 – Disposable diapers for an upcoming travel, clothes from consignment sale
$65 – Babysitting during to daycare closure
Fur Care $40 Lots of rain also means dogs become harder to groom and maintain. Since it’s been a while since we got a nice grooming, decided to take the one that is high maintenance in for a cleaning up
Shopping $0
Other $11 Drinks with good company
Total ~$8,050
Discretionary Spending ~$1,100 Variable spending for the month (subtracting housing and childcare)

Our expenses were on the higher side due to the property tax payment. We achieved a 71% savings rate (74% if you count mortgage principal as savings). Guess the 80+% savings rate streak has come to an end. We have some (expensive) international travel ahead of us in April, but most of the expenses are already paid for, so we will just have to wait and see how we do in the next little while!

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5 Responses

  1. Congrats on the amazing savings rate. It’s inspiring to see a percentage like yours. I agree. The Internet has saved me so much money. Thanks to YouTube, I’ve fixed our air conditioner, cars, toilets, lighting fixtures, etc. And I’m the first to admit that I am not the handyman type :-). Keep up the good work.

    • The DJ says:

      Thanks, Investment Hunting! Yes, it’s nice to live in a world where we have many resources available at our fingertips. It’s also good to expand your skills and in the process have fun learning them!

  2. Vegan Nomads says:

    I think you mean March 2016? 😉 Also impressed with the 71% savings rate (and the meticulous tracking!). I think we save ~65% of our tax home pay (though that is an off-the-cuff estimate – I’m don’t track things so well), but we barely have any expenses asides from rent and food and the occasional bike-shopping.

    • The DJ says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Thanks also for pointing out the incorrect year – it’s corrected now :). The tracking has helped us (or me anyway) to be conscious about where every dollar we spend goes. It’s nice when you don’t have many expenses right now, but I would be interested to see how that changes once you begin your new adventure. We have thought about traveling for longer periods of time, but we are unsure how it will impact our expenses. I guess we won’t know until we try it out!

      • Vegan Nomads says:

        True, we would likely have more itemized expenses while travelling, but it probably won’t cost more because we’ll travel SE Asia first. We also plan to stay in places for months, like 3-months at a time. So life will get into a groove and it won’t be site-seeing tourism everyday. I plan to work wherever we travel, so I need to have a stable-comfy base in order to focus and get things done. I’ll let you know how it goes and maybe y’all can join us! 🙂

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