Well, I am coming to a sad conclusion this month. We spend more money than I thought. Bummer. Its not horrible in any way, just that if we aren’t being super vigilant, money gets spent. As in groceries. And a never ending list of crap for the house and yard – a new weed eater, a fire pit, an air filter/fan for allergies, window film for the back door so people can’t stare in at us (ok, no one has yet, but if anyone did I would have a heart-attack, so this is like life insurance). I even caved after oh, about 8 years of pressure from my Mom and I bought eight $1.96 placemats. (She was not impressed by my efficiency in purchasing red ones, so they could also be used at Christmas).
Even though we had quite a few extra purchases, we didn’t blow our budget out of the water – thanks to the lower price in gasoline these days. We even had to buy baby girl some new clothes, because as the temperatures climbed, we realized she had no shorts or t-shirts that fit anymore. But, I think we should be good for the summer with clothes for the kids! That is a relief!
To review our goals:
Monthly – Spend less than $1645 on our credit card. Results – FAIL! We spent $1980! Our grocery bill was closer to $700. We even bought a take home and bake fancy-schmancy pizza (this is getting close to crossing the line of grocery vs. dining out!). Plus, all the aforementioned house items helped break this goal. So for May, we will try again!
Quarterly – buy less consumables, and donate ~300 items. Here, we are not quite on target with consumables – but I am proud to say we have donated or thrown out 300 items as of this weekend. I’ll do a separate post on this soon! What is great about looking for items to donate, is that I realized that we really have cut back… I was really having trouble identifying excessive possessions as we got closer to 300 items. I should admit though – probably 250 of these items are mine. Mr. SSC didn’t seem as much in the spring cleaning mindset as I. Maybe he will be inspired soon to find another 100 items or so of his own! (hint to Mr. SSC – go clean out the garage! And I found that box of 100 CDs you stashed in the hall closet…).
Mr. SSC side-note: I’m motivated, but I’m finding it pretty hard to come up with things to donate/toss out. For instance, one day my 10 items consisted of my stash of beer coozies. I’d collected a decent amount by going to conferences, so I cleaned them out, except for the sentimental ones. Yes, I do have sentimental beer coozies. As far as the stash of cd’s goes… I find it hard to toss them out, even if they are backed up on my computer. I know I can download them to an ipod and listen to that in the car, but I can also grab a stack of cd’s to throw in the car as well. I just can’t let them go. Although, I could go through and get rid of the scratched beyond belief ones that probably wouldn’t play anyway….
Yearly – we are rocking and on track at 43.3% of our savings goal. If we can keep this up we should exceed our goal by 10%.
Here are the juicy details:
You can see that car insurance was due. I was able to switch and get a lower rate, but that always hurts. We always pay it in full because we get a slight discount in the rate if we pay upfront. OK, and I don’t know if this has been brought up – but, yes, I have a car loan. My interest rate is 0.0%… I’ve got no reason to pay it off early! Groceries were up a little, again. It might be time for us to do another grocery analysis…
|phone, tv, internet||-237.81||-256.95||-239.07||-239.39|
|car note & ins||-323.45||-323.45||-323.45||-1061.42|
As I’ve mentioned before, I like to take our average spending for the year and extrapolate it out to estimate our FIRE needs. This also helps us figure out what our FI number is. Looking at the first 4 months of the year, and adding in $8500 for healthcare, and $1500 for dental (I am totally ball-parking these), plus adding in a 5% slush factor, we are looking at a yearly needed income of $56275. I know most people like to go by the 4% rule, but I’ve been feeling a little more conservative lately… primarily due to worrying about the true cost of healthcare and growing kids… so I am currently using ~3.5% to calculate our FIRE number. It gives me a safety factor that will help me sleep at night. Given those numbers and assuming a steady 7% growth, I’m estimating we will hit FIRE in the early fall of 2018. Not too bad! But it involves a pretty aggressive savings plan… and in the back of my head I have a voice telling me that we should take a splurge vacation with the kids while we are still employed… I’m thinking a Disney Cruise!
So, how was your April? Are you happy or sad with your spending?
Do you ever think about taking a grand vacation, or purchasing something completely extravagant?