Monday, February 2, 2015

January spending recap

Alright, here's the January spending recap. High level summary - our planned spending for the month was $15,550 (includes our mortgage on our rental property), but we actually spent $16,750. Where were we over? I ended up booking a summer camp last week (I know - summer camp?!!) because the boys friends all planned for & registered for a camp that's hard to get into. Cost of the camp? $1240. Without the camp, we would have been right on the money. Here's the breakdown of what went well, and what didn't go as well. I'm also only tracking monthly expenses in the monthly report, but I need to figure out how to report on yearly spending categories. Maybe those make sense quarterly instead?


  • $30 under. We spent less than expected on cleaning, as our cleaning lady went on vacation. We had nothing to do with this, but we did clean the house, & are considering cutting the cleaning lady back. The boys could use more responsibility week over week. ;-) 
  • $50 under. We spent nothing on liquor - we were well stocked going into the month. 
  • $25 under. Toiletries - we spent nothing. Woohoo! This was a challenge, but I stuck to it by taking an inventory & reminding myself that we really didn't need anything in January.
  • $640 under. Seattle house mortgage. M pays this bill (we both cover separate expenses), so when I dug in, the average that I was using in 2014 was based on the assumption that we would make additional principal payments on this house. In reality, our goal is now to hoard that remaining cash so we can figure out our future housing situation in California. 


  • $1130 over. Childcare. We actually had less in planned expenses with our nanny, but the summer camp cost outweighed that. 
  • $34 over. Dining out. M & I ended up not being able to get into a restaurant as planned, and the only option was a more expensive place. 
  • $27 over. Entertainment. I took the boys to the movies, and ended up not being able to use a Groupon during our planned days off. What a ripoff of a Groupon! (vent over)
  • $122 over. Groceries. We took team snacks four times this month to various events, and we seemed to be out of everything in the freezer. We really, really need to keep this a bit more in check.
  • $150 over. Overpayment on our vacation house mortgage
  • $540 over. I forgot that our yearly maintenance service was due in January. It's factored into our monthly average, but doesn't account for a one month spike. Also, it was colder in January than it's been since we've moved to California, so we used more power to heat the house. As a result, our utilities were up significantly.

All that said, it was a huge earning month for us. We had our regular checks, our income from our Seattle house (still not net cash flow positive, but not ready to sell - we think we're close in the next year or so, and now is not the right time to sell that house), I received a holiday bonus due to some unexpected working over Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Years, New Year's Eve, and all manners of days inbetween. I also received my yearly bonus. I primarily used my yearly bonus to max out my 401K. After all deductions, our income for January was $50,400. This is an abnormal month for us, of course, and all money is now put into the right accounts for safekeeping. ;-) 

Questions for you. . .how did you do on January spending? Any plans to improve/reduce? If you have both monthly & yearly categories, how do you track the yearly categories regularly? 


  1. We were net positive at the end of Jan. tho not as much leftover as I had planned b/c we promised to pay for some dental surgery for our Daughter.
    It's all good and Feb. could be a big month for saving $ here.

    $50K for a month's worth of overage sounds crazy good! Love bonuses....

    1. I know! I'm pretty excited about the big bonus. Getting my 401K maxed out early in the year frees up a bunch of additional money each month. Woohoo!

  2. We were way over our typical spending for January due to vacation and medical expenses. Here's to a more frugal February.

    1. February will be spendy for us - both boys will have a birthday party, my birthday, and a trip to see the family for President's Day weekend (including an overnight stay at a water park. $$$$!)

  3. Wow, huge funds to start of the year right. We were over on eating out (stress) and liquor (Canada is extremely expensive and again, we had a stressful month so coped the way most people do). We saved money on drycleaning. I hate ironing and was complaining about our high dry cleaning bills so I am now laundering hubby's dress shirts and he is ironing them. He says he likes it ?!? It only saves about $30 a month but it is something. I also decided to cancel my life insurance $33.30 a month as it was going up to $120 next month on the 10 year anniversary. We no longer really need it as have no debt, more than enough for our frugal retirement and 2 properties paid in full. We bought a puppy and I blew a couple hundred on all the stuff associated with him on the last day of the month - but -90% of the cost of the puppy itself was a Christmas present from Baba so that is nice. Cheers!

    1. My old company paid out bonuses in September. So, it was quite a gap between this year's, and my September 2013 bonus, but worth the wait! Liquor and eating out are two of my vices for sure. We've pretty much kicked the eating out habit, but we're far from perfect. And, I'm kind of cracking up on the ironing. But, don't look a gift horse in the face. :-) The puppy is well worth it - adorable!