Hello, and welcome to the July 2020 FI/RE report! Now lemme just say, this is one of the least FIRE-Y months we’ve had since we started this journey. I am not going to try to justify how my spending was necessary. There were a number of purchases that were not absolutely required. For example. yes, I could wash dishes by hand for the rest of my life. Yes I could live without a BBQ, or buy something cheaper vs a Weber, my first real grown-up BBQ. Yes I could live without an eReader (birthday gift, to be fair!) a pressure washer, and a bike rack.
So, dear reader, keep in mind that this month’s FI/RE report doesn’t really reflect a FI/RE lifestyle. On the bright side, everything was paid for in cash, and carefully pre-budgeted in YNAB. BOOYAH.
Side note: I really am not into shaming people for not for not being extremely frugal like Mr. Money Mustache, or not having a 75% savings rate, as long as you are up-front and honest about it. If you try to manipulate your numbers to look better with intent to gain more Instagram/Twitter/Blog/Vlog followers, then yeah, I have a problem with that. So, in the efforts of being transparent, I share my expenses with you every month. This is mostly for my own accountability and tracking efforts, and to help anyone who may glean a small advantage from reading about what I’m doing.
I don’t do as well as I should every month, and I’m OK with that. If one finds they are not, perhaps they can just go read Mr. Money Mustache’s blog. I seek improvement month over month. This month I didn’t improve. With health & luck on my side, hopefully I have many more months ahead to make course corrections.
On to the goods.
We are going to continue to increase savings from one month to the next. All of this goes straight into registered investment accounts. We are up $443 from last month!
Extra Income from Side Hustles: $207.
Mostly UserTesting, but also $25 in Facebook sales.
|Category||$||Relevant Notes of Notey-ness|
|Interest Charges & Bank Fees||9||I still have work to do here. Part of this relies on Hubs to switch banking on a couple of things; I have sent a few reminders for him to do this. I may need to sit him down and chain him to the office chair until it is done.|
|Childcare||117||It’s been a great month, since I was able to co-parent with another work from home mom friend which helped save several hundreds!|
|Auto Insurance||56||This will go up to $63 next month. Still a great rate. Will be shopping around next August.|
|Mobile Phones (2)||85||Public Mobile. Sign up, all of you.|
|Home Phone||59||This was the yearly charge for Magic Jack. Got a lead on a new service that is less expensive, but only after I had paid the annual fee. I’m going to switch to the new service next year!|
|Water & Sewer||242||Water usage was up a bit, due to being home all the frickin’ time.|
|Groceries, Toiletries, Supplies||1100||Slightly lower than last month, but not much. Still lots of room for improvement!|
|Fuel||139||This is lower than last month. Again, we are home a lot more now, and I’m not commuting for 30 minutes a day. Work from home for the win!|
|Medical, Eye care, Prescriptions, Vitamins||153||Masks! Massages! Mammogram parking! Other things that don’t start with M! Seriously tho, there is a lot in this $153. We also hired a nutritionist, bought hand sanitizer, and a couple of other things to boot.|
|Health & Fitness, Sports||153||WW subscription which is now cancelled, bought a bike rack to travel with bikes (already used it once, we LOVE it!) And, I accidentally didn’t cancel my Fitbit premium subscription after the free trial. Oops. It’s done now at least.|
|Heat (Wood & Propane)||0|
|Vacations||350||We had a lovely vacation at the beach. Weather was perfect! In-province vacations are turning out to be pretty darn good. 🙂|
|Auto Repair, Maintenance, Registration & License Renewals||98||Registration|
|Home Improvement, Services, Supplies & Maintenance||2314||I knew this was coming. We had to replace our dishwasher and BBQ. Hubs also felt we needed to buy the extended warranty on the dishwasher, since our current one became useless in the span of about 4 years. Also, I splurged on a pressure washer. I know, I didn’t NEED to buy one, but man it’s satisfying.|
|Gifts & Holiday Expenses||906||This is where I fell off my chair while reviewing July expenditures. I bought a couple of larger Christmas gifts, and asked for a birthday gift that ended up being way more than expected (a Kobo eReader…..I love it and it is awesome, but man, not cheap). Also bought a birthday gift for a friend of M’s, AND bought my mom’s birthday gift along with a tropical party and festive BBQ. Soooooo I guess it was all worth it. haha. Anyway, something to work on for the rest of the year…|
|Clothing||25||Shirt for Hubs.|
|Annual Memberships & Subscriptions||0|
|Allowance – M||17|
|Allowance – I||332|
|Allowance – T||202|
|Dining Out – Family||138|
|Entertainment – Family||0|
|Lotto Tickets||34||Hubs pool. Still no payout.|
As you can see, it was a very expensive month. Going forward, my action items to improve expenses are:
- Switch everything over to fee-less bank, with help of Hubs.
- Investigate cheaper parking downtown, again. It’s not easy to find.
- Explore life insurance alternatives. We’re getting older, so we may not find anything better than what we have; but perhaps we could reduce our coverage a bit.
- Call to try to lower internet cost
- Actively work on reducing grocery, toiletry and supply costs
- No more impulse buys (pressure washer, I’m looking at you)
- Confirm gift budget for remainder of the year to avoid/minimize overspending in December. Start making gifts.
- Discretionary spending, particularly allowances – better reflect where my allowance is going, since some of it goes into savings.
I’m super happy with our savings rate increase for July 2020. On the other hand, I’m not so happy about our expenses this month, but I have a solid 8-step plan to improve. Hehe. Even if I can commit to doing ONE of the 8 before the end of August, I’d be happy with that. I need a small win to motivate me to continue challenging expenses. I would love to also see an up-tick on extra income for next month, but I will need to hustle hard for the next 2 weeks to make it happen.
That’s it for now. Let me know your goals for the rest of August. Will you reduce expenses? Increase savings or income? Tell me how below!