Expenses: May 2016

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 democrat tracks superdelegates.

How else will you know when your Hoard is big enough?

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

Mortgage: $710

Groceries: $816

Utilities (electric, gas, water, sewer, trash, internet): $112

Cell phones: $46

Netflix: $9

Gym: $8

Restaurants/fast food/bars: $112

Insurances (car, personal property, life, dental): $64

Gas/Car: $52

Home improvement/maintenance: $401

Travel: $0

Healthcare: $19

Entertainment: $0

Hobbies: $0

Gifts/Charity: $0

Clothing/Shoes: $54

Baby stuff: $200

Goblins: $0

TOTAL: $2,603

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.  I am quite happy to report that every dollar fit nicely into one of our categories this month!  That means I’m doing a better job of tracking where the money goes.  Score!

Two things really affected our spending this month: groceries and home improvement/maintenance.

We had a lot of friends and family visit during May, which means a much higher grocery bill than usual.  All in all, we had Mrs. Dragon’s parents, Mrs. Dragon’s brother and sister-in-law (with nephew in tow), two in-state friends, and an out-of-state couple with their two kids.

Luckily not everyone was here at once!  It was a blast having so many people come visit now that our semester is over and we are in major baby-prep mode.  Everybody wants to see the baby-bump in person.

overgrown patio
Before starting

Like I’ve mentioned before, this type of expense is great! We love getting to spend time with loved ones and buying a few groceries is a small price to pay.  About $100 of this was booze, and the rest was ingredients for home-cooked meals.

As for the home improvement and maintenance, we decided to start getting quarterly bug treatments, and the first installment was in May.  We also had an issue with our AC drainage line on a weekend.  Normally I would have just figured out how to fix it myself but when your wife is 8 months pregnant and it’s 82 degrees in the house and you have guests coming for dinner in four hours, you just call the repair man.

Don’t worry though, I asked him some questions and if it ever happens again I’ll be ready to fix it myself.

Also, with all the guests coming in, I decided to re-lay our back patio.  It was really overgrown with weeds and some of the pavers obviously had burrows and erosion under them.  So I pulled it all up, re-leveled everything, put down weed barrier, and re-layed the pavers.

All finished up

I ended up buying a rake, a shovel, several bags of paving sand, and a couple of rolls of weed barrier.  As you can see from the pictures, the back patio is now MUCH more inviting.  Well worth the money and time spent.

Otherwise things were pretty standard except that we bought a new glider for the nursery. We probably could have found one used, but we like the one we ended up with.

All told the damage wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.  I was thinking the number would be closer to $3000, so getting away with $2600 ain’t bad!

Of course, this is a higher level of spending than we want to maintain, but I’m OK with it because of all the houseguests.

Here are some intermediate shots of the patio work, in case you’re interested.

Re-leveling and pulling weeds
Re-leveling and pulling weeds
Putting down a cardboard barrier
Putting down a cardboard barrier
Store-bought weed barrier down and re-laying the pavers
Store-bought weed barrier down and re-laying the pavers

How do you think we did?  Have you been entertaining anyone this summer, and has it affected your spending?



The Hoard: May 2016
The Hoard: June 2016

2 thoughts on “Expenses: May 2016

  1. Summer entertainment has been pretty much kept in the family so far. We hosted my older daughter for her two weeks of summer break from the dance academy, and went to a nature park halfway across the state for a few days to celebrate. $350 well spent as we don’t get much time with her. We’re still well within our usual spending limits so that’s good.

    The last half of summer, we’ll merge the second household back into the main household finally! My mother-in-law and niece will join us after three years of life across the continent. Not sure how this will affect the finances, but I expect it to be a net positive — no more rent and utilities for a second residence, for instance.

    • That sounds like a great way to spend the summer! More family time is always a plus in my book. That’s great you guys got some extra time with your daughter. Mrs. Dragon loves dance. She’s not a dancer (other than civic ballet), but we’ve watched a few documentaries about them. Pretty compelling stuff. Good luck to your daughter!

      Merging households certainly sounds like it will be a net positive. The rent on a second house alone is a pretty substantial chunk. I hope the merger goes smoothly and everyone gets plenty of bathroom time 🙂

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The Hoard: May 2016

Every good dragon has a hoard.  You know.  The collection of gold, jewels, and other valuables that the dragon guards...