March 2017 Frugal Momster Expense Report Plus Teaching Monkey About Shopping

When I start to explain finances, Crab ducks for cover.

Crab hiding under the couch.

Luckily, Monkey is interested in learning more about personal finance, mainly the shopping part. We took ourselves to the food store mid-week one week to pick up items to make his favorite soup, Mac n’ Cheese Soup from the One Pot Chef. He wrote the list himself, go Monkey!

We make this weekly, I now know the recipe by heart. I often sneak in some vegetables when I can. It’s not healthy… but we do love chickpea pasta!

Monkey with his shopping list.

Monkey was great in the store. He was excited to stick to his list, but then thought of veering away from it when he happened upon some juice he likes. We didn’t get the juice.

Monkey pricing things out (and asking for something off the list).

But, he did convince me that my boy’s favorite sausages were on a good sale and we should stock up. I couldn’t resist, so we picked up 10 boxes of their favorite breakfast food. Sure, it’s not the best, but it fits the bill when we are pressed for time and they need something to stick to their ribs.

Monkey prepping the food belt (with his favorite that was on sale).

When is the best time to teach children finances?

I think all the time. It doesn’t have to be boring either. We make a game out of food shopping every week. He is learning to make a list, stick to his list, and follow our budget. By letting him in on our secrets, it won’t be such a shock to him when he gets older. Plus, when he gets to food shop, he eats what we cook a lot easier because he had a hand in it.

Monkey already understands coupons, sales, and that we like to buy things used or make our own. If I can instill anything in him, it’ll be the ability to learn new skills and create things for yourself. There is no end to what you can learn to do!

He’s not keen on saving all the money he receives, but he doesn’t spend it right away either. He holds on to it for something he’s been interested in for a little while at least. I look forward to sharing with him as he grows the wisdom that has helped us turn our financial picture around.

March 2017 Frugal Mom$ter Expenses

March was an interesting month with twists and turns in spending. Overall, I’d say we did fairly well.

We unexpectedly adopted a second pup to our family, but I’d say the money was well spent. To see the joy on the kid’s faces as they’ve warmed up to Jeter more so than they ever did to Ruby, and to see Ruby thrilled to have a playmate to tire her out is priceless.

Plus, having two small dogs around 10lbs each is still far less costly than a really large one. Or at least, that’s how I convince myself the extra expense isn’t so bad.

Here’s how the month broke down:

Item Amount Frugal Mom$ter Musings
Donations $57.00 School fundraiser.
Food/Clothing $832.87 Quite a month for our food budget, but revamped our cabinets with gluten-free goodness. We only had dinner out twice, so this is mainly restocking our pantry and lots of home cooked meals. I now have enough GF flour recipe ingredients to last me months.
Household $35.85 A set of new lunch boxes from Easy Lunch Boxes.
Auto Insurance $158.00
Leisure $-30.00 A refund for a canceled workshop.
Mortgage $2,000.00
Pets $684.16 We adopted Jeter! There was an adoption fee, then spending for all things puppy including a new collar, tags for both doggies, and more dog food, toys, and bones!
Electric $82.00
Internet $64.90
Natural Gas $60.00
Water $35.50
Total Spent $3,980.28 Less than February is a win!
w/o Mortgage $1,980.28 Considering we spent quite a bit on pets this month, I’m hoping to see this number go down greatly next month. Though, we do have outdoor projects planned.
Wondering why some bills may be missing from this report?

The September 2016 Expense Report will answer your questions.