August 2017 Frugal Mom$ter Expense Report: Slow Progress

August was another rather spendy month for us. I’m not happy with what we spent, while $2,000 less than July, it was still a bit of a stinger when I looked at the final numbers. Luckily, once we’re back to work all week long there will be less time to spend at the store and more routine spending in our budget. Our September budget is already looking positive and less than last year’s expenses by a few hundred dollars.

How are we going to spend less?

One huge way we’ll be saving money is that I canceled all of our credit cards except the one we started with and the one store card that gives us 5% back every trip. Credit card hacking was not for me. While we never paid interest, it was too easy to spend more on things we didn’t need in order to reach reward goals.

We’re also going back to using only cash for our purchases, so we’ll have to live well within our goal means and skip any impulse splurges. No more floating items on a credit card and ignoring our food budget! Instead of trips to Costco, we’ll be back to planned grocery store expenditures and we’ll start to use up the food that we stocked up on over the summer.

Next 12 month Goals

My goal for this school year is a rather large one, which includes a mix of paying down our mortgage and investing. I initially wanted to pay off the mortgage as quickly as possible, but I felt uneasy throwing everything we had at it. If we did that, we could be mortgage free in 3 years. Now, I’m looking to balance our holdings and using the mortgage pay down as a part of our strategy that would similar to investing in bonds. A safe return, but not where all of our holdings go. This way, we’ll still be pretty close to paying off our mortgage in 5 years, but we’ll also have a good amount of backup should something occur to throw us off track.

Now, I’m looking to balance our holdings and using the mortgage pay down as a part of our strategy that would similar to investing in bonds. A safe return, but not where all of our holdings go. This way, we’ll still be pretty close to paying off our mortgage in 5 years, but we’ll also have a good amount of backup should something occur to throw us off track.

Happy 10 Year Anniversary! Adding to the Portfolio.

Our anniversary gift together was an investment. I’m glad we didn’t take that money and spend it on a frivolous vacation this year.

We do have lofty travel plans for the coming decade which will slow some financial goals, but I don’t mind that as much. We want to experience the world with our children as much as we can while we can, so spending a little each year on travel is in our future cards.

A few things I didn’t mind spending on were day trips we took with the boys to two kid-friendly play areas. They had a great day, and therefore we had a great day watching them have a blast.

Let’s see how August shook out:

Item Amount Frugal Mom$ter Musings
Clothing $268.41 New wardrobe for the school year. Purchased on sale in various sizes, so a good portion will be returned. Also had to stock up on school uniforms for Monkey.
Food $1,388.80 Way over budget spent on a birthday party, out to dinner a few times, and at Costco for household garage lights.
Health & Medical $143.97 Dentist bill for Monkey and registering for an upcoming race.
Household $491.26 Chris built a loft bed for Monkey, new sheets for both boys, and repairing plumbing in our downstairs bathroom.
Insurance $72.40
Leisure $128.18  Two day trips with the kiddos.
Mortgage $2,000.00
Pets $95.29  More bones and toys for the dogs. I’m still reeling this in.
Travel $189.39  Traveling expenses that Chris will get reimbursed for from a speaking trip.
Electric $67.00
Internet $64.90
Natural Gas $60.00
Water $279.81  Sewer bill came due this month!
Total Spent $5,249.41
Without Mortgage $3,329.41 We’re making progress and have more work to do in lowering our expenses to meet our goals.

Wondering why some bills may be missing from this report?

The September 2016 Expense Report will answer your questions.

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