Before I get into it, I want to acknowledge that I am coming from a privileged place when it comes to finances. steady office job that I really enjoy, healthy enough to work, my family is healthy, debt-free, we have no huge expenses outside of our control. If you see how much I spend and can't relate to me or just feel frustrated, then don't read these posts. I just don't want to be so afraid of alienating people that I avoid talking about money. we do that too much in our world, and silence means we miss out on good advice.
According to my budgeting guideline, the "moderate" column of the USDA cost of food reports, it should cost $1112 a month to feed a family of four. So we are $208 over. I wouldn't feel too bad about this except for...
27 transactions! Good night. We only got takeout twice, but bought a lunch or breakfast about every day. Mostly Marc, which means mostly not good for him... I'll see how he feels about this. I know a few of those are drive-through breakfasts for the kids as a treat and they love it once a week, but could we reduce it?
Home improvement: $911.11
This should go down. Well, I always say "should". Most of it was big landscaping projects that we had planned for. Rocks delivered to extend the front yard landscaping was almost $400, rocks to border the back yard for our flagstone project was $90. Then there was the whole porch staining fiasco that kind of blew up on us. But I digress. It is done. The rocks aren't going anywhere and will not need any ongoing repairs because they're rocks.
We haven't bought the flagstone or gravel for the back yard yet, that's the next big thing.
I use this category as a catch all. Two trips to Target, three trips to wal-mart, one Amazon order for Olive's birthday party decorations, I bought a new sport bra, we bought school photos, my annual livejournal bill and nintendo memberships went in. I know $400 is a lot but I don't see anything totally stupid and frivolous in it. 20 transactions, and 15 of them were under $30.
Monthly bills: $655.41
This is what we spent now on gas, water, electricity, car/homeowner's insurance. I'm not going to include paycheck junk in these report outs - health/dental/life insurance. Oh dammit now I just got curious. Okay, it's $318 a month. I'm still not including those, I'm in no mood and it's not going to change.
Phone and internet: $261.89
Website hosting: $42
Streaming services: $41.99
All monthly expenses. We're paying for three phones plus home internet - but I changed our plan so we are going down a little next month!
One road trip to Topeka.
Tax prep: $100
I never know where to put random stuff like this. It's not really "shopping", it's not a recurring bill, it had to happen, it's part of life.
Mostly recurring, I did also help out the company's big brother big sister's fundraiser.
We stopped drinking, but are still in a wine club and bring the occasional bottle over to friends houses. It does kind of look like a lot for a house that's stopped drinking. Well, there are other entries about that so I won't go into it here, at least it's not $300 like we used to spend. I will keep tabs on it. Maybe this is why it's good to report out every month.
Gym membership: $46
Grand total: $5066.54
This was an above average month.
x12 for yearly expenses, if I do this every month: $61,000
x25 what it would take to be Financially Independent if I want to do this every month forever: $1.5 million
Average household income for Wichita Kansas: $52,620 or $4,385 per month. That's another goal I have... I earn more than average, I want to KNOW how to LIVE on the average. If I am lucky enough to earn more but just spend it all without caring, that makes me feel like an over-consuming asshole.