August (and fall) Spending

Let’s take a look at why August was so cheap overall at $2,048.29:

  • Clothing: $134.95 (budget was -$8.33)
  • Entertainment: $145.24 (budget was $233.00)
    • Cash withdrawals: $20
    • Social eating: $116.49
    • Netflix: $8.75
  • Food: $405.70
    • Dinners out by myself: $38.22 (budget was $60.00)
    • Groceries: $132.38 (budget was $138.65)
    • Lunches: $235.10 (budget was $200.00)
  • Gifts and Donations: $25.00
  • Housing: $1,346.34
    • Internet: $61.30
    • Electricity: $61.38
    • Mortgage payment: $1,205.79
    • Moving: $17.87 (some small furniture at $89.57, mostly offset by the refund of the security deposit on my old apartment at $71.70)
  • Medical: +$97.88 (reimbursement from my FSA for something I’d paid for in late July)
  • Recreation: $167.70
    • Sport #2: $82.70 (exactly on budget)
    • Sport #3: $85.00 (budget was $87.50)
  • General Shopping: +$39.41 (reimbursement from work)
  • Transportation: $192.63
    • Car insurance: $123.57 (exactly on budget)
    • Fuel: $46.34 (there is a big excess here – budget rollover was $142.83)
    • Work parking: +$6.12
    • Umbrella insurance: $28.84 (exactly on budget)
  • Travel: +$271.20 (reimbursement from work)
  • Total: $2,048.29

So looking at this, there was quite a bit of reimbursements: $71.70 from the old apartment building, $97.88 fro my FSA, $39.41 in stuff from work, $6.12 in carryover of work parking reimbursements, and $271.20 in work travel reimbursements. That totals up to $486.31, which means that I really spent $2,534.60 for the month. I also didn’t have any HOA dues, I was about $100 under budget on entertainment, $10 over budget on food, and mostly otherwise on budget. I guess the weird part was that there wasn’t much in the way of irregular expenses that popped up in August – pretty much just the clothing.

I finally talked to my internet provider and downgraded from the really expensive internet that they had put me on. That should lower my internet bill to closer to $50 overall with fees, rather than $60+, which is nice.

September is definitely going to be more expensive. I need to pay some yearly sports fees, to the tune of ~$1,200. I’ve started acquiring some more furniture for the condo now. HOA dues are now due monthly, as is the condo insurance premium. (My insurance provider doesn’t charge the fees any differently for monthly auto-withdrawals versus paying in full at the beginning of the year.) I’ve also bought some new sports shoes and am trying to find a new pair of daily flats.

October is also going to be more expensive because I have to pay half of the year’s property taxes, to the tune of ~$1,300. I’ll also take my car in for service and renew the tabs on my vehicle for another year.

November, I’m hoping that the car insurance will go down since I’ll be renewing my policy. I’ll also need to set aside $100 less per month to cover property taxes for next year, which gives me an extra $100 to save each month. I normally do most of my Christmas shopping in November when things aren’t as busy, so that’ll be where the bulk of the present shopping happens to my budget.

I used December’s travel budget earlier in the year to make things less negative, so that gives me an extra $350 to save in November (yay!). I may also reduce my travel budget since my parents are paying for my December trip and I had included a trip of a comparable budget in my original travel budget.

My goal for the rest of the year is to get my savings back up up to at least 50% of my monthly net income. I think this should definitely be possible as I won’t pay the full Social Security tax amount with my October paycheck and then I won’t pay it at all on my remaining bonus for the year or the last two paychecks. Regardless, I should hit an overall savings rate of 61% for the year.


7 thoughts on “August (and fall) Spending

  1. Since I’m a guy and do not like to shop I usually buy clothes once or twice a year. Well, I went shopping for summer clothes this weekend for the huge sales. Sales totalled $142 (4 shirts, 2 shorts, 3 boxers, and 3 pairs of socks) and I’m good for the whole summer. I will come out of hibernation again in March to shop for winter clothes.

  2. Leigh, I was just wondering if you donate any money to charities or other causes. It’s a budget line that I have felt really good about in the past.


    • I do donate *some* money, but it’s definitely something I’m working on. I don’t want to spell out some of the causes that I donate to here though since some of them are local.

      • Charities are terribly inefficient with money.

        Hoard all of your cash. Pay off your mortgage. Max out your retirement accounts. Become a millionaire by 30.

        Then, endow a cause that you specifically believe in to create the biggest benefit for humanity. For example I believe in scientific research on pancreatic cancer — but the big cancer charity in Canada blows 50%+ of its money on advertising and fundraising, and only like 25% goes to research. Absolute sham. So I would donate my money directly to creating an endowed research chair on pancreatic cancer.

        I do donate some money to the Red Cross whenever a major humanitarian crisis strikes e.g. the Haitian earthquake, or when I feel particularly compelled to support a cause. But in general I’m saving up.

        • I want to start scholarship funds for women in STEM at my alma mater after I’m a millionaire. Women drop out for enough reasons – I don’t want them dropping out for money reasons too. Until then, I’m not donating much money to random causes.

          Otherwise, yes, the plan is to pay off the mortgage while maxing out my (available) retirement accounts and be a millionaire by age 30.

Comments are closed.