Whoa! So when I was typing out the title of this post – I accidentally wrote “the 2105 edition” That just made me think – huh – what would my grocery bill be in 2105? Assuming a 2% inflation – my $500 grocery bill would be just shy of $3000! Holy inflation, Batman! Whoa! Anyways… let me get back on topic!
OK – so here’s the March 2015 round-up – starting with our monthly goal of keeping our credit card spending below $1645. And while we failed miserably at this exact goal in February, we did pretty ok this month, clocking in at 1846.26, so over by 12%. So for our April goal we will go for $1645 again. It’s like I tell the kids “If at first you don’t succeed…try, try again!”.
Our quarterly goal was to only buy consumables. And we did okay this month. We did have to buy some new windshield wipers for both cars, I think this is acceptable, especially since it was becoming a safety issue on my car! Not too much else that jeopardized our goal. Some fertilizer and weed killer for the yard. We did get a free 2-month membership from Sam’s Club, so we did a bit of stocking up on food, which helped over-run our grocery budget. We also bought some new shoes for the kids. This is going to be a budget issue that I will have to pay attention to. Kids grow quickly. Very quickly. Most of our son’s clothes are hand-me-downs, and our daughters I try to buy on clearance as much as possible. They both only have about 2 pairs of shoes, so nothing crazy. But they grow so FAST! I am thinking that I may really need to budget more for kids clothes in the future.
Anyways, we’ve decided for our 2nd quarter goal is to continue to focus on consumables. We’ve started to ask “Will I still need this in 5 years?” If not, we don’t buy it. We have always had a tendency to buy things for convenience, but now we are slowly learning to deal with work-arounds. Just because we have money – doesn’t mean we have to spend it!!! Sometime in the second quarter, I want to do a purge – donate/trash/recycle, let us say 300 items!
Our yearly savings goal is right on track at 34% of the goal achieved! Of course, this is bonus season for our industry, so my bonus came through this month – and immediately got invested. Next month my miniscule raise will come into effect, which will help save maybe $150 more a month. But, I’m not complaining because Mr SSC’s employer just announces a freeze on raises! Honestly, we are both feeling happy to have jobs at this point. Mr SSC’s company did some layoffs last week, and my company has been doing so for months now. Sigh… OK, back to positive thoughts!
Here is the monthly break down:
Overall, not horrible. But, groceries… whoa! I think that is the most we have spent in a month in years. I blame Sam’s Club. We always go to Sam’s Club thinking we are saving money, but all we do is buy crap we wouldn’t normally buy. Also – we were trying to eat more low carb, and so we likely spent more on meat than usual. We also visited my parents and bought them quite a bit of groceries that weekend.
Since this was a 5 Monday month, we had to pay an extra week of daycare (pay on Mondays).
Looking at how we are averaging for the year – to help focus down on what type of budget we are looking at in FIRE/FFLC, based on the first three months of this year – we would need about $38,850 plus health/dental care. So, that is $26,850 if you exclude our opulent ‘allowances’.
Mr. SSC and I spend some time on the Healthcare exchange this month trying to estimate what we would be looking at to self-insure. And let me tell you, it is not simple. There are so many plans! One thing we did realize, is that with our ‘income’ when we are no longer working, the kids will qualify for the state healthcare plan, so no monthly costs and preventative care is free. I think Mr. SSC and I would go for a high deductible plan – so that we can put money into an HSA, something we have not qualified for yet. That means we would likely want to budget about $8500 for healthcare ($6000 of which will go into the HSA), and then maybe $1000 for dental?
So- how did y’all’s March stack up? Doing good? Doing bad? And, I’m curious, do any of you have experience with Obamacare? We’ve never self-insured, so it’s a big scary monster, and probably my biggest unknown in budgeting – any hints/tips/stories would be awesome!
Have a wonderful April!