April Expenses

What the crap where did May go?  We’ve been booked solid this past month, and work really exploded.  I’m hoping to get back into writing posts regularly again soon!!

This is a monthly post where I break down the nitty gritty of our expenses, so you can see where our money goes each month.   I’ll also share a chart of of the progress on our mortgage, tax deferred investments, and and taxable investments. These charts don’t include numbers, but they will show trends as the months go by and more data points are added.

We track our finances using Personal Capital.  Personal Capital has an easy to use system and interface that allows us to monitor our net worth and track where our money is going.  I highly recommend giving it a try.

A few notes:  We pay some of our utilities on an annual or quarterly basis, so you’ll occasionally see a spike in those numbers.  We also pay our car insurance twice a year, so that payment won’t show up monthly. We use credit cards for most of these expenses, to take advantage of the offers credit cards give you.  While I think credit cards are a great way to get a little something back for money you would be spending anyways, there is a huge caveat that you need to pay those bills of in their entirety each month.  If you can’t do that, don’t use them!

Have any other questions about our finances?  Feel free to get in touch and ask!

April Expenses

April was a pretty good month for us – mostly anticlimactic on the finance front.

April was our first month paying the bare bone minimum on our mortgage – you can see the payment went down $200.  As I mentioned last month, we are trying out making our extra payments in one lump sum instead of spread out throughout the year.  

Our grocery bill exploded this month!  I finally pulled the trigger and signed up for a CSA.  We were part of a CSA last year and absolutely loved it. The CSA we joined was $350 for 18 weeks of vegetable delivery, including meat and bread once a month as well.    I’d really like to do an entire post on why I think CSAs are a good use of money, stay tuned. Without the CSA cost, our grocery bill would be a sweet $275 this month.

We also had some major car costs this month.  The transmission on my poor old car started acting up – and by acting up I mean it slipped into neutral twice while I was driving down the freeway.  And occasionally would just refuse to shift into 4th. I had diagnostics done on it but they couldn’t find anything wrong, so I ended up having the transmission fluid changed.  I’m about two months in but so far so good – the car is driving smooth and no more weird shifting problems. I’m hoping the problem is solved because my beloved car only has 130k miles on it and I was hoping to drive it for a long time.  Time will tell.

The only other expense worth noting was that we took a trip up to Northern Minnesota to run a half marathon.  We ended up eating out with my parents that trip, giving us a high restaurant bill this month. Worth it!!

Nothing too exciting this month on the progress charts.  The markets have rebounded a little. Our mortgage continues to slowly inch down.

2 thoughts on “April Expenses

  • nice. a half marathon is no joke. how much are property tax and insurance outside of the mortgage? looks like a very frugal lifestyle to me. our base expenses with no mortgage are around 23k/year but that’s without wine and travel and dog costs, which make the work worth doing for us. cars sure are expensive. you have a local trustworthy garage or use the dealer?

    • The mortgage breakdown is ~1200 to principal and interest, ~300 to property taxes, and ~130 to insurance.

      23k is great for a base cost. I completely agree that you can’t cut out all the great things even if they’re bigger $$$. We’ve actually talked about splitting our retirement finances into two categories – one is making sure we have enough money to cover our base costs. Then after that, we want to work for awhile longer to build up a travel fund.

      I wish we had a trustworthy garage, we’ve been looking for one and asking around but haven’t had any luck. We’ve used the dealer in the past and have tried out a couple other chain places in the area. We’ve never had terrible service by any means, but you always feel fleeced by car service.

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