Expenses: May 2015

ExpensesExpense report!  Since I’m a total voyeur for finance, these types of details are exactly the kind that I love to read on other people’s blogs.

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 a dog tracks mud in the house. How else will you know when your Hoard is big enough to accomplish what you want?

Without further ado, here are the numbers for May (rounded to the nearest dollar):

Rent: $449

Mortgage: $800 (includes ~$105 extra principal payment)

Groceries: $385

Utilities (electric, gas, water, sewer, trash, internet): $189

Cell phones: $46

Netflix: $8

Restaurants/fast food/bars: $66

Insurances (car, personal property): $34

Gas: $38

Home improvement: $743

Travel: $705

Goblins: $250

TOTAL: $3713

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 buying some bourban and vodka, renewing our Sam’s club membership, buying a wedding present for some friends, an oil change, and a college application fee.

My current employer will cover tuition for one 3-hour class at the local university so, even though I just got done with my degree, I’m enrolling to take a computer programming class this fall. I will end up having to pay a whopping $150 to take each class (plus any books) after the application fee.  I’ve always meant to learn more about coding, but could never quite get around to it. Hopefully this will finally give the push I need to pick up some computer skills.

The home improvement category was really big again this month. We ended up purchasing a variety of things. The biggest expense was lumber, nails, and a nailset to replace the baseboards in the house.  Our new house has lovely original hardwood flooring, but at some point there was carpet laid over it.  When the previous owners decided to take the carpet up, they didn’t move the baseboards.  So there was about a 3/8 inch gap between the floor and the baseboards. We are currently half-way through the replacement project and will hopefully get it finished next weekend.

We also bought a ladder, some patio furniture from Salvation Army, a wireless doorbell, a new mirror for the bathroom, a circular saw, and an orbital (palm) sander.  We got good deals on most of this stuff (Salvation Army, Goodwill, garage sales, etc), but it all adds up to a lot of coin.

The travel category was also large. We ended up buying a passport renewal for Mrs. Dragon, two plane tickets to a wedding, one ticket to NY for Mrs. Dragon to visit a friend, and bus, taxi, and train fare in NY.  To get all that done with $705 is doing pretty good if you ask me.  Plus, travel and reconnecting with old friends are things that are important to us, so we don’t mind spending extra for trips like these.

Expenses were really high again this month, but I expect it to go down beginning in June. We are done with all the planned large purchases for the house, which should help a lot.  Also, May was the last month of double rent.  The lease on our old rental is done, and the rent for May represents the final half month of rent at the old place.

For June, we will be attending another wedding, but it’s within driving distance and we’ll be staying with a friend, so it shouldn’t be too expensive.

Travel costs might spike again in July though, since we are thinking about taking an international vacation.  But I’ll talk more about this if it ends up happening.

I’m hopeful that we will have several months under the $2200 mark throughout the rest of 2015, which is in the neighborhood of what I consider ‘normal’ for us.

How do you think we did? Are there categories, like travel for us, where you are usually willing to spend extra money?

The Monthly Target
Simple vs Easy

2 thoughts on “Expenses: May 2015

  1. Hey Bearded Dragon,

    You’ve got yourself a pretty nifty blog. I enjoyed reading this post, and the hoard!

    A lot of bloggers list there income as well, and show net income at the end of the month. Is that something you’re looking to do down the line, or do you have a reason why you don’t? I’d love to hear your opinion on this.


    • Hey USSFI,

      Thanks for stopping by! I have considered adding monthly income to the blog but, for now at least, I don’t really plan on it. My main reason is that my income will drastically change once I hit FI but, theoretically, my expenses should stay roughly the same. So I’m really more interested in tracking the expenses side of the equation.

      I do list our approximate household income on the About page. Combined Mrs. Dragon and I make very low six figures. I guess if readers found a lot of value in seeing income with the monthly expenses I would think harder about putting it up. Cheers!


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