November, the month of high spending, at least around this household. I realized mid-month that last year we also had a big overage in November due to an errant $1200 grocery bill that month $350 of it was a wine/liquor restock that got moved to “shopping/misc” lol). This month looks like a similar high spending month, though not due to groceries. My thoughts for this recurring phenomenon are two-fold. First, I think we do a pretty good job of staying on track most of the year, so we’re bound to have some “off” months. Secondly, I think November is the month that we let down our guard because we’ve been doing so well relatively speaking from the rest of the year.
Like me and Calculus – as long as I diligently did the 2-3 hrs of home work every week, I could get A’s on the tests. As soon as I stopped doing homework because I thought, “I’ve got this, I don’t need to do the homework”, I get D’s on the tests. I only got A’s because I was mindful and worked hard at it, and staying on track with our spending requires a similar effort. I think this is why so many people find tracking spending or trying to stick to budgets so discouraging. You can’t be perfect all the time. Except, I’m okay with that, just not every month, lol. Without further ado, here’s how our November spending broke down.
Positives: Where we did well
Let’s concentrate on the positives and good sides of the spending first. Hmmm, positives, where are the positives?? Utilities are lower because we haven’t had to run the heat yet, and have only turned on the AC a couple of times to “de-humidify” the house. Yeah! Maids haven’t gone up, and the house needed relatively little upkeep. The auto’s are back to normal/lower spending, and while the internet looks higher, it really isn’t. We found out that our new provider didn’t enact my online enrollment for auto bill pay. Whoops, so we paid twice in October to catch it up and actually enrolled in auto bill pay. Except that when they set it up, they put the “pay now date” a week and a half after our bill was due. Hahahaha, Laughable really, but it wasn’t funny when I got another late notice. We weren’t charged late fees and I got it scheduled to come out a week BEFORE the bill is due now, but such is life.
Negatives: Where we sucked
Maybe suck is a bad phrasing, but the one category that sucked thru our own doing was groceries. We were a bit over due to hosting guests, and Thanksgiving and just being a bit lax. I think maybe $100 of that could be due to just ice cream, but ‘tis the season.
I know, I hear you saying, “But your shopping is also high, and gifts, what gives there”?
Well, we replaced our 9 yr old mattress and frame because we upsized our bed to a King. We moved our bed and frame to the guest room and we put our new bed in our room. Then, we moved our guest bed to our youngest’s room – yeah for her sleeping in a “big girl” bed now. Currently, I’m loving it, as this is the first time in years I can sleep in whatever position and not wake up with my left shoulder killing me. I’ve separated the AC joint severely twice, broken that collarbone twice, and ripped the ligaments and what not that hold that collarbone to my shoulder once, so it’s a bit crunchy and sensitive. Yeah new bed!
Also, we decided we weren’t spending the $4k it would cost if we replaced our current Tempurpedic with another Tempurpedic. So, I found a cool website called mattress underground that is the mattress equivalent of the boglehead forum. Seriously, these guys nerd out on some mattresses. BUT, it led us to the company we went with, Dream Foam Bedding (no affiliate links, just informational). Mainly because they got good reviews for foam quality and customer service at Mattress Underground, 4.5 stars with over 1700 reviews on Amazon and are the only company we found that offered a full refund, 90 day sleep trial, and return of a foam mattress from an online retailer. With their 10% off sale, free shipping, and no tax, we got it under $700 and figured it would be worth the gamble. We’ll keep you updated if it isn’t.
Other areas that were high were medical. I partially tore my Achilles Tendon, nothing crazy, just carrying my daughter up the stairs – yeah for being almost 40 yrs old. Besides it costing me missing out on a half marathon, it also cost $126 in dr. visits and physical therapy copays. Fortunately, we already had a walking boot, so no cost there. I’m sure we’ll have some more bills for it next month, but such is life. It wasn’t a full tear though, so yeah for little wins!
Now, for shopping, gifts and fun. Most of this was the bed from before and the rest is due to Christmas. We did 3 different Angel Trees between church and daycare, and we also have some Toys for Tots donations for my work. Plus, we added in $100/ month tithe to our church and not sure where to ultimately stick that, but for now, it’s in one of those categories.
Pets. Our 16 yr old dog, Quinn is having some issues that led to us awakening to a Shit-pocalypse in our house one morning. Thank the Lord for all tile downstairs, whew…. That led to a vet visit when her tummy didn’t return to normal after a few days. Which led to loads of blood work, a shot, and a couple of prescriptions that ran about $400. A follow-up a week later due to other issues led to another shot, more blood work, and another $150. Good news is, the medicine is helping her liver issues, bad news is, she’s still 16, since they haven’t found a doggy youth serum yet.
Finally, Travel. We started putting down deposits for our 2 week Flathead Valley, and Couer D’Alene trip next summer and places have now been reserved. When that trip comes up, it’ll mostly be paid for already.
Wrap-up and FFLC projections
Nothing groundbreaking to update here. Loving the post-election bounce, which puts us at 76% of the way to our “No worries” FI goal. That’s the “we wouldn’t have to work again” number – of course presuming other things work out like healthcare… Since we’ll most likely be doing something for income, there is most likely some wiggle room there. Assuming 4% growth over the next 2 years, we could hit that number around November 2018. That’s gotten pushed back a few months due to the slowdown in our savings with Mrs. SSC taking her teaching job, but what’s a few months in the scheme of things? I think if I had to work until November 2018, I’d stick around for April 2019 bonus, and at that point, count down the days until July’s summer vesting of RSU’s and other incentives. Extra padding is always a good thing, unless it’s around your middle, lol.
That’s it for our ridiculously long November wrap-up. Hope your November spending stayed on course, or at least closer to your course than ours did.