Budget August 2015 ~ Over the Ridge

Published September 1, 2015   Posted in Budgets

Ever since we decided that the path for us is out of the rat race and into an early retirement of our choosing, the Mr. and I have been keeping an eye on our finances and scaling down our spending. Neither one of us were complete clowns, but we certainly weren’t looking out for our future selves at anywhere near the level we want/need to be.

So in comes the budget. Budgets don’t work for everyone and in the future it may not be necessary for us but for now it is the way we are buckling down and meeting the tough goals we’ve set for ourselves. Read more about how we budget here.

We are labeling August Over the Ridge(line). We sold the Ridgeline to Steve’s brother and we couldn’t be happier! We’re down to the CTS and the motorcycle and we’ve decided that’s where we are going to stay. Given our timeline, we don’t want to risk getting a new-to-us car that might need maintenance in the next 1 1/2 years. We know the CTS and it’s running great, so we’ll keep it. Meanwhile, like everyone else we saw, our net worth decrease with the market this month. We were lucky enough to have money to invest at the right time when the stocks were on sale though ;). So we’ll keep on keeping on.

Meanwhile two small notes.

  1. We’re changing how we do our budgeting a bit so expect a slightly different format next month. Nothing major just more in line with what we want our ER budget to look like.
  2. The Food article has been pretty boring so we’ve decided to combine it here. Two birds…

On to the numbers!

  • Fixed Costs (Mortgages, HOA, Loans) $2497.43/ $3054 Yay no more car loan!
  • Utilities (electricity, gas, water etc.) $16.67/$370 (expected) WHAT? This is a bit misleading. We ended up getting refunded from a previous trash service and insurance. So it looks like a really really good month. In truth everything else was average.
  • Monthly Costs (phones, internet, gym, pets, car maint, etc.) $223.18/ $600 Not only did we stay on budget in all categories this month but we also sold a bunch on Craigslist which goes toward our home repair fund. So again a bit misleading but it means more money to spend on home repairs later.
  • Food (groceries and restaurants) $400/ $500 Groceries were high again this month. I went wheat free this month and we both went low carb. I’m hoping it will help with my never ending migraines and so far so good! This did mean eating at home all but 3 times this month and having to buy a lot more cauliflower and broccoli. You can see the breakdown of grocery costs down below.
  • Fun (Travel, Mr.’s fun money, Mrs.’s fun money, Mr.’s camera fund, gifts)     $697.67/ $825. More spent on travel and almost nothing in our fun money accounts this month.
  • Additional Income: $4242.90. Payment for the Ridge along with our normal random assortment of checks, interest and other sundries that came in this month. Unexpected money is a plus! We reinvest all our dividends, etc. so those don’t get counted in this roundup.

Another great month on the books.

Now, let’s take a look at the money-shot numbers.

Total August 2015 income: $17,082.45 (bonus, overtime, and Ridge Payment)

Total August 2015 expenses: $3,835.74 (love this number!)

This means our total August 2015 Take Home Savings Rate came in at: 78%. 

And our August 2015 Total Savings Rate: 76% (includes maxing out our 401ks).

Our net worth: $626,489. Let’s see this number grow!

Our Personal Capital net worth graph for the month

August budget Personal Capital snapshot

Well damn, lookie there. A dip in the market?

We’re doing great! Just gotta keep on keeping on.

Another adventure awaits!

— Groceries: $347.55–

Fruits and Veggies: $214.01

Canned Goods: $41.62

Vegan ‘Meat’: $18.06

Meat, Seafood and Dairy: $16.81

Dry Goods: $57.55

Minus 50 cents from our bag credits. Gotta love a little extra savings 😉

We track our net worth using Personal Capital


16 responses to “Budget August 2015 ~ Over the Ridge”

  1. Great month! And congrats on getting rid of the Ridgeline. September should be my best month of 2015 in terms of income. Can’t wait to put the money to work!

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Fervent! Awesome, nothing like a good solid month of income, especially if you save the large majority of it…which you are. Those dollar bills are your little employees working for you, after all. 🙂

  2. Maggie says:

    Looking good this month (though your numbers all show May 2015 – flashback?) 🙂 I’m hoping the market tanks right around October 1 when we get our PFDs! Tank, baby, tank!

    • Steve says:

      Ha! Thanks Maggie, appreciate the heads up regarding the inclusion of “May”. Yeah, we used that one as a base and overlooked that change. It should now reference August rather than May. 🙂

  3. Tawcan says:

    Looks great, I think everyone’s net worth dipped slightly in August considering the market volatility.

  4. Hey Steve –

    Looks like you had a good month. I hope you don’t mind, but I borrowed your side bar format for my net worth tracking as well. I like that readers can see the performance at a glance.

    I know most probably took a hit on net worth, but the one benefit of being in so much cash that was not invested I was able to actually not only deploy some capital near the lows of that move last week, but also eek out a gain in net worth.

    Glad you were able to push some new money into the market during the decline.


    • Steve says:

      No problem, Dominic – glad my format gave you an idea about what to do with yours. I’ve stolen quite a bit of ideas from other bloggers throughout the years. Sharing is caring, right? 🙂

  5. Chris Muller says:

    That’s a nice juicy savings rate! Congrats on unloading the Ridgeline, too! Also.. I’m glad to see such a large portion of the food budget went to fruits and veggies! They’re expensive but it knocks the socks off of eating meat!

    • Steve says:

      Hey Chris!

      We love our veggies around here – we eat mostly vegan when we’re home…though, we are admittedly adding a little bit more cheese into the diet. But man, eating this way has made a big difference in general health, and I’m also the thinest that I’ve been since college – right at 201 pounds. For a 6′ person, I’ll take it! 🙂

  6. You guys are posting so much, I can’t keep up! Nice work on the budget and savings this month, as always. And love your positive attitude about the market crash… Wish we could share that! 🙂

    • Steve says:

      Hey ONL – yeah, we’re on a roll with the posts. I have a nice backlog of posts lined up and ready to go, too. I guess I’ve been in one of those writing kicks. 🙂

  7. Mr. SSC says:

    What, no $70 “Steve’s cheese” bill this month? hahahaha
    We’ve realized our grocery bill will probably be where it is now until we pull the trigger and can have more time to do more “cooking” again. We do cook, but not as much elaborate from scratch style as we used to, and with our schedules, it’s amazing we cook as much as we do.
    I have to say, I love just chunked up sautéed cauliflower, and if you can handle the oven heat, slice cauliflower into ~1″ slabs, a little olive oil, salt/pepper and roast until just turning brown. My fav! The sautee is a quicker/cooler method of the same thing though.

    • Steve says:

      Dude, that parmesan cheese was the best damn purchase that I’ve ever made! Mmm, parmesan. 🙂

      It’s funny that you mention cauliflower, because I’ve never been a big fan of the stuff. But, it is interesting what a little sauté can do to a veggie without a lot of taste. I’m almost prepared to say that I…well, like it!

  8. I took a week off camping with no internet access and come back to see you had 27 posts. Yikes! You guys are writing animals! 🙂

    Those are some very nice numbers with the sale of the vehicle thrown in. Could you imagine how fast retirement would come with a 78% savings rate each month?

    • Steve says:


      Totally, we are finding that the faster we save, the faster we retire – and the Mrs. is looking forward to seeing the country. I’ve been in the “retirement” mindset for years already – which may not be a good thing, BTW. It makes working that much more difficult. 😉

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