May spending totals are in! It was another strong month for the Saverdink household finances. We came in under budget, which has helped even out our higher than average expenses earlier in the year. Personal Capital (where we track all of our income and expenses for free) revamped their interface this month and I’m definitely a fan of some of the new features. They now have a graph that compares the current month’s spending against the prior month’s spending. Nothing like a quick visual to get your spending back on track 🙂 My only complaint is that the tool truncates partial dollars instead of rounding up or down. The engineer in me really needs to account for that 78 cents in the summary roll-up!
May 2017 Spending Total: $4,065
|Utilities||$246||No heating costs for the next 6 months!|
|Car/Home Maintenance||$72||New windshield wipers and grass seed for the lawn|
|Entertainment||$18||Hulu, NY Times, Amazon Prime renewal*|
|Miscellaneous||$871||Ok, this one needs some explaining this month...|
May Spending Details:
Vacation (which contributed to higher Gas/Groceries): If you read our last post about our awesome camping trip up to Acadia National Park over Memorial Day weekend, you’ll see that about $90 of our gas expenses this month were due that drive. Our campsite reservation was actually made back in December and not reflected in this month’s budget. We did buy some specialty grocery items for our camping trip (hey, s’mores supplies can add up!) that we wouldn’t normally buy when eating at home. Durable, cooler-friendly and easy to cook items are a must-have when camping.
Groceries: Also a little high this month due to some gatherings at friends and families homes. While we tend to not splurge on fancy grocery items at home, we do make sure to bring nice dishes when visiting others. One of the family gatherings we attended needed to accommodate lactose-free, gluten-free and pepper-free diets. That was a little challenging! We ended up bring a veggie platter with hummus and a selection of lactose-free cheeses with gluten-free crackers to share.
Restaurants: A little higher than normal this month, but most of the spending was treating one set of parents to a birthday dinner. We did score a free piece of chocolate from the restaurant in celebration of the birthday!
Miscellaneous: OK, this category was out of control this month. I did identify one major culprit. Amazon.
- Amazon Prime Renewal: The yearly $99 fee hit our account this month. I count this expense as half “general merchandise” (since Mr. Saverdink loves his 2-day shipping and he’s not the best at ordering gifts in advance…) and half entertainment. We utilize Prime Video and Prime Music every week for streaming TV shows/movies and music. We don’t have cable TV, so I’m OK with paying for Prime right now. This has been a hotly contested item in the past and occasionally we’ll let our membership lapse to save a few dollars for a month or two.
- “IT Upgrade” for the Saverdink Household: One of Mr. Saverdink’s hobbies is photography. As such, I have been told that it is absolutely necessary that we back up photos and other digital content in an ongoing and redundant manner. As of last month, we are now owners of a $400 2-Bay, 12TB External Storage Device. 12 Terabytes of storage in the form of redundant 6TB hard drives, holy cow! Mr. Saverdink is an uber geek and somehow hacked together a few different pieces of equipment to allow this new hard drive setup to automatically backup all his computer files over the wireless network. And… drum roll please… 2.6TB are already used!
- We also purchased a few other computer items, a few guidebooks for upcoming vacations and a grill cover.
The rest of our miscellaneous spending wasn’t very noteworthy (mostly standard personal and household items). The biggest excitement was refilling two 20-lb propane tanks for our grill to kick off the summer BBQ season. It’s so easy to toss something on the grill and have a delicious home-cooked meal in under 20 minutes now that the weather is nice.