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June Spending Report for our Family of Two (Just 1 Month Late)

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A monthly feature on the blog will be a detailed breakdown of our expenses aka spending. The first will be our June spending report. Spoiler alert, the July one is coming soon! For those of you who are not aware we are a pack of two adults and two six year old dogs (who I still refer to as puppies). The puppies really don’t cost too much, so you can blame the humans for being spendy. One of the dogs would be happy to hunt and forage for her own food, but alas, we live in suburbia.

Why Track Spending?

After the infamous and life changing conversation at my friends’ (it was a joint party) birthday party, our pack decided to get serious about how we manage our finances. This meant endeavoring to track every dollar (or Tanzanian Shilling) on our balance sheet. I chose to go back a month from the conversation and started the tracking in December 2014 (hooray credit cards, you already do most of the grunt work).

It Grows
2017 Garden in June!

This has been one of the most eye-opening experiences of our seeking FIRE. Second only to reading the Stock Series. We use our very own categorized spreadsheet to track our spending, but use personal capital some too. Personal capital can only link to one of our work 401k/457 accounts, so we always add that amount to our net worth when we check it quickly there. As time passes, and I’ve been on the FIRE path for a couple of years I’ve relaxed my net worth obsession. It was awesome growing that first 100k, but now it is old habit. Don’t get me wrong I love watching it grow, but I’ve just relaxed a little in my stressing.

In the 2.5 years of tracking our spending we have recognized that not all of our spending practices align with our values, and have cut our spending significantly. Just seeing where all the money was seeping out the sieve was so EYE OPENING! Lifestyle creep had started to set in, and we were falling victims to the rat race. Frugality took up its sword and slashed the waste and negligent expenses. Now, we are a lean, mean, and saving the green pack (DINKs FTW). But now on to what you are really interested in…the June Spending Report!

June Spending Report

Here’s all the June expense details for our pack:

Category Total Spent Notes
Mortgage $950 Includes property taxes on home insurance
Restaurants $25 Visited the in-laws and went out for coffee and a meal
Gas $66 Two tanks of gas
Car Maintenance $14 The check engine light came on on one car. This is our trial fix.
Entertainment $250 We went out to a few breweries and stocked up our bar at home.
Internet $108 Netflix and Internet (we paid a little extra to hit a minimum spend on a credit card)
Travel $0 Only a trip to the in-laws this month for our nephew’s birthday party.
Gift $1 Supplies to survey a friend’s yard for the future fence they are building
Home Improvement $13 Some light bulbs, discount paint for a future project
House Decor $7 I bought a new soap dispenser and toothbrush holder for our upcoming bathroom reno
Pets $173 We loaded up on dog food for the puppies. This should get us through the rest of the year.
Grocery $180 A LOW month!
Medical $70 Prescription and Doctor Visti copays
Utilties $122 Gas, electric and sewer! We are on a well, and don’t pay for garbage pick-up. We still haven’t turned our AC on this summer!
Rewards -$31 Credit card rewards and interest on our bank accounts
Total $1,949

What’s Missing?

You may have noticed that a couple of typical spending categories were missing in this breakdown. I’ve done my best to explain them here, but if you have any questions or notice any gaps let me know!

Fresh Picked Veggies
  • Car Insurance for our two (cringe) cars: We pay our auto insurance once per year to take advantage of a discount
  • Cell phones: Mrs. Kiwi has a work provided cell phone, Mr. Kiwi is on the in-laws family plan. We pay them $20/month, in one or two installments over the course of the year.
  • PMI: We put 20% down on our house, so no PMI for us!
  • Car payments: both cars are paid in full (2006 Chevy Cobalt and 2010 Chevy HHR)
  • Gym memberships: We seek out free (or super cheap exercise). We walk, have an exercise bike, elliptical, adjustable weight dumbbells, do body weight exercises, we also ride our road bikes sometimes, and practice free yoga using doyogawithme.com

Summary

The June spending report was a pretty uneventful month for us, which is typical at this point in the savings journey for us. We typically hover around $2000/month in spending including the mortgage. So many changes to our spending took place in the first two years of tracking. 2017 has been a fairly consistent year of practicing frugality and embracing all the fun that comes with it.

We stocked up on dog food (shopping through ebates for the cash rebate) and pre-paid a couple months of internet to hit a minimum spend requirement for a credit card bonus. We are half heartedly into credit card hacking, but aren’t as committed as many others. Our spending is so low that sign up bonuses are hard to hit without prepaying for things, so we are only opening 4 cards/year between the two of us.

 

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