Don’t get me wrong though, these numbers are primarily written for me and Mrs. Dragon. Every good FIRE breather knows that to be successful, you have to track your expenses. You have to track them like Roland tracks the Dark Tower*.
How else will you know when your Hoard is big enough?
Without further ado, here are the numbers for August (rounded to the nearest dollar):
Utilities (electric, gas, water, sewer, trash, internet): $248
Cell phones: $46
Restaurants/fast food/bars: $4
Insurances (car, personal property): $34
Home improvement: $0
The Goblins category is a catch-all for stuff that we don’t always spend money on. All the little budget goblins that steal our money throughout the month. This month it included three shirts from good will, several tolls, and mailing some stuff at the post office.
The shirts were purchased because Mrs. Dragon totally went Marie Kondo on her wardrobe and got rid of about 50% of her clothes. In the process she realized that most of her “work shirts” had holes or she didn’t like wearing them. Thus a few trips to the local thrift shop were in order. Luckily, after a couple of trips she has three new additions to her closet that she likes. And for pennies on the dollar to boot! What a woman.
The tolls were from a trip we made to visit Mrs. Dragon’s family. There are several toll roads around them, and Uncle Sam takes his due. This trip also contributed to higher than normal spending on gas. Of course, that’s spending that I’ll happily have on the expense report because it means we’re spending time with the people we care about.
The $4 on restaurants also came from this trip. We stopped at Chick-fil-A on the car ride back home. Our actual order was around $9, but I got a $5 gift card for Chick-fil-A the last time I donated blood. Score! That’s right, I paid for my chicken tenders with blood money.
You might have also noted that Netflix is up to $9 from $8. I noticed this month that the exact cost is $8.65 with tax, so $9 is the more accurate representation. I got mad rounding skills, bro!
The travel money is all from the Belize trip. It ended a few days into August, so several of the purchases showed up in this month’s expenses. For a detailed account of how we spent our money in Belize, you can see this recent post.
Utilities were quite a lot higher than normal this month. That’s because, as it turns out, I forgot to pay our water bill in July. Doh! So it’s double water plus a $25 late fee. I hate late fees! Luckily, I learned my lesson and signed us up for autopay so it won’t happen again.
The education expense is the tuition I payed for the class I’m taking this semester. I mentioned back in May that my employer offers a tuition-benefit program where I can take one course per semester on the cheap, so I enrolled in a course this Fall. At $150 for a three-credit-hour course I could hardly say no!
Last, but not least, is healthcare. We are young and healthy and (thanks to generous employer benefits) we have paid almost nothing in healthcare costs this year. Well, several things culminated at once in August. I had a dental cleaning, Mrs. Dragon had an issue with her shoulder which required a quick visit to the doctor and a prescription, and I had two copays at an allergist’s office.
I decided that I would start getting immunotherapy for my stinging insect allergies. I’m allergic to basically anything with a stinger that flys except honeybees: hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps. Like, I have to carry an epi-pen, and shoot myself up with adrenaline if I get stung. I went and got a consultation at the allergist’s and then had to go back for the testing.
I’m happy to report that I started getting the shots so now I just have to get two shots a week for 26 weeks. Yeah! And that’s just for building up to the maintenance dose. What a PITA. But better that than a life-threatening allergy.
I’m really pleased with the spending this month. As I mentioned before, I think we should be able to close out the year with months under $2200, and maybe even some that are under $2000 (sooo close this month!).