Man, was this a rough month for the budget in the SSC household. As I’d teased last month, we were expecting a few overages due to the A/C repairs, new tires, new greyhound adoption and the like, but I wasn’t expecting the hits to keep rolling. Fortunately, there haven’t been any breakdowns, repairs, or otherwise costly expenses that have cropped up yet this month, and we’re almost a third of the way through it. A quick glance at the bar chart shows June (appropriately orange) topping the charts in almost every category except the stable ones like mortgage, car note, and home utilities. How did this all happen and where did the money go you wonder? Since we don’t have the usual “numbers” chart for this month (it will return in the July update and you can peruse it then) I’ll just tell you.
Phone, tv, internet got hit with a $65/month increase due to 2 years’ worth of discounts finally running out. I called ATT, asking about any other ways to reduce our bill, and besides getting a 3 month $40 discount applied to our account, it was just lip service. I shopped around and 2 days later have our service switched and added bonus, NFL Sunday package is included for free this year! I count that as a win, since I’ll probably have to pony up for that one from my discretionary funds if we continue it in the future. Increased daycare costs – no clue. I’m guessing it’s a combo of short month in May, little longer month in June, and the difference was made up in June. Groceries were okay, trending a little higher than usual, but we’ve been on a “grocery spend watch” just to see if we can keep it steady.
Home repairs… Oh, home repairs…. Besides the A/C drip line getting clogged up (~$450), we also got 2 solar screens made for the bathroom windows (~$140) and it is now cool as can be in there, and not sauna like every day. We also had our wall mount A/C controller go out, so there was some added cost there. When we looked at replacing it with the same unit, we realized we could try the Nest for a little less (~$250). So far it’s been working great! The garage door springs also broke in this month, and that was another $440 to get them replaced. The car needed new tires, so I went a middle of the road option for that, but it was still ~$650 we didn’t want to spend.
The kids had their birthdays this past week, and we had a party. No, no, not some thousand dollar extravaganza with entertainers, balloon animals, and bounce houses. Oh wait, there was a bounce house, but upside, it was paid for over a year ago, and overall, not that pricey. Essentially we just had friends over and did snacks, drinks, and appetizer sort of food, beyond the cake and ice cream.
I designed and decorated James’ cake, and Mrs. SSC did Marie’s.
With the food and extra drinks, juice boxes and gifts (For our kids not those give away bags for the party, I just don’t get those) it was still ~$200 or so for entertaining.
The bigger kicker of the month was our shower in the master bathroom. The metal for the hinge on the door fatigued and split. When this happened the pin that rests on this tubular metal hinge now sat about ½” lower and started hanging up on the lower part of the door. Imagine any door you use dropping a half inch and you get the idea. After hours of scouring the internet and talking to 4 different shower companies, we found out that they don’t make replacement parts for the style of enclosure we had. Seriously, what a racket! None, no parts. They have to be connected to the mob somehow, but no, they just expect you to replace the WHOLE thing if something like a tubular hinge fatigues and splits. So, after getting 3 quotes all within $50 of each other, we got our shower replaced to the tune of $1350….. Ridiculous! Now you understand where the comment about fixing all the “custom everything” on the Living Big Sky show came from, as it was playing the night after we’d ordered our standard shower door replacement. Ugh…
Finally, we got the newest member of the family our new greyhound, Coffee!! Kidding, we went with Lola instead of her racing name “Rusteze”. She’s been great, but the adoption fee of $250 and the $200 vet checkup/heartworm and tick/flea medicine and some other costs added up to just over $500.
So to recap, we’re about $3600 over budget this month. Fingers crossed that we don’t have the same string of spending in the next few months, but I see it trending back downward again.
How was your month?
Did you get any crazy unexpected bills,repairs, or new pets that threw your budget for a loop?