October 2017 Spending Summary

I’d say fall is in the air in New England, but the multiple 70+ degree days this past month sure had me fooled! Our biggest accomplishment this past month is that we still haven’t turned on our heat yet. Think of all those dollar bills we’re saving 🙂 We tossed our winter comforter on the bed and started a few fires in the living room fireplace to take the evening chill off, but our house’s temperature has been pretty tolerable to date (and we even had to open the windows a few nights because it was TOO warm). Given the upcoming forecast, with multiple nights hitting 30 degrees, I predict that we’ll be turning on the heat within the next week. Ah well, the cost savings were nice while they lasted!

October spending came in just under our monthly target despite one very big (fun) splurge for this upcoming winter. Groceries were really high this month, which I suppose, makes up for the lighter spending in that category last month. Summary chart courtesy of Personal Capital’s Free Budget Tracking Tool.

October 2017 Spending Summary

October 2017 Spending Total: $5,452

ItemAmountNotes
Mortgage$1,885Changed this back to $1,800 for future months
Utilities$244No heating bill yet!!
Gas/Tolls$298
Automotive$76AAA membership renewal
Groceries$656Yikes. We need to get this back down.
Restaurants$69Used a gift card for a family dinner 🙂
Pet Care$53
Entertainment$18Hulu, NY Times
Hobbies$1358This was our big splurge this month 😀
Vacation$4222018 planning!
Charitable Giving$103One time donation for hurricane victims (in addition to our normal paycheck deductions)
Miscellaneous$270More gadgets??

October Spending Details:

Groceries: $656 on groceries is really high for our household. Looking into the details, we had a few big trips to Costco and Sam’s Club that will hopefully curb November expenditures. With grilling season behind us, we’ve been stocking our freezer with pre-made meals for easy weeknight dinners. We made a vat of beef marinara sauce, chicken lentil soup and found a deal on frozen, wild caught marinated cod (~$3/lb!), so our freezer is pretty full. When I came home with over 10 pounds of cod, Mr. Saverdink just looked at me and said, “how big do you think our freezer is??” Luckily I am good at tetris 🙂 I also stocked up on a few staples from Amazon, including 4 lbs of Organic Coconut Flour.  I finally exhausted my existing supply of coconut flour and couldn’t find a reasonable price at any of my local stores. Amazon to the rescue! Combined with a 15% subscribe and save discount, it was under $10 for the bag (~$2.50/lb).

Hobbies: Ski season is almost here and we can’t wait! We purchased season lift tickets for the 2018 ski season via The Max Pass – which is a fantastic deal for avid skiers. This pass gives you five days of skiing at over 40 mountains around the US and Canada, a large number of which are in the New England area. We purchased this pass for the first time last year and estimated that our daily lift ticket cost was only about $35 per ticket by the end of the season. Yes, we ski a lot. And we’re planning to again this year. We already have a long weekend up to Canada planned and a week of skiing in Colorado. Hoping for lots of snow!!

Vacation: While it may seem a bit crazy to book so far in advance, we put a $400 deposit towards a warm, tropical vacation in December 2018. We’re going during one of the busiest times of the year and every year. the resort is fully booked almost a year in advance. Now we just need to keep an eye out for airfare in coming months! The other $22 was for airfare fees. Thanks to airline miles, we’re headed to Colorado for ski season in a few months. $11 per person for cross-country airfare is pretty decent in my book 🙂

Pet Care: A few more fish supplies and cat food from Amazon. By lumping subscribe and save items into one month, we take advantage of the 15% discount.

In other cost-saving news, 2018 benefits election season is upon us. My work is now offering a high-deductible plan that is $600 per year less than my current plan AND allows me to contribute $3,000 towards an HSA (they contribute $450), which equals an additional $800 in tax savings. YES PLEASE. My old plan offered slightly better coverage, but with the difference in premiums and tax savings, there is no contest. Make sure to check your own health care coverage options for 2018 and evaluate which one is best!

 

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

3 comments

  1. Spend more 🙂 Your freezer sounds a lot like ours. Costco + the local supermarket’s loss leaders can pack it in.

    Have you looked at carrying both of you on your health plan and taking the HSA up to $6,800? We did that for 10 years and with appreciation (and even after some serious medical spend) its nice having an HSA worth $50,000+ going into early retirement.

    1. Mr. Saverdink is on his work’s health insurance plan (it’s less expensive for us to remain on separate plans) and has been contributing to an HSA for several years. We’re both going to max out that tax-advantaged account now!

  2. I JUST made the leap to an HSA for 2018. My current plan offers great coverage, but we don’t need all the bells and whistles. I’m planning to contribute $100 a month to the HSA (to start); my employer will contribute $110. I didn’t know that much about HSAs before this month, but I’m super excited about them now!

    I really love that you invest in your hobbies. Have a wonderful ski season! I hear CO already has some great snow.

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