2019-03 Expenses

Mar_2019

YTD

Fixed

Accountant

551

551

Cellular

220

660

Healthcare

483

1080

Insurance- Auto

0

0

Insurance- Home

0

0

Internet (Wifi, Netflix, Spotify)

122

360

Maintenance- Home

0

383

Property Tax

0

4654

Transportation (Fuel, Bus)

131

230

Utilities

0

452

Total- Fixed

1508

8371

Discretionary

Children

74

221

Clothing

0

595

Dog

39

182

Food

1165

3287

Haircuts

0

43

Hobbies

306

341

Misc

0

0

Travel

0

867

Total- Discretionary

1583

5536

Expenses- Total

3091

13906

  • Personal Residence: paid off
  • My Auto: 2008 Honda Civic- paid off
  • Husband’s Auto: 2016 Subaru Outback- paid off (used in CCPC)
  • Vacation Home- 0
  • Boats- 0
  • Kayak- 1
  • Bikes- 7

Tracking expenses is a basic tenet of personal finance. I have rarely had a budget but I have always tracked my expenses.

Nowadays tracking is extremely easy with Mint. I tend to only budget the category we tend to have the most difficulty with. For us, that would be food and in particular dining out.

Interestingly I am enjoying it less. Maybe it was my telling the children to think about dining out as either for socializing versus being a meal replacement.

We had been unconsciously using dining out as a family meal replacement. The past month, I opted to buy Costco garlic roasted chicken wings and fully prepared bagged salads. We have been eating at home a lot more now.

What a difference a small change makes.

Costco makes a great sous chef. It probably doesn’t change our food expenses all that much but the food is healthier. We are eating way more vegetables.

I encourage the kids to use dining out to spend time with their friends.

I have also made them resolve their own Visa expenses monthly. This is always a good habit.

The excel only tracks our fixed and discretionary recurring expenses. I do not include the kids’ tuitions. I also do not include the contingency fund expenses. Every year, it is the unexpected expenses such as home repair and renovations, auto purchases and vacation expenses which spiralled out of control.

It is these harder to budget expenses which I see is the danger area for many folks. I have always kept a large cash reserve so this has not been an issue. But I see how easily it can be to incur debt to fund these large expenses.

I read somewhere that anything you own which is greater than 60 lbs will cost you a lot to maintain. I think they are referring to homes, cars, boats, vacation homes, pets and other loved ones. There is plenty of truth in that statement.

That is likely why some folks are able to retire early when they either do not own a home or limit the size of it. They also tend not to own cars and seem to have a paucity of children and pets.

I limit what I own because I find taking care of things a hassle. I also find managing others to take care of things a hassle as well. Thus I rarely outsource to other people whom I need to manage. I prefer machines and systems. Delegation is NOT something I enjoy.

I am grateful my husband decided to gravel our front and side yards last summer. Now our yard work is minimal. Minimizing the lawn is a win for the environment, finances and our time.

The simplest solutions are often the best.

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