My Frugal Friends! I’m pleased to announce that September was one of the lowest spend months in Frugalwoods history. Mr. FW and I are positively delighted by the fact that we only spent $874.12 on everything other than our mortgage. Woo hoo!
I’d hoped this would be a low spend month as we didn’t have any periodic bills (such as water or car insurance), emergencies, or unanticipated expenses. Our only aberration was Frugal Hound’s annual vet exam. Spending as little as possible during months like September is a critical element of our frugal approach and helps us maintain our 65%-85% savings rate.
I’ve shared that we don’t budget in advance, because we approach each month as if we’re not going to spend a dollar. Since we obviously are going to spend, we consider all expenses as debits against this $0 budget. We review our expenses at the end of every month–and show the findings to you fine people–in order to track our savings rate and ensure that we’re not overspending in any given area. If we note high spending in a particular region, we recalibrate for the future.
If you’re curious about the things you don’t see on the below spreadsheet, check out last month’s explanation of why we lack many common expenses (such as health insurance, cell phones, cable, entertainment, restaurants, and more).
As I mentioned in How We Manage our Household Finances, we keep the money pretty fresh and simple in these here frugal woods so that the jokes can be complex. What you see is what you get–100% of our expenses are represented and we don’t have a dime of debt other than our mortgage. I don’t post our income, net worth, or investments for privacy reasons and I do apologize for that because I wish I could give you a more comprehensive illustration of our financial health.
But, for now, please enjoy reading about every dollar we spent in September:
|Mortgage & Escrow for Taxes & Insurance||$2,741.01||Yep, it’s high. But, we live in a very high COL city (Cambridge, MA) and this house will be our cash-flowin’ rental after we decamp to our rural homestead.|
|Groceries||$229.42||Not too shabby, though I always wish it could be lower. But, the majority of this is for fresh fruits, vegetables, and coffee–none of which we’re going to give up anytime soon.|
|Veterinary Clinic||$176.00||Frugal Hound had her annual trip to the Hound doctor. This cost includes her check-up, Rabies shot, tick and heartworm tests, and Distemper shot. She received a clean bill of health and the vet complimented us on the fact that we brush her teeth, clean her ears, trim her nails, and keep her at a healthy weight. He did not compliment her sitting abilities :).|
|Costco||$164.79||We are thrilled by how low this is! Our monthly Costco runs had been about $100 more, but with concerted effort this month, we were able to frugal it up. This includes bulk foods (oats, beans, quinoa, spices, olive oil) and household supplies (toilet paper, dog food, laundry detergent, vitamins, shampoo, etc).|
|Gasoline for Frugalwoods-mobile||$73.24||Higher than usual because we took a few lengthy trips in order to go hiking. The longest was the drive to the White Mountains of New Hampshire for our epic Franconia Ridge hike.|
|Electric Bill||$70.91||Pretty decent.|
|Internet||$66.95||Consistent month to month.|
|Beer & Wine||$26.50||A tad high as we purchased beer and wine to take to friends’ houses on a few occasions.|
|Household Goods||$19.11||We made our first trip to the Ocean State Job Lot (think Wal-Mart but cheaper & less classy) and found swell deals on household goods. Plus, $1 for a pterodactyl dog toy for Frugal Hound!|
|Snacks!||$5.18||We 100% splurged after hiking Franconia Ridge and bought snacks at a gas station to eat on the drive home. YUMS!|
|Parking Meter||$2.00||Had to park at a meter in downtown Boston.|
|Photo Backup||$0.87||Must preserve the millions of photos I take :)!|