Hey, guess what? No vacation = low(er) summer spending! We like this though we are somewhat saddened by our lack of travel. But on the bright side, plenty of time to clean the house, embark on epic home improvement projects, go hiking, teach Frugal Hound how to high-five (success rate = sporadic), and hunt for great trash finds.
This weekend was a bonanza of great trash–many leases turn over on September 1 and, since 65.4% of the population rents here in our fair city of Cambridge, there was a lot of moving goin’ on.
Being the classy frugal weirdos we are, Mr. Frugalwoods and I took the Frugalwoods-mobile on a trash hunt jaunt through the city. We didn’t find any decent furniture as we’d hoped, but not too shabby in the kitchen wares and clothing departments. Never fear, photos to come in a future episode of Great Trash Finds.
Despite our lack of a vacay, we had an awesome August. Here are some of the highlights:
- Celebrated Mr. FW’s 31st birthday in style with take-out BBQ, beer, and love.
- Marked the joyous two-year anniversary of our adoption of Frugal Hound.
- Went to a free Red Sox game! We even walked to Fenway Park from our house in order to save the cost of public transit.
- Hiked some glorious hikes.
- Built a home seltzer system!
- Discovered the sheer delight of having popcorn dipped in homemade hummus for dinner. Try it before you hate on it.
See folks? No need to pay for entertainment! Which brings me to a new section of the Frugalwoods monthly expenditure breakdown extravaganza. Last month a few savvy readers, including Kali @ Common Sense Millennial and reader Laura asked what was up with the missing categories in our budget. And I was like, ladies, you are so right! Without further pontification, here are the things we don’t pay for every month. Are you wondering about any other categories? Hit me up in the comments!
Stuff the Frugalwoods Fam Spends $0 on:
- Health insurance: we are mega fortunate that Mr. FW’s generous and progressive company pays not only for his healthcare but for mine too! Future Frugal Baby will be covered in full as well. Can’t tell you how grateful we are for this!
- Mobile phones: another area where we are just plain lucky dogs. Both of our employers pay our cell phone bills every month.
- Yacht payment plan: our 50′ yacht is paid off.
- Trash/recycling: Cambridge doesn’t charge us for either, though we do have pretty hefty property taxes.
- Entertainment: when you can scope trash and hike, who needs an entertainment budget? As ya’ll know, I finagle my yoga for free and the woods does not charge us to walk through it. You could count gas for Frugalwoods-mobile in this category if you wanted.
- Dining out: we don’t do it except in special circumstances (like Mr. FW’s bday!).
- Car Insurance: we pay this once every six months, so it doesn’t show up as a monthly expense.
- Cable: we’re not cord cutters–we’ve never even had it!
- Clothes: we all know I’m not allowed to enter a thrift store for the remainder of 2014.
- Student loans/unsecured debt: we don’t have any and, in fact, never have.
And Now: All the Stuff We DO Spend $$$$$ on:
|Mortgage & Escrow for Taxes & Insurance||$2,741.01||At peace with this expense since we intend for this home to be our rental property post-early retirement.|
|Cost for Mortgage Re-appraisal||$350.00||We’re having our mortgage lender reappraise our home. Post with details forthcoming.|
|Groceries & Alcohol||$235.05||I decided to combine these categories this month. A tad on the high side. We did stock up on some staples and we bought a lot of fruit.|
|Costco||$256.69||Not too shabby for our monthly Costco run! This includes bulk food and household supplies (dog food, laundry detergent, toilet paper, and the like).|
|Car Insurance for Frugalwoods-mobile||$202.90||We pay this twice a year. Just happened to hit in August.|
|20lb CO2 Tank for the Frugalwoods Home Seltzer System||$175.31||The crowning glory for Mr. FW’s inventive homemade seltzer machine! Check out his how to post.|
|Gasoline for Frugalwoods-mobile||$116.27||Extremely high for several reasons: we went on some hikes that required a lot of driving and, we bought gas yesterday because we were in an area where it’s cheaper–the tank wasn’t empty so hopefuly September’s gas will be much lower.|
|Annual Subscription to Dropbox for Photo Sharing & Storage||$99.00||Mr. FW set us up with an awesome web-based photo sharing & back-up system. This has been a dream of mine for awhile, so we can count this as my Christmas present.|
|Electric Bill||$90.40||It’s electric! High due to AC usage so as not to bake the Frugal Hound during the weekdays.|
|Costco Membership Renewal||$55.00||Decided to renew our annual Costco membership. We definitely get our money’s worth on this one.|
|Medical Appointments||$40.00||Two doctor visits ($20 co-pay each). Glad to have health insurance!|
|Craft Beer Cellar||$37.25||Mr. FW’s birthday gift of beer! We’ve been drinking it and sharing it with friends all month and still have some left.|
|Restaurant! (GASP)||$28.32||Mr. FW’s birthday dinner of take-out from Blue Ribbon BBQ!|
|Gas Bill||$25.43||It’s gassy!|
|Household Supplies||$19.11||Misc. assortment of things from our inagural trip to Ocean State Job Lot (a discount store here in MA. Think Wal-Mart but less classy). It was a, uh, special experience and we’ll definitely go back next time we need household/home goods.|
|Hardware Store||$4.24||Some tool or piece of hardware for one of our many home improvement projects.|
What do you think? How was your August? Tips, frugal hacks, and advice ALWAYS welcome!