January, thank goodness you’re over… It seems like once one thing gets taken care of another comes up. So how did January pan out for us – expensive. Lots of deltas, not too many plusses. Some of it was fun, some of it was sad, and some of it was routine things that snowball into more expensive costs than we expected. Here’s the rundown of our spending this month and where we are in relation to our FIRE/FFLC goal.
The good things are few, so let’s cover those first. We’re still keeping up with college savings at $800/month total and our investing goal of $4k/month was achieved. Mrs. SSC cut the kids hair, so no costs there, tithe to church $500 (rather than chipping in random weekly cash amounts), and finally groceries were under $600 but not quite to the $500 level Mrs. SSC wants to hit. I sitll count that as a win.
Some big negatives include a new dishwasher, not cheap to begin with, was made more expensive by our plumbing issues. The connection for the dishwasher was pretty tight and the installer didn’t want to accidentally snap it off and cause water damage and more issues. So we got a plumber and he made the final connection and replaced/repaired 3 other brittle looking shutoffs under our sink for a cool $300. Yeeaahh…. At least it’s quiet!
We also spent $655 for our big summer trip up to MT/ID later this year. It’s a doozie, but we’ve been paying for it here and there so when it gets here, there shouldn’t be any major expenses to cover.
Two oil changes for the cars upped spending in that category by ~$110 this month.
We had to put Quinn down, but not before a couple of vet visits to see if there was anything else to do – there wasn’t. Sometimes old age just catches up to you. Between the illness and cremation, pet costs were almost $500 this month.
Next month will see higher pet costs as well because Lola needs a teeth cleaning and most likely a removal of one of her teeth. Fortunately, it’s Dental Awareness month and our vet is having a 20% off special all month on dental procedures. Plus, we’re adopting a new greyhound, Zoe which has a $250 adoption fee. We didn’t think it would move this quickly since last time it took close to 6 months to get a greyhound, but no complaints from me on a quick adoption process.
My company switched from a bi-monthly pay scheme to a bi-weekly pay scheme which means we only had 1 “big” paycheck in January and I will be short 1 week of pay this year. It’s in “arears” and will get paid out when I leave, but that doesn’t help right now.
Mrs. SSC’s job had some more associated costs with it. Between renewing society membership fees and a new desk for her home office, her new expensive hobby rang in at $762 for January.
Also, it looks like from Feb. onward we will need to get a tutor for our oldest. He’s been struggling with his homework (yes, homework in kindergarten, and book reports, like wtf, kindergarten really?!) and while we’ve been working with him at nights on his letters, numbers, and reading he’s still struggling. After looking into various resources it sounds like he may be dealing with dyslexia, which explains a lot of his struggles. So we’ll be getting him a tutor that can specifically help with that and hopefully turn things around for him.
On the plus side, we’re at 80% of our goal, woohoo!! On the down side, because we can now see the end our mentality has changed a bit. We’ve never been in it for the Retire Early aspect of FIRE, and we just want a Lifestyle Change that fits our family more and gives us more free time. Mrs. SSC likes working, I currently still like my job, even though with the reorg I now have 2 MORE bosses for a total of 5 above me with the option to add a 6th. Yep, 6 months of figuring it all out and this is what they came up with… Notice how I said “currently like my job”, lol.
The main point if that we are at the stage that if a decent job comes up outside of Houston, we’re fine taking it, even if it means we won’t be saving as much and might be working past 42. Gasp!! Working longer?! WTF?!
Another thing that could happen is that we stay in Houston longer than we planned initially. With a 4% growth (after inflation) we can hit our FFLC financial goals in October of 2018. Given the uncertainty of the health care situation we’ll probably keep hunkered down here until that gets sorted, or Mrs. SSC or myself find another job outside of Houston. With healthcare…
That’s pretty much it for our January Spending and forward projection. Let us know what you think of the pie chart over the graph. We just couldn’t think of any good comparison categories for this year, and after last year, things look too similar to make that chart useful anymore. Any thoughts on a new way to show it?
Hope your January went well for you!