July 2017 Spending Summary

July numbers are in! Lots of camping and enjoyment of the summer weather over the past month. Summer offers so many budget-friendly opportunities to get outside and have fun. Hiking, hanging out at the beach, camping, biking, kayaking… The list goes on.

Boston Harbor Islands

All of these factors helped our budget this month and we came in under target. Unnecessary discretionary funding remained pretty low throughout the month, which helped a lot.  Summary chart courtesy of Personal Capital’s Free Budget Tracking Tool.

July 2017 Expenses

July 2017 Spending Total: $3,900

Utilities$256Electric is higher and the internet bill hit on the first and last day of the month.
Gas/Tolls$362Lots of travel for camping trips!
Home Maintenance$90
Restaurants$100Yum! Check out the BBQ restaurant recommendation below.
Pet Care$364
Entertainment$29Hulu, NY Times and a concert!
Hobbies$303Some fun items, some boating repairs.
Vacation$14Camping is cheap 🙂 Plus, our 4th of July weekend was prepaid.
Miscellaneous$120Bought something completely ridiculous this month...

July Spending Details:

Restaurants: We ate out a little more often than normal due to being on the road for weekend and day trips. In our travels around New England, we found an awesome BBQ joint in Sturbridge, MA. If you are ever at the junction of the Mass Pike (I-90) and I-84, stop by B.T.’s Smokehouse for a delicious meal. It’s a casual, counter-serve restaurant with large portions of your favorite BBQ items. BYOB – there’s a convenience store next door if you need to buy some beverages. The lines are long during peak hours, so call ahead to place your order if you can.

Pet Care: We love our two cats, but pets are not cheap! July was their annual vet visit and $364 later, both cats were deemed healthy, albeit a bit grumpy from the multiple vaccines they were each subjected to.  One of the things I love about our veterinary office is that it is a privately-run, woman-owned business with an all female staff. Our vet is incredibly knowledgeable, the whole staff is friendly and everyone tells me how adorable my two kitties are 🙂

Ready for a trip to the vet!

Entertainment: Guys, we really splurged this month… We spent an extra $10! Mr. Saverdink won free tickets to a Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert in Boston via a local radio station, so we headed into the city for an evening of live music. It was a lot of fun. We stopped at Panera Bread on our way in for dinner, which was much better quality and half the price of the food we saw being served at the TD Garden venue.

Frugal tip for Boston Folks: Parking at the TD Garden parking garage for events = $45 and traffic is a nightmare when 15,000+ of your closest friends try to leave at the same time. Parking at the Museum of Science parking garage is only $10 after 5pm and a 10 to 15 minute walk away.

Hobbies: Summertime = boating weather! We’re lucky enough to borrow our parent’s small motorboat for a few weeks in the summer for water skiing and general boating awesomeness. Some of July’s expenditures were fun boating supplies, but a good chunk was required maintenance and replacement components for engine repairs. Access to a free boat means we try to step up and do as much maintenance/repairs as possible.

Vacation: Camping trips are our favorite summertime vacation activity and are budget-friendly to boot. We had an extended long-weekend camping trip in upstate NY with several friends for the 4th of July. The campsite was prepaid, so costs during July were very minimal. We had one other overnight trip to a small island off the coast of Rockport, MA. $5/person is very reasonable in my book! Plus, when we’re camping, we bring our own food and aren’t spending money on paid activities.

Miscellaneous: I’m impressed that we kept this category so low during July, but I do have one confession… I bought one completely superfluous and utterly unnecessary item. Amazon Prime Day took place on July 11th and while we held strong against impulse purchases, there was one exception – I bought a DNA Test Kit and my spit in currently in route for processing! 23andMe had the Ancestry and Health Markers package on sale for half price. Combined with a $10 credit (another special offer for Prime Day for reloading a gift card), the total cost was $90. There is no reason in the world why I need my DNA analyzed, but I’m curious how accurate it will be and if I will learn anything surprising. Stay tuned – results in 3 to 5 weeks!


As a reminder, here is a link to our targeted monthly budget.


  1. DNA test kit – cool! I’ll be interested to see what you think and what you learn.

    I love that being outside is totally free. 🙂 We’ve always spent a lot of time in the outdoors, but now that we’re being so careful with our money, we’re running, walking, hiking, and/or picnicking several times a week. Obviously, the benefits aren’t limited to our wallets.

    We used to camp quite often, but now we lack a tent and sleeping bags. We need to find some good used equipment.

    Congratulations on a great month!

    1. Spending time outdoors is also great from a health aspect. Better health = lower long-term medical costs. It’s a win/win!

  2. 23andMe is kind of cool, but limited I think in the value over time, IMO.

    Congrats on getting outside so much – July was a busy work month for me. Winter is the time I really get to go outside and “play!” Fall is almost in the air. 😀

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Just found your blog. I love the Harbor Islands. We live in NE as well, specifically Providence. If you want a cheap wine getaway head to the Finger Lakes. The tastings are only $2-3. Look forward to reading more.

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