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 May the Month of GROCERIES. We had family in town 4/5 weekends (only 2 of those expected). I hosted book club (which means snacks) and we hosted a Memorial Day BBQ for friends. We tried to be thrifty and smart but we went seriously way over budget. Like 1.5x our budget of $300. But we saw it coming and managed to only spend $36 dollars over (and into next month). How? We used our personal fun money accounts. Not ideal but that money is there to do with as we please… and we were pleased to be able to feed ourselves the last week of the month – haha. Next month is A LOT quieter so already starting $36 down does not effect us much.
Other big news is that I bought my hiking boots! As some of you may remember our fun money doesn’t roll from month to month unless we dedicate it to something specific. Steve is always saving for camera equipment. Me? I wanted (and needed) hiking boots for our Montana Trip in July to Glacier National Park. So I’ve been saving $50 a month for the past 4 months. And after an hour at REI during their 50th Anniversary Sale last weekend I am now the proud owner of a pair of Vasque boots that I love. We tried them out with a nice hike last weekend and I am officially saying goodbye to sneaker hiking. The boots are so worth it 🙂
On to the numbers!
- Fixed Costs (Mortgages, HOA, Loans) $2990/ $3054 Almost back to normal. One last small check from the refi.
- Utilities (electricity, gas, water etc.) $476.08/$370 (expected) This month is a little over because we paid more of our insurance for the year. That being said this category is still under for the year.
- Monthly Costs ( phones, internet, gym, pets, car maint, etc.) $836/ $600 Over in three categories here this month. We had to take the girls (dogs) to the vet for their round of shots so that pushed us up. Pet costs are actually right about even for the year though. We also stocked up on chemicals for the pool since the pool store was having a start of summer sale. Summer is rough on pool owners cost wise so we want to stock up now when we can. Lastly, we over spent a bit in our home category this month but we’re still under for the year.
- Food (groceries and restaurants) $536/ $500 Under budget for restaurants but actually WAY WAY over budget for groceries. The full extent of our grocery spending is not reflected here because we used our personal fun money to make up for it.
- Fun (Travel, Mr.’s fun money, Mrs.’s fun money, Mr.’s camera fund, gifts) $652/ $825. Steve actually bought a subscription to Lynda this month which originally pushed this category over but his company paid for it in the last paycheck so we came out even 🙂
- Additional Income: $62.21. This is a 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 May 2015 income: $12,551.28 (Steve’s quarterly bonus!)
Total May 2015 expenses: $5,555.75
This means our total May 2015 Take Home Savings Rate came in at: 56%. Gotta love bonuses.
And our May 2015 Total Savings Rate: 66% (includes maxing out our 401ks).
Our net worth: $621,460.66. Remember how I was upset a few months ago because we seemingly lost money from our net worth. I found it! Now everything is in Mint and I have passwords and usernames to ALL our accounts. So this is really our net worth and we should see more modest increases (but real ones) in the months to come. I hate disorganization and it bothers me it took me this long to see what happened, but O well. I’m pretty happy where the number actually stands.
We’re doing great! Just gotta keep on keeping on.
Another adventure awaits!
Steve is a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence. Steve is a regular contributor to MarketWatch, CNBC, and The Ladders. He lives full-time in his 30′ Airstream Classic and travels the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.