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May Money Updates

May 1, 2016

General Money Status

  • I have ~$5,000 in pending travel reimbursements from work (~$2000 submitted, ~$3000 that can’t be submitted yet). I’m allowed to get the tickets paid for directly, but I like getting the points/miles, so I usually don’t.
  • We’ve sent $25k in mortgage prepayments this year, but I consider that meeting last year’s $25k target, which I delayed.  Although these have a big impact, it feels like they should have EVEN MORE impact… But the way to make progress is to keep whacking at it.
  • I increased my 401k withholdings and will be done with this by August (no match to be concerned about).
  • We bought our December holiday flights home. We didn’t really save money, but we know we’re going and had a lot more choices in times/connections booking this early compared to August/September.
  • YTD net worth increase is 16%, most in retirement savings, some in home equity, some in cash.

Spending averages in Q1 (Jan – March):  I’d love to trend this data quarterly, but am not convinced I actually will get around to it.

  • Food, grocery + costco:  $426/mo average, less than 2014 average of $500/mo
  • Food, Restaurants:  $229/mo average, less than 2015 average of $335/mo
  • Pets: $128/mo average, less than 2015 average by A LOT
  • Clothes/Shoes: $158/mo average, more than 2015 average of $43/mo
  • Travel: $233/mo, mostly from January for non-reimbursable personal expenses during my work trip and personal travel following.

This tells me I should be careful with future clothing purchases (I bought a work bag that I’ve been coveting for ages), but that everything else is roughly on track.  Food spending is kind of cheating, because we both traveled for work more than average and had reimbursable meals. That won’t continue into the rest of 2016 at this level, so we should continue to be diligent, especially about restaurants/going out.

Notable expenditures in Q1 (Jan – March):

  • Gutter replacement for deck:  $1,000. We tried to DIY this last year, but ended up needing to call a professional in to get it right.
  • Used bike: $400.  This has been on the wish list forever, I finally found something that met my needs.
  • Dining room lighting:  $340.  No more crazy swirl track lights that I hated!
  • An extra $500 to my student loan, just because.

If spending continues on this pace, we will spend a total of $97k in 2016, compared to $105k in 2015 and $94k in 2014. (Spending includes regular mortgage principle payments, but not pre-payments.)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2016 9:58 pm

    We bought our December holiday flights in April last year and it was so nice to not spend any time thinking about it past then. I’m also at about +17% YTD 🙂

    Curious – do you have a 30 year fixed rate mortgage? If not, what amortization do you have?

  2. May 3, 2016 3:54 am

    Nice to see your dollar figures. Our spending is similar. Sometimes I get frustrated with the holier-than-thou frugal blogs of the “I used up my turnip peels for soup tonight and my grocery bill was $6.47 this week” variety. It is great to share money-saving tips but sometimes the judgment of ordinary (and prudent) spenders and savers is excessive.

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