November was a rather filled month for us, but we managed to get the house decorated the weekend of Thanksgiving and start to get into the holiday spirit. Chris did a great job working on the decorations, he did the entire outside (plus more that isn’t in this photo he added the next day) and he did the Christmas tree with Monkey, too!
Thanksgiving is always a wonderful time for food, family, and celebration! This year we went to my sister’s family’s home for dinner and to play with cousins. We had a really nice time, a short drive, and were able to be home relatively just after bedtime.
Dinner was a potluck, which Chris made homemade mini apple pies and a homemade pumpkin pie. My mom brought her amazing mashed potatoes, my aunt did the sweet potatoes and stuffing, my sister’s mother-in-law her green bean casserole, and my sister made a turkey with vegetables and biscuits. Surprisingly, no one spoke of politics and we had more fun talking bargains, couponing, and savings at all types of stores.
I tried a bit of everything on my dinner plate and it was just as good as every Thanksgiving before! I didn’t overstuff myself this year going back for a second helping. Instead, I was too busy chasing around the Crab as he’s on the go every minute he’s awake these days. I never got to have more than a bite of dessert, but it was just a nice easy holiday with family.
Over the month, we began to use our fireplace again. Chris has gotten better each time with lighting fires, keeping the smoke to a minimum and heating our family room nicely. Crab loves to watch the fire crackle right alongside Chris. I enjoy sitting in the chair fireside and crocheting. There is something peaceful about sitting by a crackling fire. I look forward to the snowy days, as we’ll probably use it more this winter than last.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to look at our expenses for November, as I knew we went over our food budget by a large margin and project spending. Overall, though, I’m pleasantly surprised that we didn’t do as horrible as I felt and we still managed to make some headway on our future plans.
Let’s see how our frugal budget expenses broke down for the month:
|Auto Maintenance||$6.94||Chris needed new brake lights and he replaced them himself.|
|Food||$871.31||Wow, we went a little overboard this month (budget $537.50)|
|Gifts||$37.72||Slowly picking up holiday items.|
|Health & Medical||$169.00||Doctors visits, urgent care visits, several prescriptions for Monkey and I this month.|
|Auto Insurance||$99.05||First month back to paying auto insurance for the coming year.|
|Cash Allowances||$400||We use this mainly for gas for commuting to work or take-out.|
|Projects||$411.14||This includes the tile backsplash project and several new additions to our Christmas lights, plus a few other odds and ends for Chris’ repairs.|
|Total Spent||$4,176.57||Roughly $900 lower than last month, wahoo!|
|Without Mortgage||$2,176.57||Gah! $650 more than last month, bummer. $300 extra in food and $169 for medical, plus our $300 kitchen project will do that!|
Wondering why some bills may be missing from this report?
The September 2016 Expense Report holds the answers.
Did I buy any clothes?!
Yes. Yes, I did. I spent exactly $125.22 on clothing this month. I purchased it from my own savings account, so that is why it isn’t listed above. I bought a fleece vest for work, two pairs of running tights, and a lightweight a running vest (though I plan to use it for work as well). Should be set now for quite some time.
Where do we go from here?
Our goals haven’t changed. We want to live below our means as much as possible, without extreme measures unless needed. We have fallen so much into a frugal lifestyle and mindset it just comes naturally to us to question most, if not all, expenditures. We ebb and flow some months being freer with our spending, but eventually reeling it back in to where we feel comfortable. I hope to cut out some project costs, food splurges, and medical bills in the coming month.