One of the ways I intend to reach FIRE is by tracking (and reducing) our spending.

So let’s get right into it:

2018-July

Personal Care

This is my personal krytonite: every month I allow myself between $50-70 to spend on either haircare or skincare. ‘Nuf said.

Potential for savings: $0

Transportation

Since all our vehicles (one sedan and one motorbike) are paid off, and we pay our insurance yearly, that is mostly just the cost for a few minor repairs, maintenance, and gas. It’s about $50 higher than normal, but that’s because we’ve done some travelling to visit family and relax.

Potential for savings: $50

Monthly Bills

Our monthly bills (netflix, internet, phones, and cleaning services – we pay our insurance annually so it’s not included) are still pretty low, I think, and as a result of the hubby’s work perks (the cleaning services) we’ll get $100 reimbursed at the end of the month. Part of my “end-year-financial-overhaul” I did in 2017 meant revising our monthly bills and hunting for better deals. We could lower our phone bills by probably $60/m if we reduced/eliminated our data, but neither of us are willing to do that yet.

Potential for savings: $0 (let’s be real – I won’t list a potential savings f I’m not going to bother trying for it)

Health & Benefits

Our spending is higher than I’d like it to be: part of the issue is that our medical benefits have been maxed out for the year (already!). I anticipated this would happen back in January: between chiro to align my neck, physio to align my pelvis, and more physio to loosen up the knots in my pelvic floor, I’m honestly a little surprised it didn’t happen earlier. I’ve really dedicated this year to healing and learning about my body as I wait for surgery. That said, it’s still an increase of about $500, or 10% of our spending, which is no small bananas. The good news is we can afford it – it may reduce our savings a little, but the hubby and I agree that it’s worth it. Since I recovered from SIBO earlier in February (which took 2 years of treatment and left me anxiety-ridden that I would loose my job), spending money on my health has become a no-brainer: if I’m not healthy enough to work, it’s going to cost us way more than $500/month!

Potential Savings: $0 – if anything, spending in this area will probably increase in August

Spending (other)

Ungh, I hate seeing this number so high!

2018-July-spending-other
Let’s break it down, shall we?

I like how low clothing, social, and kitchen supplies are. And…er…that parking ticket – whoops! Normally “Appliances” doesn’t show up in our spending, but I caved and bought a Soda Stream (I know, I know…should have waited for Boxing Day dales!) and I am glad to say I am thoroughly enjoying it. Household goods + decor and Entertainment are definitely too high, and I want to make an effort to reduce them and Furniture/Appliances to $100 or less in August – we’ll see how that goes.

Potential for savings: $500

Food

This is an area I’ve been really targeting to cut back on, and have made huge strides on since this time last year, when we were spending $1300/m on food – between 2 grown adults! This will may draw criticism from most some in the FIRE community, but the rules for the sick are very different from the rules for the healthy, and the fact that our grocery spending has been cut in half in a year is a really happy moment for me. I think it can be better, but we only just started introducing less-expensive foods (think mostly grains, lentils and beans – and processed foods too) back to our diet recently, so it may take a while to reflect on our spending.

2018-July-food

 

The hubby really likes eating out – I seem to go through it in phases. When I had SIBO eating out was out of the question, and it wasn’t until this month that I started to become “okay” with it again. I don’t have much else to say on Alcohol, Lunch, and Coffee – I’m okay with those numbers for now.

Potential for savings: $100* (groceries)

*I really have to be kind to myself in this area, since I’ve already been saving $700/m in this area since September 2017

Housing

Between our mortgage, condo fees, property taxes, and utilities, there’s not much that can be cut down. When I did my financial overhaul in 2017, I was able to reduce our utilities by about $10/m, but with the Carbon Tax coming into effect this month, our utility spending has gone up even though we haven’t changed any of our consumption habits. Sigh.

I could reduce our spending by reducing our mortgage payments, but I like tacking a little extra on (about $120/m) to pay it down sooner.

Overall potential savings

Total potential savings: $650

Overall, I see a potential realistic savings of about $650, which I will strive to meet for next month. Wish me luck!