May 2015 Expenses

Whidbey Island Beach

Relaxing on a beach on Whidbey Island, WA during our travels through the Pacific Northwest this month

After a great month for expenses in April, we had extra fun and some travel in May which is reflected in slightly higher expenses this time around. Nevertheless, tracking our expenses is a great way to challenge ourselves each month to keep our spending mindful.

We took a trip to the Pacific Northwest, an area that we both very much love, and had a great time! We love to travel and this is something we will not be sacrificing in our journey towards financial independence and early retirement.

Category Spending Details
Mortgage $2,044 Mortgage: Principal and Interest (made a small extra principal payment this month)
Travel $625 $525 – Read our Pacific Northwest trip report for details on our travel expenses
$110 – taxes and fees on airfare for a future international trip (rest on airline miles)
Health & Fitness $664 Dentist and pharmacy
Groceries $225 We continue to do well on keeping our grocery bill low
Restaurants & Take-Out $36 $32 – Birthday dinner 🙂
$4 – Coffee date with friend
Transportation $70 $45 – Gas
$25 – Gift cards on promo for 2 future oil changes
Pets $135 Putting off grooming the dogs ourselves is costing us terribly!
Bills & Utilities $137 $35 – Electricity & Gas
$64 – Internet – This is higher than before: our one year “introductory” promo has expired; usually we threaten to cancel and they renew the promo every year, but it didn’t work this time. We welcome ideas on alternatives for more affordable but still fast internet!
$38 Garbage & Recycle
Heir Care $14 Aquaphor for dry skin and preventing diaper rashes (works very well!)
Shopping $5 $1 – Clothes pins for drying our clothes outside (advantage of 330 days of sun a year)
$4 – Lawn & Garden: leather gloves and more plants for our garden
Total ~$3,955 This is in line with our monthly spending goal
Spending Minus Mortgage
~$1,911 This represents our variable spending for the month

Our expenses were higher than last month. However, it is on target for our spending goal. We had an 83% savings rate (87% if you count mortgage principal as savings). The MC got an unexpected raise this month, which helped boost our savings rate, especially since the DJ is still enjoying her time off with the Little Man. Healthcare and Travel expenses were the majority of our spending this month and the former will not be a usual occurrence (*fingers crossed*).

One obvious area for improvement would be to groom the dogs ourselves. Both our dogs needed a major groom at the beginning of the month and then our adventurous one decided to get into some unpleasant things during a walk with our house/pet sitter while we were on vacation. When/if this happens while they are under someone else’s care, we tell them to take the dogs for a professional bath instead of going through the trouble of giving one themselves. Grooming them ourselves has been on our list of things to try for some time and we are hoping to make our first attempt in the next few weeks. I’ll be sure to post about my experience with this so you can learn from mistakes and adventures trying to wrangle two squirmy, escape-artist dogs!

BathingDogs

We have managed to bath the dogs ourselves, just not a full groom.

* We will track income, net worth, and progress towards Freedom 35 in our quarterly update

Any suggestions how we can cut our expenses further? How did you do in May?

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2 Responses

  1. Please do share if you find cheaper internet! Right now it’s paid by our companies, since we work from home, but once we quit we’ll be eager to get that price down.

    Awesome job, you guys, in still saving 80%+ in a month when you took a big trip! So impressive.

    • The MC says:

      Thanks. The high savings rate while travelling was only feasible because the unexpected raise came with a bonus retroactive payment. It’s better to be lucky than good.

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