I’ve been slacking off on updating our spending. This is our spending for July and I will get August out shortly. We’ve been trying to set everything up via Microsoft Money, but we need to spend more time with it. I do want to note that it was pretty easy to set up all of our accounts through Microsoft Money. I just need to go through and finish assigning a category to money spent.
As you can see below, we spent a LOT of money this month. In case you missed it, we helped a family member sell a house and we received a portion of proceeds since we had been paying for upkeep, etc. I must say that with the recent hurricane in Houston, I am GLAD that we sold that house with it being in Northwest Houston. The house was also within a 1/4 of a mile from a bayou. Not good! We took the proceeds and applied it towards 2 student loans and our car. We are now left with one student loan at 3.5% interest and our mortgage. I do not intend to pay off the student loan early. 3.5% is as much as I can get in a CD and I can get more or a return than that in the market. You can read more about that in a previous post, Getting Closer to Being Debt Free.
Here are the first 3 posts about the program we are on:
|Groceries – $596.87|
|Eating Out – $316.01|
|Gas – $428.43|
|House – $38.00|
|Pool – $30.28|
|WP – $349.33|
|CC – $135.47|
|Houston House – $281.64|
|Disability/Life Insurance – $135.73|
|Home/Car Insurance – $342.97|
|Mortgage – $1,087.18|
|Student Loans – $9,253.88|
|Utilities – $414.42|
|Cell Phones – $114.66|
|Cable/Internet – $157.69|
|Car – $2,251.46|
|Entertainment – $206.71|
|Clothes – $85.86|
|Work – $156.34|
|Beauty – $60.00|
|Gym – $64.92|
|Pharmacy – $68.99|
|Gifts – $128.00|
|Total – $16,704.84|
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Books I’m reading right now.
Hello! It’s me again. Yes, we are actually keeping up with stuff and I have the one person that reads my blog to thank. So, lucky person whoever you are, THANK YOU for keeping me straight. It would be very easy to go to bed right now, but that one person is keeping me up. The one glaring detail that you will notice is that we PAID a butt load in taxes. Fortunately we saved for this being that my wife was a contractor for part of 2007, but it is never fun paying that much to anyone except myself :).
|Total without Taxes||$5,945.69|
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Post #2 of our adventure through the Your Money or Your Life Program. Technically, we are not involved in the online study group or a group around us, but we are getting started with what we are able to do right now. That being said, I’m happy that we are taking action because it would be easy for us to say we are too busy and not do anything until after we move.
Car Payment $290.00
Eating Out $152.12
Student Loans $825.96
Cable/ Internet $102.91
Houston House $126.57
Car/House Insurance $312.47
Life/ Disability Insurance $135.73
Cake Business $186.11
If you look at our first month, we spent $6600. This month we spent a whopping $7800. While this may seem like a huge jump in money spent, it’s actually most likely very similar to last month. Last month I did not include IRA contributions. This past month I received extra money from business travel and my wife received a raise. Those extra dollars either went to savings (not represented here), or to pay off a student loan which would be reflected in our monthly expenditures. There was one major charge that was a yearly splurge – football season tickets for University of Texas at Austin. We hope to cut down on our expenditures, but it doesn’t seem like that’s been the case so far. Hopefully we’ll find a house and be able to move fairly soon because that would significantly and positively affect our budget. There are items that are not included on here that I am not sure how to quantify, i.e. we put quite a bit of money every month into an ING account and that money pays for things like the UT season tickets, property taxes, and vacations. I plan to only include them as an expense when they are actually paid. In the next post regarding the Your Money or Your Life Program, I hope to further refine our categories, decrease spending 🙂 , and place our months of following our finances onto a chart to chart our progress. Stay tuned!
I recently read “Your Money or You Life”. I have to say, it was one of the most enlightening books I’ve read. Among personal finance bloggers listed on pfblog.org, it’s one of a handful of books that is considered a necessity. It appealed to me in quite a few ways and provided a step by step process for a path to a goal that my wife and I would like to achieve, financial independence. You may might ask what is your idea of financial independence? Well, I’m glad you asked. Financial independence to me would include any number of things, but a few things that appeal to me are being a part time substitute teacher and being a part of the Big Brother\Big Sisters program. I’d also like to do some Habitat for Humanity work as well as rehabbing (some people refer to this as flipping) houses.
On this blog, I will detail our journey through the steps until we achieve financial independence, hopefully sooner than later. We’ve got a lot going on (who doesn’t?), but we will be enrolling in an online discussion group to help us along the way. We’ve completed step one step of the Your Money or Your Life program. Step 1A says to calculate our total income over our lifetime. Step 1B involves estimating the value of all of our possessions, however we are in the transition of moving so accumulating the value of our stuff is difficult right now. We have, however, begun step 2B which is the monitoring our spending and income (we will revisit step 2A, calculating our real hourly wages, at a later date).
Not solely because of the book, but for a few different reasons, we are looking at downsizing our house. We have a pretty nice house with a pool in the suburbs. My wife currently drives 70 miles a day round trip to her job on the opposite side of town. That may not sound like a lot to some people (Los Angeles folks), but it’s not necessary in DFW. I drive around 45 miles a day. We are looking to move into a smaller house in a neighborhood closer to work, and we estimate in doing so our bills will dramatically decrease across the board.
Current House Obligations per Month
Mortgage 1: $928.17
Mortgage 2: $159.28
Gas: $75.00 (estimated)
Total Expenditure per month: $2024.49
Possible Future Obligations per Month
Mortgage: $599.55 (@6.0% interest being conservative)
Taxes: $2400.00 (estimated)
Electricity: $100.00 (older neighborhood without really high ceilings and tree coverage and no pool)
Gas: $60.00 (smaller house to heat)
Water: $60.00 (no pool)
Total Expenditure per month: $1074.55
That’s pretty darn close to cutting our bills in half. As I said earlier, financial independence is one of our goals but we are also looking to have kids in the next 2-3 years. Moving into a smaller house would give my wife the option of staying home or not. As of now, that is not an option.